Yankees vs. Orioles has been a topsy-turvy series in many ways this season.
Heading into Friday night the Yankees led the major leagues in on-base plus slugging percentage (.791), while the Orioles were 17th (.716). The Yankees ranked 11th in ERA (3.80), while the Orioles were 18th (3.80).
But as the two teams begin a weekend series that could help decide the AL East race, The Orioles have one advantage: They've been the superior pitching and hitting team when the two clubs have played each other in 2012.
Orioles starters have a 4.19 ERA against the Yankees, allowing 100 hits in 101 innings and giving up 15 home runs. The Yankees staff has a 4.41 ERA against the Orioles. The Orioles have 116 hits in 102 innings and have slugged 12 home runs.
Baltimore's lineup has posted a .290 batting average, .348 on-base percentage and .470 slugging percentage (.818 OPS) in 11 games against the Yankees. They've stolen three bases and have been caught twice.
The Yankees powerful lineup has looked wimpy by comparison, posting a .262/.334/.427 line for a .761 OPS. They've stolen six bases and been caught once.
Friday night's 6-1 loss to the Orioles surely hasn't done much to change those numbers. The Yankees managed just five hits, scoring their lone run on a Curtis Granderson home run. The Orioles, meanwhile, had 12 hits, three of them home runs.
The Yankees AL East lead stands at just two games.
And yet here's the final odd stat: Even though the Orioles have outperformed the Yankees when the teams play each other so far in 2012, the season series is tied 6-6.
But will the series remain tied after this weekend? Or will the Yankees and Orioles be tied for the top spot in the AL East instead?