The New York Yankees have won the American League East title for the 13th time in the last 17 years. That became official on Wednesday, the final night of the season, when the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-1 in St. Petersburg, FL.
The Yankees will be the No. 1 seed in the American League playoffs after beating the Boston Red Sox Wednesday night 14-2, which means they will be interested observers when the Orioles visit the Texas Rangers on Friday in the inaugural American League Wild Card Game. Because of the compressed postseason schedule, the Yankees will be hitting the road to open their division series on Sunday against the winner of the Wild Card Game.
With that in mind, here’s a first look at how the potential starting pitchers for the playoffs have fared against the Orioles and Rangers in their careers. All six possible starting pitchers are included.
The Yankees ace made three starts against the Orioles this season, but he was not particularly effective. He was 0-2 with a 6.38 ERA and 1.64 WHIP in 18.1 innings against Baltimore. Sabathia allowed 13 runs, all earned, and 24 hits while walking six and striking out 19.
He had a no-decision on Apr. 11 and was the losing pitcher on May 15 and Sept. 8, with all three of those games played in Baltimore.
He made one start against the Rangers at Arlington, Texas, on Apr. 23. Sabathia earned the win with eight innings of work, allowing seven hits and four runs, with one walk and eight strikeouts.
Until this season, however, Sabathia was money against Baltimore. In 25 career starts, Sabathia is 16-4 with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. He’s also thrown a pair of shutouts at the Orioles, and in 176 innings, he has allowed 155 hits and 45 walks while recording 131 strikeouts.
He’s 11-3 in 18 career starts against Texas, with a 4.45 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. He’s completed one start and surrendered 117 hits in 113.1 innings, with 40 walks and 99 strikeouts.
Sabathia has made two starts against the Rangers in the postseason, both coming in the 2010 American League Championship Series. He was 1-0 with a 6.30 ERA, surrendering 17 hits in 10 innings with four walks and 10 strikeouts.
However, Pettitte has more career wins against Baltimore than against any other opponent. He is 27-6 lifetime in 40 starts, with two relief appearances. In 253.1 innings, Pettitte has a 3.52 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. He’s allowed 259 hits and walked 90 batters with 148 strikeouts.
Sixteen years ago, in the 1996 American League Championship Series, Pettitte was 1-0 in two starts against the Orioles, with a 3.60 ERA. He allowed 10 hits in 15 innings with five walks and seven strikeouts.
Pettitte is 11-9 in 23 career starts against the Rangers, with a 5.24 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in 146 innings. He’s been roughed up for 178 hits and has 51 walks and 105 strikeouts lifetime.
Pettitte has pitched in four different series against Texas in the postseason: the 1996, 1998 and 1999 division series and the 2010 ALCS. In those games, Pettitte is 2-1 with a 2.63 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in 27.1 innings. He’s allowed 19 hits with six walks and 21 strikeouts.
Kuroda made two starts against the Orioles this year and was 1-1 with a 2.93 ERA and 0.85 WHIP in 15.1 innings. He allowed 12 hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. Kuroda got the win with seven innings at Yankee Stadium on April 30 and worked 8.1 innings in a loss at home on Aug. 31. Those are his only career appearances against Baltimore.
Against the Rangers, Kuroda was 1-1 with a 1.15 ERA and 0.70 WHIP in two starts. He allowed seven hits in 15.2 innings with four walks and 10 strikeouts. He took the loss in 6.2 innings at Arlington, Texas, on April 24 and fired a two-hit shutout at the Rangers at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 14.
For his career, he’s made three starts against Texas with a 2.57 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in 21 innings. He’s allowed 15 hits, four walks and struck out 16.
He’s never faced either potential opponent in the postseason.
Phil Hughes made four starts against the Orioles in 2012 and was 2-2 with a 4.76 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 22.2 innings. He surrendered 27 hits and walked four with 19 strikeouts.
This season, Hughes worked 5.2 innings in a loss at home on May 1, earned a win with six innings at home on Aug. 1, pitched five innings in a loss at home on Sept. 2 and six innings in a win at Baltimore on Sept. 7.
For his career, Hughes has made 14 starts and three relief appearances against Baltimore, with a 6-4 record, a 5.10 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 77.2 innings. He’s allowed 93 hits with 19 walks and 61 strikeouts.
Hughes lost his only start against the Rangers this season, surrendering four runs and five hits in just 2.2 innings with two strikeouts at Arlington, Texas, on April 25.
It was his first loss to the Rangers in his career. He’s 2-1 in three starts and one relief appearance lifetime against Texas, with a 2.00 ERA and 0.67 WHIP. In 18 innings, he’s allowed only eight hits and four walks with 15 strikeouts.
In the 2010 ALCS against the Rangers, Hughes was 0-2 in two starts an 11.42 ERA and 2.42 WHIP in 8.2 innings. He allowed 14 hits and seven walks with only six strikeouts.
Nova made four starts against the Orioles this season. He was 1-2 with a 7.99 ERA and 1.86 WHIP, allowing 36 hits and eight walks in 23.2 innings with 19 strikeouts.
Nova worked seven innings in a loss at Baltimore on April 9, 6.1 innings in a loss at home on May 2, 5.1 innings in a no-decision at Baltimore on May 14 and five innings (allowing nine runs) in a loss at home on July 31.
For his career, Nova is 3-2 in eight starts against Baltimore, with a 5.69 ERA and 1.55 WHIP in 49 innings. Nova has surrendered 60 hits and 16 walks with 40 strikeouts.
Nova had a no-decision in his only start this season against the Rangers, working 5.2 innings and surrendering four runs on seven hits with four walks and two strikeouts in a game the Yankees lost at home on Aug. 16.
Lifetime, Nova is 2-1 in four starts against Texas, with a 5.09 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 23 innings. He’s allowed 20 hits and walked 13 hitters with eight strikeouts.
He’s never faced the Rangers in the postseason.
Phelps is a long shot to make the postseason rotation, but he did make 11 starts during the regular season.
Against the Orioles, Phelps made two starts and three relief appearances with a 1-0 record and 5.27 ERA and 1.61 WHIP in 13.2 innings. He allowed 13 hits and nine walks with 12 strikeouts.
His starts were a 4.2-inning no-decision in a win over the Orioles on Sept. 1 and a four-inning no-decision in a loss at Baltimore on Sept. 6. His victory came in relief on May 14.
Phelps made one start and one relief appearance against the Rangers and was 1-0 with a 6.14 ERA and 2.05 WHIP in 7.1 innings. He allowed 11 hits and four walks to go with four strikeouts.
The start against Texas was at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 13. He earned the win with five innings of work, allowing two runs. He was roughed up for three runs in 2.1 innings of relief in a loss at Texas on Apr. 25.