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New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles: Randy Vásquez vs. Dean Kremer

Yankees aim for three straight — and a shot at the AL’s top Wild Card spot tomorrow.

MLB: Game Two-Chicago White Sox at New York Yankees Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

With two wins in hand already this week, the Yankees (48-38) trail the Orioles (49-35) by just two games in the AL East standings, and now, they’ll have a chance to bring it down to just one as they try to make it three in a row against the O’s to start this four-game set.

Taking the hill for the Yankees, 24-year-old rookie Randy Vásquez (1-1, 1.74 ERA) makes his third spot start in as many months, and ideally, it’ll be the last one before Carlos Rodón permanently occupies the floating rotation spot that Vásquez has shared with Jhony Brito so far this year. He’s taken on the role admirably when asked to, allowing just two earned runs over his first 10.1 IP in the majors, including 5.2 shutout frames in his most recent start against the White Sox on June 8th.

Working with decent velocity, some interesting pitch traits, and a full six-pitch starter’s arsenal, it seems likely that Vásquez has a role in an MLB rotation somewhere in his future. However, this Baltimore lineup swings much heavier sticks than the Chicago group he faced last month, so with several high-leverage relievers rested and ready to go this evening, simply keeping the Yankees competitive through four or five innings is the name of the game today. On a clerical note, Vásquez will take the roster spot of the suspended Jimmy Cordero.

Baltimore counters with Dean Kremer (8-4, 5.04 ERA), who’s looking to rebound after letting in seven runs in just three innings in a loss to the Twins last week. Kremer showed plenty of promise with a 3.23 ERA (3.80 FIP) in 125.1 IP out of Baltimore’s rotation last year, but 2023 has been a struggle thus far, with his April 7 start against the Yankees (5 IP, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO) being more or less representative of the effort you’ve been likely to get from him. Given the numbers that current Yankees hitters have put up against him over the course of his career, one might expect something similar this time around:

Current Yankees vs. Dean Kremer

Harrison Bader was hit on the wrist yesterday, so he’ll get today off with Isiah Kiner-Falefa in center. Aaron Boone said that he was planning on giving Bader a day off soon anyway and decided to make it today after the plunking; he didn’t seem concerned but keep an eye on that going forward. DJ LeMahieu, Josh Donaldson, and Kyle Higashioka are all back in the lineup after getting July 4th off (outside of a DJ pinch-hit appearance), but Anthony Rizzo will lead off again.

Of note for the O’s: No. 2 prospect Colten Cowser has been called up for his MLB debut. He’ll bat seventh and play left field. Aaron Hicks will still play though, as he’s the DH and batting one spot ahead of Cowser. Between Cowser, Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson, and Jordan Westburg, that’s a lot of young talent in the Baltimore starting nine, and it’s not as though Cedric Mullins and Anthony Santander are ancient, either.

How to watch

Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY

First pitch: 7:05 pm ET

TV broadcast: Amazon Prime – NYY / MASN - BAL

Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280

Online stream:

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