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Yankees vs. Orioles: Jameson Taillon vs. Bruce Zimmermann

With brooms in hand, the suddenly red-hot Yankees look for a series sweep and sixth consecutive win in a Bronx matinee.

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at New York Yankees Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

This afternoon in the Bronx, the streaking Yankees are aiming for a three-game series sweep against the Baltimore Orioles, and their sixth win in a row. Jameson Taillon gets the ball for the Yanks and will look to keep his team in first place in the AL East in what appears to be a pretty interesting pitching matchup.

Taillon will be making his fourth start of 2022, and although he’s been giving up hard contact, the results have been good thus far. His four-seam fastball ranks in the 90th-percentile in MLB in spin rate but has found the middle of the zone a little too often, leading to well below league-average rankings in exit velocity, expected batting average, and xSLG. He’s helped himself by remaining stingy about issuing free passes (94th percentile in walk rate) and he’s been good at limiting damage, as he’s only allowed five earned runs over 14.2 innings in his three starts.

Taillon will be facing an Orioles lineup that has really struggled to get runners across the plate so far in 2022. Baltimore’s three runs per game is tied for the worst in MLB and they’ve hit with no power, as their abysmal .301 SLG is also dead last in baseball, while their nine-team home runs are the second-fewest. Although to be fair, their xBA, xSLG, and xwOBA are all closer to the middle of the pack league-wide, so Taillon still needs to avoid throwing the middle/middle four-seamers.

The O’s will be sending 27-year-old lefty Bruce Zimmermann to the mound to counter Taillon this afternoon. Zimmermann’s 2022 so far has been similar to Taillon’s in the respect that he’s allowed plenty of hard contact, and yet the results have been good for him. Over his first three starts, he’s thrown 15 innings with a 2.81 FIP while allowing only two earned runs, and you may remember that he threw five shutout innings against the Yankees back on April 17th.

Zimmermann throws three pitches – a four-seam fastball, curve, and change – that make up almost 90 percent of his repertoire, and all of them have shown a tendency to stay up in the zone. Also of note, there’s less than a 10-mph difference between Zimmermann’s hardest offering and his slowest, so we shouldn’t expect Yankees hitters to have too much trouble adjusting to changes in speed.

Said Yankees offense has been hot lately, finding the power which had been absent early on, scoring 32 runs over the last 4 games. It wasn’t that long ago that they were with Baltimore near the bottom of the league in R/G, but their current 4.17 average now ranks in the top half of MLB. Of note in today’s lineup, Tim Locastro will make his second start of 2022 and his first in center field, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa gets the day off as Marwin Gonzalez gets the nod at shortstop.

How to watch:

Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY

First pitch: 1:05 p.m. EST

TV Broadcast: YES Network, MASN

Radio Broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280

Online Stream: MLB.tv

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