Series Preview: New York Yankees (39-28) vs Hapless Victims (28-40)

Before I get to previewing this bloodbath, I just want to mention that it was fun to watch the Cubs take three of four from their little brothers to the north.

Team Overviews

Teams stats with respective league rankings in parens.

Yankees Cubs
wOBA .353 (1st) .318 (6th)
UBR -1.9 (9th) -7.1 (16th)
UZR 11.6 (3rd) -15.5 (15th)
SP FIP 3.96 (6th) 4.17 (14th)
RP FIP 3.33 (1st) 4.12 (16th)

When the Cubs “offense” is the best thing it has going for it, the team is in trouble (dying laughing).

The Yankees wOBA leader is possibly-almost-Cub Curtis Granderson, who has his 21 home runs. Teixera, A-Rod, and Cano are also having their usual solid seasons. Jeter, who is missing this series with an injury, has a measly .298 wOBA on the season and is hovering just over replacement level.

Larry Rothschild seems to be doing just find by his pitching staff. The big story that I remember after the Yanks signed him was that people thought he could fix AJ Burnett. But it doesn’t look like there’s that much of a difference – he has the same FIP (4.33) as he’s had three times in the past 5 seasons.

Pitching Matchups

Friday Friday: Freddy Garcia, RHP (3.60, 4.48, 4.12, 4.33) vs Doug Davis, RHP (5.90, 3.51, 4.28, 4.16), 1:20 PM CT, CSN 

For all the complaints about the crappiness of Doug Davis, Washed Up Starting Pitcher, the Yankees are arguably throwing out an even worse pitcher in Garcia. Garcia gives up a ton of fly balls. The ballhawks should be busy today.

Saturday Saturday: A. J. Burnett, RHP (4.09, 4.33, 3.91, 4.15) vs Ryan Dempster, RHP (5.48, 4.15, 3.31, 3.75), 3:10 PM CT, FOX

At least with Demp starting on a FOX saturday it means that it’s far less likely we’ll see his awful Will Farell doing Harry Caray impression. Demp shut out the Brewers for seven innings in his last start, striking out seven and walking one. I don’t think he’ll be able to drop his ERA below 4 this season, but I think he’ll pull it below 4.5 by late July so you can at least say that he averaged a quality start.

As I mentioned above, Rothschild hasn’t made a huge difference on Burnett. His walk rate and HR rates have dropped slightly but his HR/FB is the same – he’s just generated a few more grounders this year. He’s had a lot of luck with BABIP (.242) but should continue to have another decent, above averageish year.

Sunday Sunday Sunday: C. C. Sabathia, LHP (3.28, 2.85, 3.50, 2.97) vs Randy Wells, RHP (5.63, 5.25, 4.65, 3.90), 7:05 PM CT, ESPN

Wells came back too soon, but it’s not like he was much worse than who was pitching in his place. Wells had a surprisingly decent start against the Brewers, giving up two runs over six innings. It looked like it was going to be another early exit for him as he was racking up a big pitch count early, but he got more efficient as the game went on. Maybe it’s a sign he’s turning it around. Or maybe not – he struck out seven in his first start back but since then he’s only struck out five batters in his last three starts combined (14 IP).

Depite a dip in his strikeout rate, C.C. is having another great year. He’s averaging seven innings a start, reduced his walks, and has only allowed four HRs in 107 innings. Of course, that 3.8% HR/FB rate isn’t going to last but he’s been quite successful over his career limiting HRs (8.2% HR/FB). He has an opt-out in his contract so he should make big money yet again with some team this offseason. It’s hard to believe it was so long ago when the Cubs beat him on the way to a four game sweep of the Brewers.


Cubs swept, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win today’s game.


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