April 13, 2011

Orioles-Yankees Series Preview: Battle for 1st place

The Yankees start the series one game behind the Orioles in the AL East. The Orioles are one of the most surprising teams thus far, but not many expect them to contend with Boston and New York by September.

On the Hill:
Wednesday: Chris Tillman (0-0, 3.38) vs. A.J. Burnett (2-0, 4.09)
Thursday: Jake Arrieta (1-1, 8.68) vs. Phil Hughes (0-1, 16.50)

Players to Watch:
Adam Jones: He’s had a quality career against the Yankees in 200 plate appearances (.286 BA / .320 OBP / .466 SLG). I’ve always liked Jones as a hitter and he just made a sweet play in center in the second inning.

Phil Hughes: I’m really looking forward to Phil’s next start. His fastball velocity has been down all season and it seems that’s caused him to be very ineffective in two starts. Will his velocity return? Will he figure out a way to succeed without regaining velocity?

The Yankees sweep and take sole possession of first place.

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