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Posted by Baseball Bob at 09:31
May 112017

Brilliant play by the Yankees pushes them back to the best record in Baseball, a massive .001 ahead of Houston, which is their next opponent. The play, of course, was in taking the day off, while Baltimore was blowing a 6-2 lead after 7 and falling to Washington 7-6. Houston is actually a half-game up on New York, but their records are so gaudy that playing 3 extra games and going 2-1 HURTS your winning percentage. Yankees are 21-10 .677 and Astros are 23-11 .676. Yea for us!

And don’t look now, but here come the Dodgers. Winners of 5 straight and 8 of 10, they have passed surprise team #1 Arizona and now have surprise team #2 Colorado in their sights – they trail the Rockies by 1 1/2 games. Their run differential is +53, second to the Yankees (+56) in all of MLB. The Nats are +51, but the drop from there is more precipitous: Astros +40, Snakes +23, everyone else below +20. On the negative side, the Giants are an amazing -68 and the Padres are right there with them at -58. The Royals are -45, and there are three teams in the thirties: A’s -37, Braves -35, Pirates -33. These run differentials mostly track a team’s record, but when they don’t, is usually means a team is under or over performing in the W-L department. So the Orioles, at 22-11 but with a differential of just +13 are unlikely to be as good as the Yankees, with essentially the same record (21-10) but +56.

Looking ahead to the Houston at New York 4-game series, you might well think that the Astros have the edge. Thursday pits Dallas Keuchel vs. Michael Pineda, a clear edge for Houston. Friday it’s Lance McCullers (2-1 3.40) against rookie Jordan Montgomery (2-1 3.81), again edge to Houston. Saturday Fiers vs. Severino clearly favors New York, and Sunday Morton (4-2 3.63 vs. Tanaka (5-1 4.36) which appears to favor Houston. What equalizes this series is the fact that NY is dominant at home (12-3) and Tanaka has been very good since a couple of bad starts that balooned his ERA. I won’t predict the series, but I do think that the most likely outcome is a split. The Yankees haven’t lost a series since April 21-23 at Pittsburgh and have won every home series of the year. The Astros have been good on the road (9-5) and have won their past 4 series, though only one of those (Angels) was on the road. Fun times!

The Orioles have one more game against the Nats, and then they get the woeful Royals for 3 games: I look for them to gain a game on New York over the next four games.

I love this game!

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