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May 19, 2006

Bring on the JV
by SG

The wounded Yankees are heading 8 miles across town to face the much-improved New York Mets this weekend. I can't speak for anyone else, but I HATE inter-league play. I hate everything about it, from watching pitchers bunt or strike out, to all the hype, to how it skews the schedules for the playoff and wild card races. For the first time in a while, the Yankees and Mets seem pretty evenly matched. Here's a little comparison of the two teams so far.

Here, OPS+ is calculated using the following formula:

((Player OBP/lg OBP + Player SLG/lg SLG)-1) x 100

RAA is the runs above the average offensive player in the league. psOPS+ and psRAA are just adjusted to compare against players who play the same position in the league.

One fourth of the way through the season, the Yankees have been the far better offensive team, although they are now missing two key components in Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui. With no DH, it would seem like a great time to bench Bernie Williams, but expect him to start all three games, because "he's been there before." The thought of Randy Johnson and his cartilege-less knee batting would scare me more, if I knew he wasn't going to be knocked out of the game before his first plate appearance.

Here, you have the innings played and runs above/below average so far at each position, along with what they are currently on pace for based on current playing time. Obviously, Hideki Matsui's not playing 1045 innings, so adjust these accordingly in your mind.

Regression sucks. After a surprising defensive start to the season, the last few weeks have seen the Yankees move closer to what most projections would have expected. The Mets have been very good defensively so far, particularly in the OF.

In this chart, ERA+ is what the league ERA in that player's stadium would be divided by the player's actual ERA mutiplied by 100. BB+, HR+, and K+ are calculated similarly, and compare a pitcher's rates of BB, HR, and K per batters faced. All 4 are scaled so that 100 is average, and less than 100 is worse, greater than 100 is better. BABIP is the pitchers batting average allowed on balls hit into play, CERA (also called ERC) is a pitcher's component ERA, and RAA is runs saved above the average pitcher.

The pitching staffs are pretty close so far. The Yankees have done an outstanding job of preventing HRs, but are pretty average in walks allowed and Ks. The Mets are allowing HRs at a slightly higher pace than the league average (Lima Time!) but are making up for it by walking fewer batter and striking out a ton more batters than the league averages.

And here are your matchups for the weekend:

R. Johnson (5-4, 5.13) vs. J. Gonzalez (0-0, 5.40)

I have no faith in The Big Useless anymore, even against Jeremi Gonzalez

M. Mussina (6-1, 2.56) vs. P. Martínez (5-0, 3.19)

This one could be a treat.

S. Chacón (4-1, 5.21) vs. T. Glavine (6-2, 2.43)

Chacon has a 'Resolving Hematoma', which is a fancy way of saying a really nasty bruise, so he may not make this start. If he doesn't, I guess Aaron Small will get the call.

I just want the Yankees to win one out of three. I don't expect much offense until Sheffield comes back. Take away the DH and put Bernie plus a pitcher in three games, and I'd peg the over/under on weekend runs at about 3. Maybe they'll surprise me.

UPDATE:Bubba to the DL, Mitch Jones to the majors
Flushing, NY -- (Sports Network) - The New York Yankees placed outfielder Bubba Crosby on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring on Friday.

The 29-year-old Crosby, who had seen his playing time increase as of late due to the injuries of outfielders Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui, was batting .263 in 31 games this season for the Yankees. This will be his first career stint on the DL.

To take his spot on the 25-man roster, New York purchased the contract of outfielder Mitch Jones from Triple-A Columbus.

Thanks to yup for the heads-up.