After all the talk about them not being able to beat teams over .500, the Yankees took care of business over this tough stretch. Skepticism be damned, the Bombers won three straight series, taking down the first place Twins, the home-run happy Mariners, and the first place Rays. Now, as a reward, they get to come home to face the last place Orioles, who happen to be on a four-game losing streak.
There’s not a lot of good to call out for Baltimore — a team whose record sits above only the lowly Marlins. Like a gnat buzzing in their ears, the Orioles have annoyed the Yankees to death over the last few seasons, giving them more trouble than they’re worth. However, that story is primed to change. Despite the Oriole killer Aaron Judge (.310/.451/.658 with 15 home runs over 44 career games against Baltimore) sitting on the injured list, the ice-cold O’s are running into a surprisingly hot Yankees team on their home turf.
Let’s take a look at the matchups for these weekday games:
Monday: Jonathan Loaisiga vs. David Hess
Johnny Lasagna takes the bump to kick off this series, as well as his career against the Orioles. Facing a last place team that ranks 22nd in the league in team wRC+ and 24th in home runs for the first time might be the confidence boost Loaisiga needs to turn his season in the right direction. Pitching to a 4.50 ERA and 1.50 WHIP over four games isn’t ideal, so a solid outing here would be a much needed win for the young right-hander.
For the O’s, David Hess gets the ball on Monday, and his numbers aren’t any better than Loaisiga’s. Since his last win on April 1, the right-hander has pitched to a 7.27 ERA. On the season, he’s allowed 10 homers and secured a hearty 5.50 ERA over eight games. That doesn’t bode well for him coming into Yankee Stadium. To make matters worse (or better, for New York), the Yankees have some experience against Hess and they managed to knock him around pretty good.
Tuesday: J.A. Happ vs. Andrew Cashner
Happ has had a pretty inconsistent 2019 campaign to this point. Though he’s looked shaky and given up a lot of long balls, his last start was a major step in the right direction. Holding the Mariners to one hit over five innings, the most encouraging sign was that against a team leading the league in homers, he had his second outing of the year that didn’t come with a home run and at least two earned runs.
Happ will be squaring off against the right-handed Cashner, whose stats on the year are strikingly similar to his own:
Happ: 43.1 IP, 41 H, 34 K, 9 HR, 4.36 ERA
Cashner: 42.1 IP, 42 H, 33 K, 7 HR, 4.25 ERA
Cashner has had relative success against this current Yankees lineup, save for Gleyber Torres, who is batting .571 over seven at-bats, and Luke Voit, who is 1-for-1 with a three-run homer.
Wednesday: Domingo German vs. Dan Straily
This one is a little more uneven. Domingo German has been the Yankees ace, throwing 44 strikeouts over 43.1 innings, leading to a 2.70 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. On the other hand, the O’s send out righty Dan Straily, whose 8.23 ERA and nine home runs allowed over 27.1 innings can’t give them a lot of confidence in closing out this series. The last time the Yankees faced him was on April 7, when he gave up home runs to Clint Frazier and Gary Sanchez as New York peppered him for five runs over an inning and a third in Baltimore.