The Major League Baseball schedule-makers really wanted the Orioles and Yankees to get to know each other very early this season. The two teams just wrapped up a three-game series in the Bronx on Sunday, and they begin another trio of match-ups in Baltimore’s Camden Yards later today.
It has not been the smoothest of starts to a season for the Bombers. Following their series loss to the Birds, they also dropped two out of three to another team that is expected to be quite bad this season, the Detroit Tigers. On top of that, their injury list has grown in both size and significance. Giancarlo Stanton suffered a biceps strain, Miguel Andujar tore the labrum in his right shoulder and Troy Tulowitzki is dealing with a calf strain. Tulowitzki could bounce back this weekend, but the other two will not take part in the Charm City festivities.
This was supposed to be an easy start to the season for the Yankees, but it hasn’t turned out that way. Instead they simply have to weather the storm until their roster is closer to full strength.
DJ LeMahieu has started the season in good shape. His .563 slugging percentage leads the team. Aaron Judge is getting on base at a nice clip (.481 OBP), but is slugging just .381 and is yet to hit his first home run of the young season. On the flip side, Brett Gardner is ice cold (.143/.217/.286) and Luke Voit’s one shining moment remains the opening day home run off of Andrew Cashner, as he owns just a .158/.385/.316 line for the entire season.
Game 1: Thursday, 3:05 p.m. ET, MASN
RHP Alex Cobb (first start of the season) vs. LHP James Paxton (0-1, 1.59 ERA)
I’m not a fan of the Orioles being forced to wait a week to open the season at Camden Yards. As far as I (a biased Orioles supporter) am concerned, the O’s should always have a home game on the actual opening day of the MLB season. It’s the right thing to do. Sending them on the road for a week to kick things off just feels wrong.
Anyway, we will get to see Alex Cobb for the first time in 2019, following a tweak of his right groin at the end of the team’s time in Sarasota, which landed him on the 10-day IL to begin the year. His struggles last April are well known (13.11 ERA, .484/.507/.774 against), but he had a full spring this year and should be firing on all cylinders for this one.
Paxton made his Yankees debut against the O’s last week, and looked downright dominant early on. But the Birds finally broke through in the sixth inning to hand him a loss. Overall, his line was still impressive: 5.1 innings, 2 runs (1 earned) on four hits, one walk and five strikeouts. It’s early days, but these Orioles have struggled against southpaws so far, hitting .206/.275/.365 as a group.
Game 2: Saturday, 7:05 p.m. ET, MASN
TBD vs. LHP J.A. Happ (0-1, 9.00 ERA)
This feels like it will be a theme throughout the year, but the O’s website is yet to post the starters for this series beyond Thursday. However, MASN’s Roch Kubatko did mention that Dylan Bundy and David Hess would be starting, at some point, this weekend.
Bundy would be working on five days rest after starting against the Yankees on Sunday. It would seem to make sense that he gets the ball here with John Means and his nasty change-up ready, once again, to make an extended appearance out of the bullpen if needed.
Bundy had a short outing last week, lasting just 3.2 innings, and struggled with five walks, although he did strike out seven batters. The solution there seems obvious; reign in the walks and go deeper into games. Of course, that is easier said than done.
The one lefty that the Orioles have not struggled against is Happ. Renato Nunez and Trey Mancini both went deep off of the starter and helped to knock him out of the ballgame after just four innings of work on Sunday.
Game 3: Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET, MASN
TBD vs. RHP Domingo Germán (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Hess would also have five days rest here after tossing 6.1 no-hit innings in Toronto on Monday prior to Hyde’s somewhat controversial decision to remove him from the game. I was in agreement with Hyde, and if Hess comes back and looks just as impressive against New York then the second guessing may quiet down a bit.
German did not pitch in the last series between these two sides. He started against the Tigers on Monday and turned in a five-inning performance during which he allowed just the one unearned run while walking five and striking out seven. With Luis Severino and CC Sabathia on the mend, German gets an opportunity to lock himself into a long term role with the Yanks. He threw 85.2 innings for them last season and accumulated a 5.57 ERA, so he will need more than one good start to convince the New York big wigs.
How many games will the Orioles win in this series against the Yankees?
This poll is closed
3 (Orioles sweep)
0 (Orioles get swept)