I haven't checked to see how many tickets are still available for this weekend, but the attendance average will almost certainly improve because the three-game series with the New York Yankees will likely draw about 140,000 people. Of course, the majority of those fans will likely be cheering for the visiting Yankees.
Although the fans have little to do with a player's fantasy value, I thought it was a valid point because the New York players are essentially getting additional home games. Don't get me wrong, this doesn't only occur in Baltimore. The Yankees and Boston Red Sox (and a few other teams) have fans throughout the country, so it's routine for those teams to fill opposing stadiums with their supporters.
Wouldn't you rather play in ballparks filled with people cheering for you instead of having fans rooting against you? Do you think the players on these teams have added fantasy value because they are constantly playing in front of partisan crowds? I don't know if there is a definitive answer, so that's why I am asking what you think. Feel free to let me know if you have any opinion on the topic.
Anyway, the Yankees head to Baltimore after winning three of their last four games. Last night, former Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina (1-3) allowed five runs in three innings and the Yankees lost to the Red Sox, 7-5.
Friday 4/18: Daniel Cabrera (0-0, 5.94) vs. Phil Hughes (0-2, 9.00)
Saturday 4/19: Brian Burres (1-1, 5.40) vs. Ian Kennedy (0-1, 8.74)
Sunday 4/20: Steve Trachsel (1-2, 5.65) vs. Andy Pettitte (2-1, 3.38)
Who you should play from the Yankees
Hideki Matsui, OF/DH – Since coming to the United States in 2003, Matsui has dominated the Orioles. In 78 games against them, he has a .304 batting average with 11 home runs and 53 RBIs. In his career against Daniel Cabrera, Matsui is 3-for-10 with a home run and two RBIs. Matsui is 4-for-10 with a home run and two runs scored in his last three games, so it would be a good idea to start him this weekend.
Who you should bench from the Yankees
Robinson Cano, 2B – Cano has been successful against the Orioles in his career, but he is really struggling at the plate so far this season. Cano is hitting .299 with five home runs and 25 RBIs in 45 career games against the Orioles, but the 25-year-old second baseman is hitting .167 in 17 games in 2008. Keep him on your bench for a little bit longer.
Who you should play from the Orioles
Ramon Hernandez, C – Hernandez has a career .262 batting average, but he's hitting .332 in 63 games against the Yankees. The 31-year-old catcher also has 10 home runs and 34 RBIs against New York. He didn't start last night against the Chicago White Sox, so he should be well rested heading into the weekend series. Hernandez could be in a slump for a long time if he doesn't break out of it against the Yankees.
Who you should bench from the Orioles
Luke Scott, LF – Scott has never faced the Yankees in his career, so it's hard to tell how he'll perform this weekend. He should still be in your lineup for the first two games of the series, but start someone else on Sunday because the Orioles will be facing a tough left-handed pitcher. With Andy Pettitte scheduled to pitch, it might be a good idea to sit Scott on your bench.