Friday, June 15, 2012
The two hottest teams in baseball face each other as the Washington Nationals welcome the New York Yankees to the nation’s capital. Each team is riding a six-game winning streak and sits in first place in their respective divisions, making this the must-watch interleague matchup of the weekend.
Excitement over the Yankees’ rare appearance in D.C. is multiplied by the early-season success of the Nationals, who have the second best record in baseball and come into the three-game series with a better record than the Yankees. The Nats are in the middle of a five-series run through the dangerous AL East, and the team returns home following a perfect six-game roadtrip to Boston and Toronto.
I’m looking forward to this series, although I had a morbid curiosity to see how the Yankees would do against Stephen Strasburg. I’ve got the Nationals now projected to finish the season at 92-70 with a 58.2% chance at taking their divison and with overall postseason qualifying odds of 78.3%. The only two teams with higher odds are the Rangers (94-68) at 88.8% and the Yankees (93-69) at 81.8%.
This is where I point and laugh at Cliff Lee again, BTW. Sure, he’s making more money per start than I make in a year, but we have the same number of wins and he’s on a worse team than my favorite team…
Pitching matchups for the weekend series are:
Friday, June 16
Phil Hughes (6-5, 4.76 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (8-2, 2.35 ERA)
Saturday, June 17
Andy Pettitte (3-2, 2.81 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (3-5, 2.91 ERA)
Sunday, June 18
Ivan Nova (8-2, 4.64 ERA) vs. Edwin Jackson (3-3, 3.02 ERA)
I’m hoping for two out of three, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Yankees get swept either.
Then again, it never would.
Previous entry: NJ.com: Yankees say Brett Gardner could return within 3-4 weeks