The Yankees will go for a series sweep against the Orioles and their fifth consecutive victory overall Sunday in a battle of southpaw starters. J.A. Happ gets the ball for New York, and has largely righted the ship after a shaky start to this shortened season. The lefty sports a 4.31 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 31.1 innings (six starts), striking out 25 and walking 13 — not exactly awe-inspiring, but he’s allowed two runs or fewer in three of his last four outings. In his last start, Tuesday against the Blue Jays, Happ gave the Yanks 6.2 innings of two-run ball with a season-best 10 strikeouts.
The Orioles turn to left-hander John Means, who has struggled significantly this season after a promising 2019. Means carries an ugly 6.58 ERA in 26 innings of work (seven starts) and has given up nine home runs in that limited span. His last outing was his strongest, however: a six-inning, one-run effort against the Mets Tuesday.
Happ and Means squared off once before this year — a July 30 meeting both would surely like to forget. Happ got blasted for four runs in three innings, with six walks issued; Means was even worse, getting torched for five runs in 2.1 innings. The Yankees won that game 8-6.
With two weeks left in the regular season, the Yankees sit in third place in the AL East at 25-21. They trail the first-place Rays by five games and sit half a game behind the Blue Jays for second. In Major League Baseball’s new expanded playoff format, the Yanks would occupy the eighth and final postseason slot and face their recent nemesis, Tampa Bay, in the first round if the season ended now. They’ll be eager to improve that positioning as the regular season finish line quickly approaches.
Here’s the lineup the Yankees will feature against Means:
And here’s the Orioles’ order:
Game time: 1:05 p.m. ET
Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
TV broadcast: YES
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM
Online Stream: MLB.tv