On Deck: Britton aims to keep flying high
Posted on: May 12, 2011 6:26 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 7:08 pm
By Evan Brunell
There are only four night games on Thursday so the pickings are slim... that said, there are still plenty of interesting storylines.
YOUNG BIRD FLYING HIGH: It sounds strange to say, but the Orioles are not that far below .500. Rookie Zach Britton will aim to inch them two games closer to the benchmark when he takes on the Mariners and Jason Vargas. Vargas for his part has found a niche in Seattle and somehow has fared better on the road thus far, so could take down Britton. In a battle of lefties, Britton has so far been the more impressive pitcher with a 5-2 record and 2.93 ERA. He's assured himself of sticking in the rotation upon Brian Matsuz's rotation, so unless he is demoted at some point in the next few years, will hit free agency after 2016. Mariners at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. ET
K.C. SURPRISING: I knew the Royals were playing well, but did a bit of a double-take upon really noticing that their record is 19-17. I mean, really? They'll attempt to keep the good times rolling against New York, who will offer up Ivan Nova and his 4.08 ERA. Nova's performed better than many expected, but is he pitching over his head? Answer: probably. Sean O'Sullivan certainly is with his 3.41 ERA and is due for a crash back to reality, so New York should walk away with this one although at this point, you just never know. Royals at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. ET
BATTLE FOR .500: It seems like lately all that's been talked about here On Deck is teams fighting to reach or stay above .500. That's because 11 teams are within three games of .500. The Nationals are right smack at .500 and would love to inch one game closer to third place, which the Braves currently hold with a 20-18 record. Washington will have to get past Derek Lowe, whose 3.22 ERA is putting him in shape to be the best starting pitcher on the trade market this summer as Atlanta searches for a hitter. The Nats will offer up Jordan Zimmermann and his 4.10 ERA as he continues to move past his Tommy John surgery and is poised to pair with Stephen Strasburg for an exciting tandem next season. Nationals at Braves, 7:10 p.m. ET
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