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New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles: Series Preview

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The Yankees return home riding high off their sweep of the Marlins. Next up: the Orioles.

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

The Yankees’ moves at the deadline reinvigorated the fanbase, but I’m not sure any of us could have envisioned the instant impact the newest Bombers would have. Anthony Rizzo almost singlehandedly carried the Yankees to victory in all three games with the bat and the glove. And while Joey Gallo collected his first hit on Sunday, the real fireworks are yet to come, and what better place to do it than his home debut in the Bronx? For now, let’s preview the starting pitching matchups for the series.

Monday: Andrew Heaney vs. Jorge López, 7:05 PM ET

Yankees fans will get their first glimpse of trade deadline addition Andrew Heaney on Monday night. His top-level stats aren’t great, but the underlying metrics — 20.4 percent K-BB%, 3.72 SIERA — indicate he has pitched better than record or ERA would suggest. His four-seamer and changeup sit near the top of the MLB leaderboard in terms of horizontal movement while his curveball generates a 37.7 percent whiff rate. In 18 starts, Heaney is 6-7 with a 5.27 ERA, 4.05 FIP, and 113 strikeouts in 94 innings.

Opposite Heaney, Jorge López gets the ball for his 22nd start of the season. The Yankees have had López’s number so far this year. In three starts, he has surrendered 11 runs (10 earned) in 10.1 innings — good for a 8.44 ERA and 5.87. FIP. He throws had and gets hit hard, so hopefully we’ll see some balls fly out of the park. On the year, López is 2-12 with a 6.19 ERA, 4.98 FIP, and 90 strikeouts in 96 innings.

Tuesday: Gerrit Cole vs. Alexander Wells, 7:05 PM ET

Gerrit Cole takes the mound Tuesday for his 22nd start of the year. He is coming off the worst outing of his season — eight runs (seven earned) including a first inning Austin Meadows three-run homer in the Rays’ eventual 14-0 drubbing of the Yankees last Friday. On the plus side, Cole has struck out at least 10 batters in three of his last four starts, after going nine consecutive outings without tallying double-digit Ks. For the season, Cole is 10-6 with a 3.11 ERA, 2.82 FIP, and 176 strikeouts in 130.1 innings.

Cole will face Orioles rookie Alexander Wells, a lefty signed as an international free agent from Australia in 2015. Wells features a four-seamer that hovers 88-89, supplemented by a slider, curveball, and changeup. He walks almost as many batters as he strikes out and is prone to giving up the long ball. He has struggled since joining the rotation, giving up three dingers and seven runs in 10.2 innings across two starts. In four total appearances, Wells is 1-1 with a 5.28 ERA, 5.89 FIP, and 12 strikeouts in 15.1 innings.

Wednesday: Jameson Taillon vs. Matt Harvey

Jameson Taillon gets the nod for the series finale. Taillon has turned his season around in a big way, something Andres detailed last week. In eight starts since June 18th, Taillon owns the best ERA (2.28) and ninth-best WHIP (1.100) in the American League. He attributes his new-found success to locating the fastball in all four quadrants as opposed to just at the top of the zone as well as his growing confidence in all five pitches in his repertoire. In 20 starts, Taillon is 7-4 with a 4.11 ERA, 4.35 FIP, and 98 strikeouts in 100.2 innings.

Harvey is more Gray Knight than Dark Knight these days, but that does not mean the Yankees can take him lightly. In fact, he has been downright dominant over his last three starts, tossing 18.1 scoreless innings with only 10 hits, one walk, and 11 strikeouts. Last time he faced the Bombers, he tossed six innings of three-hit, one-run ball, making it his first start of at least six innings since 2019. In 21 starts this year, Harvey is 6-10 with a 6.20 ERA, 4.24 FIP, and 72 strikeouts in 94.1 innings.