The Yankees (70-43, 1st in the AL East, 1.5 GA) kick off a four-game set tonight in their lone trip to Kansas City (47-67, tied for last place in the AL Central, 17 GB) this season. New York beat KC handily at the stadium last month, and there’s no excuse for the Yankees not to come in and take three of four once again against the lowly Royals pitching staff. Many have noted the relative difficulty of the Yankees’ remaining schedule, making it imperative that they clean up against significantly inferior competition.
In tonight’s opener, CC Sabathia (3.14 ERA; 3.63 FIP; 3.92 xFIP) faces veteran journeyman Bruce Chen (4.44 ERA; 4.43 FIP; 4.96 xFIP) in a rematch from the first game between these two teams at the Stadium last month. Chen was touched up for five runs in six innings last go-round against the Yankees, although his “devastating” array of off-speed junk is the type of slop that the Yankee batters have had trouble with all season. Regardless, there’s no way Sabathia vs. Chen on paper can be predicted as anything other than a win for New York on paper.
In the second game Dustin Moseley (3.86 ERA; 5.28 FIP; 4.36 xFIP) gets Kyle Davies (5.21 ERA; 4.91 FIP; 5.05 xFIP), who actually picked up the lone win against New York last month. Davies is pretty much the definition of a mediocre pitcher (career ERA+ of 79), while Moseley has been about as effective as the Yankees could have hoped in Andy Pettitte‘s stead. Moseley actually cleaned up Sergio Mitre‘s mess in the Davies win, tossing 4 2/3 innings of scoreless ball in relief. While Moseley is far from a sure thing, the Yankees have no business losing to Kyle Davies for the second time this season.
In the third game Phil Hughes (3.92 ERA; 3.88 FIP; 4.17 xFIP) takes on Sean O’Sullivan (6.75 ERA; 4.48 FIP; 4.56 xFIP) in another rematch from last month. O’Sullivan’s faced Baltimore, Oakland and Los Angeles — three of the lesser offenses in the league — in his last three outings and hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, not to mention the fact that the Yanks beat him up for five runs last time around, making it seem fairly unlikely that he can emerge victorious, though he did shut the Yankees down his first time facing them. Hughes was the tough-luck loser in last Monday’s game vs. Boston, and has been pretty good since getting lit up by the Angels a few weeks ago; he shouldn’t have too much trouble beating this Royals team.
And in the finale A.J. Burnett (4.87 ERA; 4.78 FIP; 4.74 xFIP) faces Bryan Bullington (4.85 ERA; 4.95 FIP; 5.74 xFIP). Bullington made his first start since 2008 on Tuesday, taking the loss though pitching effectively in giving up three runs over six innings. Having never before faced the Yankees, Bullington could spell disaster for the Bombers. As far as Burnett goes, the jury isn’t just out, it’s on permanent vacation, and I am loath to make any sort of prediction on what A.J. may or may not do.
The Royals aren’t the worst offense team in the league, but they’re obviously in the bottom half. The Yankees’ recent offensive woes have caused them to drop out of the top OBP spot; a perch they’ve held for as long as I’ve been doing these series previews. Sadness. Still, the Yankees clearly possess a superior offensive unit.
As for the pitching, the numbers pretty much speak for themselves. Kansas City trails New York in all eight of the categories I’ve chosen to highlight, and it’s not even particularly close.
As I said in the opening graf, the Yankees should be embarrassed if they don’t take three of four from this Royals team, and really should be able to sweep, recent offensive malaise notwithstanding.
And since I was away for the last Royals preview, here is how the Yankees have fared against the Royals in the Unbalanced Schedule Era:
Unsurprisingly the Yankees have pretty much crushed Kansas City during the last 10 years. I elected to use the above image of Chris Chambliss hitting "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1976_American_League_Championship_Series">the 1976 ALCS-winning home run given the lack of any modern drama between the two teams, and it’s kind of crazy to think that the Yankees and Royals were at one time bitter rivals more than 30 years ago.
ETA , 5pm: Bah, apparently Brian Bannister (5.95 ERA; 5.52 FIP; 4.85 xFIP) gets the start on Monday. Though this doesn’t really change anything, as Bannister is having a pretty lousy year. In fact, this is probably a plus for the Yanks, since they’ve actually faced Bannister in the past.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- http://2804lasela.wordpress.com/ on TYA Predictions: Bold predictions for 2012
- the tao of badass pdf on What about Austin Romine?
- Joey Parkhill on Dante Bichette Jr’s Swing
- lululemon factory outlet on Contact Us
- Cary on Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
- Louis Vuitton Outlet San Diego on Banuelos to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Yankees Prospectors to Undergo Grief Counseling
- related web site on The Great Subway Race
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees