Despite a tough 6-3 loss last night in which the Yankees’ typically rock-solid bullpen cost them the game, the Bombers will have another chance to take a crucial series against divisional foe and potential Wild Card opponent Baltimore in the Bronx tonight.
Luis Severino gets the assignment for the Yankees, and as his fastball velocity has come and gone, so has his effectiveness. In four of his eight starts, he’s averaged at least 96.5 on his heater; in those outings, he’s tossed 22.1 innings and allowed just seven runs (five earned) on one homer with 20 strikeouts against nine walks. In his other four appearances, he’s gone 17.2 innings, allowing a staggering 26 runs (23 earned) — thanks to a ghastly nine homers — with 14 strikeouts against nine walks. Keep a close eye on the four-seamer early on; its efficacy will likely determine Severino’s impact once again.
For the Orioles, Kyle Bradish gets the nod; his effectiveness hinges more on his plus slider, which he throws more than any other offering. Stuff+, which grades pitches based on their velocity, shape, and overall differential from the fastball, has Bradish’s slide piece as the second-best among the 140 pitchers with at least 50 innings this year, coming in at 62 percent better than average. Thanks to its above-average drop and sweep, the pitch has gotten whiffs on 18.7 percent of offerings and batters have managed a measly .236 wOBA against it. But, they’ve tattooed Bradish’s four-seamer to the tune of a .453 wOBA.
Luckily for the Yankees, they’ve managed a .443 wOBA on contact (wOBACON) against four-seamers this season, the third-best mark in the majors. So, if they sit fastball tonight, they could be in business. Chief among the Yankees’ fastball-mashers in this one will be Anthony Volpe, who’s put up a .620 wOBACON against four-seamers on the season. He’ll lead things off for the first time since May 11th; he’s earned the leadoff spot again after his recent hot streak has seen him slash .354/.417/.600 with a .433 wOBA since a swing adjustment on June 13th.
Harrison Bader, who’s put up a .493 wOBACON against four-seamers this year, is back in the lineup, hitting cleanup after a night off following a hit by pitch on the wrist Tuesday. Outfielder Jake Bauers will not be in the lineup, as he is undergoing an MRI on his shoulder after hurting it on a dive for the decisive triple in last night’s loss.
The Orioles lineup, meanwhile, presents a tough task for Severino, whether he has his best heater or not — on the season, they’re tied for eighth in team wRC+. Their offense is headlined by the young duo of Gunnar Henderson and Adley Rutschman, who will hit first and second tonight. Rutschman especially has terrorized Yankees’ pitching in this series, as the catcher has gone 6-for-15 with a pair of doubles.
How to watch
Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY
First pitch: 7:05 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES Network – NYY / MASN - BAL
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv