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Up Next: Baltimore Orioles

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Record

AL EAST       W   L  PCT   GB   HOME   ROAD   RS   RA
NY Yankees   37  27 .578   --  20-14  17-13  370  302
Boston       36  27 .571   .5  18-10  18-17  334  319
Toronto      37  29 .561  1.0  23-14  14-15  372  327
Baltimore    30  38 .441  9.0  19-17  11-21  339  383
Tampa Bay    27  40 .403 11.5  14-15  13-25  282  366
 W    L     RS     RA     W1     L1     W2     L2     W3     L3
30   37    337    379    29.6   37.4   28.8   38.2   29.3   37.7
W1 and L1 are the expected wins and losses based on runs scored and runs allowed.
W2 and L2 are the expected wins and losses based on BP's equivalence runs scored and allowed.
W3 and L3 are similar to W2 and L2 but adjusted for strength of schedule.
Data for true standings may differ from adjusted standings by +/- 1 game.

Baltimore is right about where they should be, based on their adjusted record. The AL East looks right now as it has for the past umpteen years: Yankees > Red Sox > Blue Jays > Orioles > Devil Rays.

Starting Rotation

                  W   L    ERA     IP     H/9   SO/9   BB/9   HR/9   VORP
Kris Benson*      7   5   4.63    83.2   8.82   4.73   3.33   1.08   11.9
Erik Bedard*      5   6   5.69    74.1  11.26   6.05   3.75   1.21    1.3
Daniel Cabrera    4   2   4.13    52.1   7.05   9.80   8.60   0.17   11.4
Rodrigo Lopez     4   8   6.85    89.1  11.08   5.24   3.12   1.91  (-9.4)
Adam Loewen*      0   1   7.84    20.2  11.76   6.97   5.23   1.31  (-6.8)

*  asterisks denote probable starters vs Mets
() parentheses denote negative numbers
italics denote left-handed pitchers
The Mets are going to see two lefties in this series, to look for Carlos Delgado to get at least one if not both of those games off. Kris Benson has seven wins so far, but his peripherals and his ERA don't paint a very pretty picture. There's a lot of upside in this rotation but a lot of unfulfilled potential to this point. Erik Bedard has a world of talent but the presence of Leo Mazzone hasn't helped him one iota.

WPA Top Two
Daniel Cabrera, 80.1% WPA
Kris Benson, 25.7% WPA

WPA Bottom Two
Rodrigo Lopez, -158.9% WPA
Bruce Chen, -134.6% WPA

Starting Lineup

                    Pos   PA    AVG    OBP    SLG   SB  CS   VORP   AL Rank
Ramon Hernandez     C    265   .295   .351   .502    1   0   17.7     2/15
Kevin Millar        1B   194   .247   .361   .401    0   1    2.3    10/15
Brian Roberts       2B   209   .311   .385   .401   15   3   15.4     2/17
Miguel Tejada       SS   297   .336   .394   .560    3   0   37.2     1/17
Melvin Mora         3B   306   .285   .344   .422    2   0    8.4     6/16
Nick Markakis       LF   191   .221   .295   .302    0   0  (-9.3)   18/18
Corey Patterson     CF   210   .295   .343   .463   27   3   17.8     6/16
Luis Matos          RF    97   .182   .258   .318    6   0  (-4.1)   16/18

rankings are based on VORP for players with at least 100 PA
The Orioles have one of the best offensive infields around, though they also boast one of the shabbiest collection of outfield bats in the league. Corey Patterson has had a very good year in centerfield, but Jay Gibbons was placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 14th with a strained ligament in his right knee, leaving Luis Matos and his .182/.258/.318 line to fill in. The infield more than makes up for any inadequacies in the outfield, as Miguel Tejada, Brian Roberts and Ramon Hernandez are all at or near the top at their respective positions. Formet Met Melvin Mora is above average offensively and Kevin Millar is, well, he's the Rally Karaoke Guy.

WPA Top Two
Ramon Hernandez, 189.6% WPA
Melvin Mora, 144.7% WPA

WPA Bottom Two
Luis Matos, -95.6% WPA
Nick Markakis, -95.4% WPA

Bullpen

                     ERA     IP     H/9   SO/9   BB/9   HR/9   VORP
Chris Ray           3.29    27.1   5.93   9.22   4.61   0.99    8.2
Latroy Hawkins      3.86    30.1   9.79   3.86   2.37   0.59    8.3
Todd Williams       4.07    24.1  12.21   4.44   3.33   1.11    4.0
Sendy Rleal         3.23    30.2   8.22   3.23   4.99   1.47    8.5
Chris Britton       2.95    21.2   8.02   6.33   2.95   0.42    5.9
Kurt Birkins        0.87    20.1   3.48   6.53   4.79   0.00   12.6
John Halama         6.44    29.1  11.66   3.68   3.99   1.84  (-0.6)
Bruce Chen          7.33    54.0  12.50   5.67   3.17   3.00 (-10.8)
The O's bullpen has been a bit of a mixed bag. Closer Chris Ray has been dominant at times, though he has struggled with his control. Judging by his peripherals, it's something of a minor miracle that Latroy Hawkins has managed to keep his ERA under six, let along the 3.86 that he's currently sporting. Other than Ray, the strikeout rates for these guys are underwhelming, and lefty Kurty Birkins is somehow allowing fewer than three-and-a-half hits per nine innings, which should start regressing towards the mean any time now.

WPA Top Two
Chris Ray, 186.5% WPA
Kurt Birkins, 40.1% WPA

WPA Bottom Two
John Halama, -99.1% WPA
Todd Williams, -83.7% WPA

Bench

                 Pos     PA    AVG    OBP    SLG   SB  CS   VORP
Javy Lopez       C/1B   194   .274   .330   .425    0   0    3.7   
Jeff Conine      1B/OF  197   .230   .311   .379    2   1  (-3.3)   
Brandon Fahey    IF     107   .255   .298   .327    0   2  (-3.1)   
Ed Rogers        IF      13   .231   .231   .231    0   0  (-1.1)
It may be that Javy Lopez will get some or all of the starts in this series at first base. He normally DH's (and catches sometimes) in the American League, but he won't have that luxury at Shea Stadium. At this point in his career, Lopez is only marginally more productive than Millar at first base, so it's something of a wash there. The rest of the O's bench has been dreadful this year, and Jeff Conine may see some starting action in the outfield against the Mets.

Manager

Sam Perlozzo is in his second season as manager of the Orioles. He took over in 2005 after Lee Mazzilli was canned. Here are Perlozzo's tendencies:

                        # Times    AL Rank
Pinch Hit                 17        11/14
Stolen Base Attempts      70         2/14
Sacrifice Bunts           15         2/14
Key Injuries
Jay Gibbons
Chris Gomez
David Newhan
Tim Byrdak
Payroll
Team Payroll   MLB Rank
$72,585,712     15/30