Series Preview: Yankees @ Orioles (9/4-9/6)
The Yankees enter this three game set in Baltimore fresh off taking three of four games from the Boston Red Sox, in the club's last meeting of the year. The Yankees will look to build off that momentum and gain more ground in the division race. It's worth noting that the Yankees have not won a series in Baltimore since 2013, so they would like to change their misfortunes this series.
Game One: Monday, September 4 | First pitch-2:20 PM ET
Jordan Montgomery (7-7, 4.15 ERA) vs. Dylan Bundy (13-8, 3.94 ERA)
The Yankees have decided to skip Jaime Garcia's turn in the rotation this week, and the rookie southpaw will get the ball in the series opener. Montgomery struggled mightily in his last outing in Cleveland, but he will look to rebound in a game the Yankees should view as a must-win to get off on the right foot.
Game Two: Tuesday, September 5 | First Pitch-7:05 PM ET
CC Sabathia (11-5, 3.71 ERA) vs. Jeremy Hellickson (8-8, 5.15)
Sabathia pitched another gem against Boston on Thursday pitching six innings of one-run ball, lowering his post All-Star break ERA to 3.53. He's been the stopper all season for the Yankees, but the team will hopefully have some momentum in this game as CC and company will look to keep rolling.
Game Three: Wednesday, September 6 | First Pitch-7:05 PM ET
Sonny Gray (8-9, 3.36 ERA) vs. Kevin Gausman (10-9, 4.79 ERA)
Gray had his first rough outing with the Yankees on Friday night when he was tagged with a loss in Boston. Still, the 27-year-old righty has been very consistent since coming over from Oakland, and this pitching matchup could be a good one in a potential rubber match in this three game set.
Three players to watch for the Yankees:
Judge hit a 469-foot blast last night which surely boosted his confidence as he's been slumping mightily since the All-Star break. With Gary Sanchez serving his suspension this week (three games), Judge will have to step up in the middle of the order to fill the void.
Montgomery comes into this start making potentially one of his last with the club this season due to innings restrictions. There have been rumors that the Yankees would like to keep him around 130 innings this year, and that's the exact number he is currently at. The Yankees will skip Garcia in favor of Montgomery, so there is a lot riding on him early in this series.
Since returning from injury, Greg Bird is hitting .280/.357/.520 (.877 OPS) with two homers and nine RBIs in nine games. It's a small sample size, but Bird has raised his average from .100 to .153 during that span, and he will look to continue ascending in this series in Bird Land.
The Yankees need to continue winning series, and this is a good opportunity to beat a surging team and crush their Wild Card hopes. The O's surprised baseball when they were trade deadline buyers, but as winners of eight of their last 10, it appears as though their strategy could pay off. The Yankees need to also stay hot, and this series, like every other series from here on out, is the biggest one of the season.
Article by: Chad RainesFollow @chad_rain Follow @BronxBomberBall