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Orioles-Yankees series preview: AL East teams headed in opposite directions

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The divisional rivals meet up for the third time this season as the O’s host the Yankees for three games at Camden Yards.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

This will be the third series of the year between the Yankees and Orioles. The Bombers took two of the three games they played in the Bronx during the first week of the season, and the clubs split a four-game set at Camden Yards at the end of April.

Since the conclusion of that series, the Yankees have been on a tear, winning all four of the series that they have played and sporting a 9-3 record that has the just two games behind the Red Sox for the lead of the American League East.

Unsurprisingly, New York’s bullpen has been especially good. Over the last 15 games they own a 2.90 ERA and 1.04 WHIP while holding teams to a .195 batting average against. A big reason for that is Aroldis Chapman, who is pitching better than he ever has his career. He is yet to allow a run in 15 innings and is striking out more than two batters a frame (18.60 K/9). If the O’s want any shot at scoring some runs, they may need to do so early.

It should be noted that the Yankees were struck by an outbreak of COVID-19 in their clubhouse earlier this week that, until recently, had only included coaches and support staff. On Thursday, Gleyber Torres became the first player to test positive and has been placed on the IL as a result. Miguel Andújar was recalled from Triple-A in his place.

Game 1: Friday, May 14th, 7:05 p.m., MASN, MLBN

Dean Kremer (0-3, 6.23 ERA) vs. Corey Kluber (2-2, 3.06 ERA)

Kremer is trending in the right direction. He has allowed four earned runs total over his last two starts, which have spanned 11 innings. His season ERA has dropped by more than two runs since late April and is currently at its low point on the year. But these Yankees have already challenged him this season, to the tune of a 10-hit, six-run drubbing a couple of weeks ago.

It sure looks like Kluber has been able to shake off whatever it was that ailed him during his first four starts of the season. The veteran righty has pitched beyond the fifth inning in his last three trips to the mound, including an outing on May 2 where he allowed two hits and struck out 10 over eight innings against the Tigers.

Game 2: Saturday, May 15th, 7:05 p.m., MASN

Jorge López vs. Domingo Germán (2-2, 4.02 ERA)

Has López finally exorcised his fifth inning demons? It was one start, but it was nice to see the righty actually pass the threshold for a win for just the second time all season. He took a no-decision, but if he could repeat a 5.2-inning, one-run performance a few more times the Orioles would be quite happy.

Similar to Kluber, Germán has settled down recently and has not lost a start since April 10. Something the O’s may be able to take advantage is the 28-year-old’s elevated fly ball and home run rate. Both are the highest of his career, and Camden Yards has been known to give up a long ball or two.

Game 3: Sunday, April 16th, 1:05 p.m., MASN

John Means (4-0, 1.21 ERA) vs. Jordan Montgomery (2-1, 3.96 ERA)

What’s left to be said about Means? He has been outstanding and even followed up a no-hitter with six shutout innings and could have gone longer if not for National League rules. There is no chance he gets pulled at 74 pitches here if he is cruising once again.

This will be Montgomery’s third start against the Orioles already this year. He has a 1.64 ERA against the Orioles and a 4.96 ERA against everyone else. It’s odd because the Orioles, as a team, have hit lefties much better than righties (.734 OPS vs. .628 OPS), but for whatever reason Montgomery has their number.

Poll

How many games will the Orioles win in this series against the Yankees?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    3 (O’s sweep)
    (13 votes)
  • 16%
    2
    (24 votes)
  • 52%
    1
    (78 votes)
  • 23%
    0 (O’s get swept)
    (35 votes)
150 votes total Vote Now