Series Preview: New York Yankees vs Baltimore Orioles (7/9-7/11)

Following a series win against Toronto, the Yankees will face off against the Orioles in a four game series between division foes. The series will feature four games in three days, including a double header on July 9 to make up for a June matchup which was postponed due to inclement weather. The Yankees and Orioles haven’t faced off since June 2 and since that game the Orioles have only won seven games. The Yankees since that game have won twenty one games, tripling the Orioles total in that span. The Orioles are the division’s cellar dwellers and, frankly, the Yankees should easily take at least three games in this series and try to continue keeping pace with the Red Sox for the division lead.

Image result for yankees vs orioles

GAME ONE (Monday, July 9 | First Pitch: 4:05 PM ET)
CC Sabathia  (6-3 3.02 ERA) vs. Jimmy Yacabonis (0-0 8.53 ERA)

Game one of Monday’s doubleheader will feature CC Sabathia on the mound for the Yankees in his first start against Baltimore since April. In that start, Sabathia allowed three runs and three homers in his four innings of work, but it’s unlikely this Orioles offense is able to replicate that success, especially since Sabathia has pitched well in his last two starts, going six innings or more in both and allowing only three runs between the two. As for the Orioles, they’ll be relying on Yacabonis against the Yankees’ powerhouse offense. Yacabonis has pitched only thrice for the Orioles this season with one of those appearances being a relief inning against the Yankees in which he was shelled for three earned runs while walking two batters. The Yankees shouldn’t have a problem taking this game as long as Sabathia pitches like himself.

GAME TWO (Monday, July 9 | First Pitch: 7:35 PM ET)
Luis Cessa (0-1 5.00 ERA) vs. Yefry Ramirez (0-2 2.51 ERA)

In game two of Monday’s doubleheader, the pitching matchup will feature two players with limited starts, as Luis Cessa will get the start for just the second time this season with his first start being about two weeks ago against Philidelphia. In that start, Cessa went just three innings while allowing three runs and walking two batters in a losing decision. As for Ramirez, he’ll be starting just his third game this season on Monday, his last start coming against Philidelphia as well. In his start, Ramirez went five innings while allowing one run and striking out four. Ramirez has looked decent in his limited time on the mound, so Cessa may need to show improvement from his previous outing to secure a second victory for the day.

How injured Luis Cessa knew it would be an early night
Photo Credit: Charles Wenzelberg | NY Post

GAME THREE (Tuesday, July 10 | First Pitch: 7:05 ET)
Masahiro Tanaka (7-2 4.58 ERA) vs Andrew Cashner (2-9 4.39 ERA)

Game three will feature Masahiro Tanaka’s return to the rotation following his DL stint with a hamstring injury. Tanaka last faced Baltimore on June 2 and went five and a third innings while allowing four runs, three home runs, and eight hits in total. Tanaka had one start against the Mets after that, before heading to the DL, in which he went a stellar five innings in which he allowed just one run, one hit, and had eight strikeouts. It’s unlikely Tanaka will immediately return to that form following a month of inactivity, but the Yankees likely won’t need a stellar outing from him with Cashner on the mound for Baltimore. Cashner has pitched decently as of recent, allowing only six runs in his last four starts and going six innings in three of them. However, Cashner is often the recipient of very little run support, receiving an average of just 2.61 this season as opposed to Tanaka’s 6.71 runs of support on average.

GAME FOUR (Wednesday, July 11 | First Pitch 7:05 ET)
Sonny Gray (5-7 5.85 ERA) vs Dylan Bundy (6-8 4.08 ERA)

The final game of the series will feature a matchup between Orioles ace Dylan Bundy and the Yankees’ disappointing Sonny Gray. Bundy has been the most consistent positive in a very inconsistent Baltimore rotation, but struggled in his last outing as he only pitched three and a third innings while allowing five runs and nine hits before being pulled. As for Gray, he has been highly disappointing this season, especially in his most recent starts. In his last three starts, Gray has allowed fifteen runs, including his last start in which he allowed five runs in just two innings. Gray has been harsh on himself though and clearly knows he’s holding back the Yankees rotation, so perhaps this start could be the beginning of a turnaround.

Players to Watch


Giancarlo Stanton

On Sunday, Stanton wasn’t named an All-Star, but he did make it onto the final ballot for the American League. If he wants to be a participant in the Mid-Summer Classic, this will be his chance to showcase why he deserves to be included. If Stanton can have a few big games against the lackluster Baltimore rotation and make some national headlines, then it’s very possible we see another Yankee facing off against the National League’s best. Stanton has hit .273 over the Yankees’ past five games, including two home runs. Stanton hasn’t been stellar against  Baltimore this season, but, with this extra incentive, be on the lookout for a solid series from Stanton.

Yankees will take any Giancarlo Stanton positive they can get
Photo Credit: Anthony J. Causi | SI

Aaron Judge

Judge was named to his second All-Star team on Sunday, being selected as a starter in the American League’s outfield as a reward for his great play this season. Judge is batting .280 this season with 25 home runs and 58 RBIs in 85 games. Judge leads the Yankees in average, home runs, RBIs, and OBP this season and has hits in six of the last seven games he’s played in, as well as four home runs in those same seven games. If Judge can continue this hot streak against Baltimore, the Orioles are in danger of adding four more losses to their abysmal record.


Manny Machado

The Orioles’ lone All-Star has been circulating in trade talks all season while leading the team in just about every offensive category. He’s been the lone bright spot on the roster for most of the season and, with the trade deadline approaching quickly, Machado’s July will likely be used by teams to gauge his value before assembling trade packages to offer to the Orioles who will look to begin rebuilding. So far this season, Machado has hit .313 with 21 home runs and 60 RBIs, putting him on pace to set career highs in each of these categories, making him a player the Yankees’ rotation will have to look out for this series as he auditions for the several teams interested in him.

Manny Machado
Photo Credit: Patrick Semansky | AP

Trey Mancini

Following his fantastic rookie season in which he hit .293 with 24 home runs, 78 RBIs, and 139 strikeouts, Mancini has hit just .224 this season with 11 home runs, 24 RBIs and 86 strikeouts through 84 games as his team has floundered to the bottom of the American League East. Mancini has not at all been the spark plug the Orioles hoped he would be for their offense, nor has he proven himself to be the building block for the future he appeared to be last season. As the Orioles stare down a likely rebuild, Mancini will need to start proving himself at some point or he may get left behind.

Overall, this series should be a good opportunity for the Yankees to keep pace with the division leading Red Sox as they face off against the disappointing Rangers. Winning less than three of the games in this series would be a disappointment and a series win should be expected. Tanaka’s return to the rotation should be a focal point of this series, as the Yankees will need him to return to form for the second half of the season if they want to win the division and avoid a potentially scary wild card matchup against the red hot Mariners.

Article By: Connor Thoms


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