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Yankees vs. Orioles Series Preview: Continuing the AL East stretch

After picking up two games against the Red Sox, the Yankees hope to carry their good fortunes into a series against yet another division rival.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

While not as electric as their most recent home stand, the Yankees’ trip through Pittsburgh and Boston left them winning three games of five, which I still take any day of the week. Especially encouraging was beating Chris Sale and Rick Porcello at Fenway; there are only so many match-ups against Boston, and everyone counts disproportionately more for playoff purposes than probably any other match-up.

Now the Yankees find themselves home once more, now sparring against the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles also find themselves in an excellent position to start the season, a sparkling 14-6 record through 20 games. The hitting has been decent (96 OPS+), lead by Chris Davis (129 OPS+), Jonathan Schoop (148 OPS+), and Adam Jones (130 OPS+); Manny Machado, unfortunately, has struggled mightily (89 OPS+).

But the pitching, to almost everyone’s surprise, has held up. Dylan Bundy has allowed just six earned runs in five starts, and Wade Miley just six earned runs in four starts. Zach Britton is currently on the disabled list with forearm tightness, but up until that point had allowed just a single run through six appearances. The supporting cast—Brad Brach, Mychal Givens, and Darren O’Day, have struck out 30 in 32 collective innings, while allowing just seven earned runs.

Luckily for the Yankees, they’ll miss Bundy this time around. They’ll face Kevin Gausman, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Miley, and the Yankees will trot out CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, and Jordan Montgomery.

The Yankees, on the other side, have also been doing quite well. They’ve won 12 of their last 16 games, and even though Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius have missed time, they’ve basically been firing on all cylinders. They’ve hit at a 114 OPS+ clip, and they’ve pitched to a collective 141 ERA+. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Gregorius should return this weekend, meaning they’ll basically have most of their spring training lineup back together. Let’s see if the Yankees can keep it up with their back-end of the rotation against a hot Orioles team.

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