This seems familiar, right? The New York Yankees are set to take on the Baltimore Orioles for the second time in three series. Hopefully the weather holds off this time and there will be the full four games of baseball at Camden Yards.
This time around, the Yankees are in first place thanks to two recent series victories over the Tampa Bay Rays. With the Orioles scuffling at 15-31, the Yankees have a good chance to pick up more wins and increase their division lead.
Monday: J.A. Happ vs. Andrew Cashner
These guys both pitched during last Wednesday’s doubleheader, but not against each other. Happ got the win but only went 5.1 innings and surrendered two home runs in an up-and-down outing. This will be the fourth time he faces the Birds this year, although his track record hasn’t been great so far. He’s given up five home runs over just 13.2 innings and is 1-1 in his previous three starts against Baltimore.
Cashner will face the Yankees for the third time this year and second time in a week. After getting shelled on Opening Day, Cashner was better last time around, allowing only two runs over six innings last Wednesday. Cashner is 4-2 with a 4.10 ERA (4.72 FIP) this year, which is impressive on a 15-31 team, but his two losses have come against the Yankees.
Tuesday: Domingo German vs. David Hess
The Yankees’ pitching success story, Domingo German, will get another go on Tuesday. German’s last start came against these Orioles and it was one of his finest of the year: he went seven innings, allowed just one run, struck out eight and got out of a bases-loaded jam. He is 2-0 this year against the O’s, and will look to improve his impeccable numbers against a weak-hitting Orioles squad.
The Orioles will turn to David Hess, and they’ll look for a better result than the one he provided them last week. Hess gave up five runs on four home runs to the Yankees last time out, taking a hard loss. Hess’ 7.4 K/9 is too low and his 3.1 BB/9 is too high, and he’s given up 14 long balls on the season. The Yankees should swing early and often against Hess on Tuesday.
Wednesday: TBD vs. TBD (likely Sabathia vs. Straily)
Things could change due to the teams’ rotation schedules, but it is likely that Wednesday will feature a CC Sabathia vs Dan Straily matchup. Sabathia’s performance this year has been predictable, but in a good way. He’s only worked into the sixth inning twice in seven starts and he’s run into trouble with the home run ball (he’s allowed nine home runs this year), but he’s only allowed more than three runs once. The left-hander hasn’t had a “bad start” yet this season.
The Orioles will likely turn to Straily, if he isn’t removed from the rotation before then. Straily is 1-3 with a woeful 8.51 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts) this year, and has an 11.25 ERA this month. His first appearance of the year came against the Yankees and it didn’t go well – he was pummeled for five runs in just 1.1 innings. Straily is a better pitcher than that – he was 42-36 with a 4.23 ERA from 2012-2018 for five teams – but he’ll need to figure things out fast to save his spot in Baltimore’s rotation.
Thursday: TBD vs. TBD (likely Tanaka vs. Bundy)
The Yankees would like to turn to Masahiro Tanaka on a Thursday afternoon getaway day game, but his status is up in the air after suffering a shin contusion on Saturday. If he goes, it’s a good matchup for Tanaka. He’s thrown six or more innings with no more than one run allowed six times this year, second best in the MLB (Justin Verlander has seven such starts). His splitter has been touch and go this year, but when he has it, Tanaka has reverted back to ace form in his age-30 season.
The Orioles haven’t made their starter public for Thursday’s game either, but it is expected to be Dylan Bundy. Although he never lived up to his lofty prospect hype, Bundy has been okay for the O’s over the last few rough years. He owns a 4.64 ERA (4.84 FIP) across his career, which isn’t that bad for a team that has had a real tough time recently, but has always given up way too many home runs (career 1.7 HR/9). The Yankees like hitting off of Bundy; he’s just 2-5 with a 6.36 ERA against the Bombers for his career.