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Yankees vs. Orioles Game Preview: Sabathia attempts to be the stopper

The Yankees have lost four of their first five, and now would be the time to turn the corner.

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees face the Baltimore Orioles in the final game of their three-game set, and it couldn’t be a worse time for the Bronx Bombers. They’ve lost four of five, they’ve lost their young star Gary Sanchez to the 10-day disabled list, Didi Gregorius sits on the sidelines, and James Kaprielian’s future is in jeopardy.

That’s what makes this game pretty important, in fact. Not so much statistically—it’s still very early in an incredibly long season, but important to a team that seems to slump in the early going; last year their sluggish April start put them in a hole they couldn’t make up for later on. The last thing you want is for that to happen again.

Ironically after the last few years, CC Sabathia has become one of the most consistent performers over the last calendar year, putting up league-average performance and a nice start to his 2017 season. He’ll have to contend with a strong offensive team, one focused on power, in their home park, so it’ll be an interesting test for the veteran.

The Orioles have Wade Miley on the mound, who, while certainly an innings eater, is nothing more than that. He has had a below-league average ERA for the past three seasons, and his home run prone ways make him an incredibly vulnerable starter. For a team like the Yankees who have struggled offensively already, Miley is a pitcher you need to hit if you want to turn things around.

One notable detraction from the lineup is Sanchez, so the Yankees will have to rely on Austin Romine for a couple of weeks, or maybe more. Romine had a decent spring and he’s been reliable defensively, so you could do worse. This will certainly put the Yankees’ strategy of shipping off Brian McCann to the test, but hopefully that’ll be put to rest when Sanchez returns.

First pitch is 1:35 PM, and you can watch on YES, MASN, or