Archive for September 10th, 2011

On Monday, the Yankees will face King Felix for the third time this season (Photo: Getty Images).

The Yankees won’t be catching any breaks on their final West Coast trip. One day after being stifled by Jered Weaver, the Yankees will have to contend with the Angels’ co-ace Dan Haren. Then, on Monday, Felix Hernandez will be waiting for them in Seattle. What’s more, the Yankees shouldn’t expect much of a reprieve when they head back east because Ricky Romero, Jon Lester, James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson, and David Price are all in line to face them over the final two weeks of the season.

“Here come the Yankees” must be a popular rallying cry because regardless of the city, the Bronx Bombers have been unable to sneak out of town without facing down an opponent’s top gun. Although the luck of the draw often dictates the opposing starting pitcher, sometimes it seems as if teams lay in ambush for the Yankees.  The paranoia that comes with being a fan can sometimes distort perception, but when you see the Mariners give King Felix an extra day of rest just before the Bronx Bombers arrive, it makes you wonder if part of being the Yankees means having other teams save their best?

After looking more closely at the numbers, the Yankees have, in fact, faced more “aces” than any other team. Although the disparity with the Red Sox is only one, that gap should grow based on the upcoming schedules for each team. Otherwise, the disadvantage compared to all other contenders is at least four games, which, in a tight pennant race, would be significant.

W-L Records Against Opposition Aces

  W L W%
Tigers 11 9 0.550
Athletics 15 13 0.536
Red Sox 17 15 0.531
Rangers 14 15 0.483
Yankees 15 18 0.455
Angels 11 15 0.423
Twins 11 16 0.407
Rays 11 16 0.407
Royals 9 16 0.360
Blue Jays 9 19 0.321
Indians 9 20 0.310
Orioles 8 18 0.308
White Sox 8 19 0.296
Mariners 9 23 0.281

Note: Aces defined as the top-15 pitchers in the American League, ranked by ERA as of September 10, 2011 (minimum 150 innings pitched). Only intra-league games considered.
Source: Baseball-reference.com


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