After a weekend series against the Royals, the Yankees now get to take on the other bottom dweller in the American League. Despite having the worst record in baseball, the Orioles have frustratingly had success against the Yankees this season. However, there’s been some movement recently, and their tormentor in chief, Manny Machado, is now a Dodger.
This two-game series represents, on paper, a good chance at some wins. Let’s see how the pitching matchups shake out.
Game One: Masahiro Tanaka vs. Yefry Ramirez
Tanaka is coming off his best game of the season, throwing a complete game shutout against the Rays last week. He’s been really good in general since coming off the DL. In 19.2 innings over three starts, he’s allowed only five runs.
The first of those games was against the Orioles in his return on July 10th. That game was the weakest of Tanaka’s starts since coming back into the rotation, but some of that could have been due to rustiness. Baltimore has hit Tanaka pretty well this season, but this is the first time he’ll get a shot at them with a Machado-less lineup.
As for Ramirez, the former Yankee farmhand has been solid since moving into Baltimore’s rotation. However, the worst of his five starts came against the Yankees, when he lasted just four innings, allowing four runs on nine hits.
Game Two: Sonny Gray vs. Alex Cobb
Knock on everything wood in your house, but Sonny Gray has now made a couple decent starts in a row. There have been other false dawns with him this season, but this is his longest run of consistency so far this year. This recent streak of good fortune started with a game against the Orioles back on July 11th. No one should probably go around claiming that he’s back for good, but this seems like a decent chance to keep the good performances rolling.
A small part of the Yankees’ weird lack of consistent success against Baltimore may be partly due to the fact that they still haven’t faced Cobb yet. For all his struggles this season, Cobb has been a little better lately, maybe. He only had 14 earned runs scored against him in five starts in July. It wasn’t a great month, but considering his overall ERA for the season is 6.08, that’s still technically an improvement.