The American League East is a very bad division this year, but the Yankees have so far been the best of the worst in order to hold a four-game lead over the competition. This series could prove to be interesting as the Baltimore Orioles are that second place team and with three games between the two, the division could get a lot closer if New York isn't careful.
Today they send out Nathan Eovaldi, who has proven to be a below-average rotation option at this point. He has maintained a disappointing 4.50 ERA, but a more promising 3.53 FIP over the season, though no matter how you divide things up, he's been pretty mediocre at every point over the last few months. At the very least, he has a 2.87 ERA over his three starts in July, which isn't much of a sample size, but hey, at least it's something positive. Eovaldi is proving to be more of a work in progress than I think most fans anticipated him to be, but in a tight division race, can the Yankees take the time to wait for him? Especially with CC Sabathia already in the rotation?
This is just another reason why the team needs to win today–let's not face a reality where Nathan Eovaldi is a problem that needs to be addressed at the trade deadline. Chen is having a pretty strong season so far, and he's a lefty, so you would think this was a good time to use Rob Refsnyder, but now it seems the Yankees will be going with a fun Brendan Ryan/Stephen Drew platoon so we're going to need the team's heroes–Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Brett Gardner–to step up and help get Eovaldi through five or six innings with the lead.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||NEW YORK YANKEES|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Jacoby Ellsbury - CF|
|Jimmy Paredes - DH||Brett Gardner - LF|
|Adam Jones - CF||Alex Rodriguez - DH|
|Chris Davis - RF||Mark Teixeira - 1B|
|Matt Wieters - C||Brian McCann - C|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Chris Young - RF|
|Travis Snider - LF||Chase Headley - 3B|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||Didi Gregorius - SS|
|Chris Parmelee - 1B||Brendan Ryan - 2B|
|Wei-Yin Chen - LHP||Nathan Eovaldi - RHP|
You can watch this game on WPIX and MLB Network as well.