Our Orioles are not in the best of form. They haven’t won a series since sweeping the Phillies in mid-August, and are 5-12 in their last 17 games. They are nine games away from the division lead, and four games from a playoff spot. Now, they have to play the vaunted Bronx Bombers.
But fear not, if every there was a time to play a bunch of games against the Yankees, now might be that time. They come to Baltimore as losers of two in-a-row and without Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres (although Torres may return by the end of the weekend) due to injury.
These injuries, and the accompanying losses, have the Yankees clinging onto the final playoff spot in the American League entering play today. A rough weekend in Charm City could send them tumbling while also renewing the O’s meager post-season ambitions.
The Orioles clearly positioned themselves as “sellers” at the recently passed trade deadline. Meanwhile, the Yankees did...nothing. They looked into pitchers Lance Lynn and Mike Clevinger but were turned off by the price. They asked the Brewers about Josh Hader yet never made much progress. And it was a similar story regarding their interest in outfielder Starling Marte, who was ultimately dealt to the Marlins.
Obviously, it won’t really matter if New York’s lineup gets back to full strength ahead of the playoffs. But for now, they are weaker opposition than normal, and the Orioles need to take advantage.
The 2020 season concludes in three weeks, and the Orioles are running out of chances to climb the standings. If not this weekend, then when?
Alex Cobb was supposed to start the first game tonight, but was scratched and placed on the IL. The reasoning, according to manager Brandon Hyde, is that the Orioles are “following the protocol.”
Game 1 Starting Lineup
- CF Cedric Mullins
- RF Anthony Santander
- DH Jose Iglesias
- 1B Renato Nunez
- C Chance Sisco
- 2B Hanser Alberto
- LF D.J. Stewart
- 3B Rio Ruiz
- SS Andrew Velazquez
RHP Alex Cobb (1-3, 4.33 ERA)