Day Baseball! Grab your brooms…

The suddenly red hot Yankees will look for the three-game series sweep and their sixth win in a row overall this afternoon in the Bronx against the Baltimore Orioles. Jameson Taillon gets the ball for the Yanks and will look to keep his team in first place in the AL East in what looks to be a pretty interesting pitching matchup.

Taillon will be making his fourth start of 2022, and although he’s been giving up hard contact, the results have been good thus far. His four-seam fastball ranks in the 90th percentile in MLB in spin rate but has found the middle of the zone a little too often, leading to well below league average rankings in exit velocity, expected batting average, and xSLG. He’s helped himself by being very stingy about issuing free passes (94th percentile in BB rate) and he’s been good at limiting damage, as he’s only allowed five earned runs over 14.2 innings in his three starts.

Taillon will be facing an Orioles lineup that has really struggled to get runners across the plate so far in 2022. Baltimore’s 3 runs per game is tied for the worst in MLB and they’ve hit with no power as their abysmal .301 SLG is also dead last in baseball, while their nine team home runs are the second-fewest. Although to be fair, their xBA, xSLG, and xwOBA are all closer to the middle of the pack league-wide, so Taillon still needs to avoid throwing the middle/middle four-seamers.

The Os will be sending 27-year-old lefty Bruce Zimmermann to the mound to counter Taillon this afternoon. Zimmermann’s 2022 so far has been similar to Taillon’s in the respect he’s allowed plenty of hard contact yet the results have been good for him. Over his first three starts, he’s thrown 15 innings with a 2.81 FIP while allowing only two earned runs, and you may remember that he threw five shutout innings against the Yankees on April 17th of this season. Zimmermann throws three pitches – a four-seam fastball, curve, and change – that makeup almost 90 percent of his repertoire, and all of them have shown a tendency to stay up in the zone. Also of note, there’s less than a 10 mph difference between Zimmermann’s hardest offering and his slowest, so we shouldn’t expect Yankees’ hitters to have too much trouble adjusting to changes in speed.

The Yankees offense of which I speak has been hot lately, finding the power which had been absent early on, scoring 32 runs over the last four games. It wasn’t that long ago that they were with Baltimore near the bottom of the league in R/G but their current 4.17 average now ranks in the top half of MLB.

Here’s hoping the Bronx Bombers continue to be just that – grab your brooms.

JT’s first pitch from the Boogie Down will be at 1:05 PM. You can catch the game on the YES Network, and listen to it on WFAN 660/101.9 and WADO 1280. You can also follow along with me @mybasbeallpage1 on Twitter and on the “My Baseball Page” page on Facebook.

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