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New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles: Series Preview

Yankees return home for a four-game set against a divisional opponent.

Seattle Mariners v Baltimore Orioles Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

The Yankees return home after a short road trip that saw them take a series against the Athletics but then drop two out of three vs. the Cardinals. The Yankees currently sit in the second wild-card spot, trailing the Orioles by four games in the wild-card race.

The Orioles find themselves six-and-a-half games back of the Rays after dropping back-to-back series at home to the Reds and the Twins. They have lost four of their last five heading into this week’s series versus the Yankees.

Divisional games are always important, particularly in the tough AL East. Two evenly matched teams will play at the Stadium in what is a pivotal four-game series. Lets take a look at the pitching matchups.

Monday: Domingo Germán vs. Tyler Wells (7:05 pm ET)

What a strange season for Domingo Germán. Following two starts in which he gave up 15 earned runs in just over five innings pitched, Germán was perfect against the Athletics. With a June under his belt that featured two quality starts, two horrific starts, and a perfect game, your guess is as good as mine about which iteration of Germán will show up on Monday. The Yankees hope he can produce another quality start because Monday sees a matchup against the Orioles’ best starter.

Tyler Wells has quietly become one of the better pitchers in the American League. His ERA of 3.21 is top-10 among AL starters and his 0.88 WHIP leads all of Major League Baseball. Opponents are only hitting .184 on the season against Wells, but he is susceptible to the long ball. Wells has given up almost as many HRs (19) as he has walks (20) this season. Wells’ most recent outing against the Yankees came back in May when he gave up five runs over five innings, including three home runs, but the Yankees ended up losing that game 9-6.

Tuesday: Clarke Schmidt vs. Kyle Gibson (1:05 pm ET)

I was not much of a believer in Clarke Schmidt, particularly early in the season, when getting him through five innings felt nearly impossible. And while two times through the order still feels like the sweet spot for Schmidt, he has certainly rounded into form for the Yankees. He has only given up 10 runs over his last seven starts and posted a 3.04 ERA in June. Schmidt faced Baltimore in late May, giving up only one run over five innings pitched. The Yankees will take that kind of performance again on Tuesday.

The last time the Yankees faced Kyle Gibson they only managed to get two hits over seven innings pitched and didn’t score a run. However, Gibson has struggled mightily in his last two outings. He gave up five runs to Seattle in three innings of work and followed that with a six-run outing against the Reds where he failed to make it through the fifth. The Yankees will look to take advantage of Gibson’s recent struggles on Tuesday in the Bronx.

Wednesday: Randy Vásquez vs. Dean Kremer (7:05 pm ET)

Randy Vásquez will get the call back to the big leagues as a rotational fill-in on Wednesday. He has impressed in his two starts this season with the Yankees, giving up only two runs in over 10 innings of work. Facing Kremer feels like a good landing spot for the young right-hander, as the Yankees hope their offense can carry the load against a struggling Orioles starter.

Dean Kremer got crushed in his last appearance against Minnesota. He got tagged for seven runs over three innings in what was his worst outing of the season. Kremer’s ERA currently sits at 5.04 and opponents are batting .288 against him on the season. Both clubs will have their bullpens ready early in this one.

Thursday: Luis Severino vs. Kyle Bradish (7:05 pm ET)

Luis Severino. sigh. A quality start against Texas was sprinkled into what was a disastrous month of June for the right-hander. Severino posted a 6.93 ERA in June in which opponents batted .324 over that span. The struggles continued in his last start when he got shelled against a middling Cardinals offense. Most of Severino’s outings are tough to watch at this point in the season.

Kyle Bradish continues to put together a solid season for the O’s. Over his last four starts, he has given up only six runs in 25 innings pitched. His latest outing was a gem against the Twins in which he stuck out seven and gave up one run in what ended up being a 1-0 loss for the Orioles.