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Would the Triple-A Yankees beat the Orioles in a series?

The Baltimore Orioles are not very good. They were just eliminated from the division yesterday. They were 47-115 (.290) last year. That was the 15th-worst winning percentage in the modern era (since 1900). I am happy to report that they have at least improved upon that mark this season! But they’re still not truly marketable as a major-league baseball team. How about as a minor-league team?

Well, this brings up the question: would the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders beat the current Baltimore Orioles in a series? For this exercise, players who would have been Triple-A players had there been absolutely no injuries are considered as such (i.e. Mike Tauchman, Mike Ford, etc.).

The stats

Baltimore’s WAR leader is Jonathan Villar (2.2). He ranks 70thin the entire MLB in that category. Their total team WAR is 2.8 (somehow that is not last in the league: the Marlins are at 2.1 and the Tigers are at a shocking -1.5). For reference, the Yankees’ team WAR is 24.5. Of the possible AAA Yankees, Mike Tauchman has a 2.5 WAR and Gio Urshela has a 3.1 WAR. And WAR is a counting stat – it keeps adding up. Look at the comparison in games played and plate appearances:

Player

WAR GP PA

Villar

2.2

120

521

Tauchman

2.5

67

223

Urshela 3.1 100

356

And I know it isn’t relevant to this article, but…

  • Harper and Machado: combined 5.1 WAR in 334 games played ($55.38M AAV)
  • Tauchman and Urshela: combined 5.6 WAR in 167 games played ($1.11M AAV)

The Yankees have played the Orioles 19 times this season. And we have seen the Orioles’ defense not be overly picturesque at times.

As expected, they rank last in defense. Def takes into account fielding runs above average plus positional adjustments. The Orioles are at an appalling -59.7 (Yankees are 23rdat -11.7). Additionally, they are 24thin runs scored (526) and last in ERA (6.01). They have also given up a whopping 2.10 HR/9, which seems especially light when the play the Yankees.

Potential roster

Here’s what the depth chart could look like:

I’ll be completely honest – I don’t even know some of those names on the pitching side. But this year it seems like the Yankees could pluck anyone from the farm and they would produce, so I have faith that they could get some major-league hitters out.

All in all, I haven’t really done any direct comparisons between the two teams. However, you would be crazy to think that the above roster couldn’t challenge to win a series against the 2019 Orioles. Aside from all of the homers, it probably would be a more entertaining watch then the last 16 Orioles/Yankees games we’ve witnessed.

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