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Friday night Orioles game thread: vs. Yankees, 7:05

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John Means and the Orioles are running head long into the Yankees “Large Adult Son” outfield in the series opener.

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

There may not be any two MLB teams whose August fortunes were more diametrically opposed than the Orioles and the Yankees. New York went 21-8 for the month while the O’s were 4-24. The O’s, as you may recall, fired off a 19-game losing streak over the course of that month. The last game they won before they started all of that losing came against the Yankees.

It’s September now, but the basic talent difference that allowed the Yankees to win 21 games in a month while the Orioles won four games in that same month is not any different just because the Orioles calendar hanging on my wall flipped from Anthony Santander to Adley Rutschman.

That said, here is a true fact that I have brought up more than once on Camden Chat today because it both amuses and amazes me: The Yankees are the team against whom the Orioles have won the most games so far in the 2021 season. The O’s are a mere 5-8 against the Yankees, yet still, the five exceeds their win total against every other team so far.

Tonight’s opening game of the series might well be the best chance for the O’s to pick up a win all weekend. That’s because John Means is on the mound. Means remains the O’s de facto staff ace. He had a rough month after coming off of the injured list, but is working on back-to-back quality starts. It’ll be nice if he can continue that streak against the Yankees.

It’ll be a tough task, of course. The Yankees as a team have hit better against lefties this season, with a .764 OPS against southpaws. Means has had a home run problem this season, allowing 23 in 114.1 innings, and Yankee Stadium is what it is. Perhaps the cooler weather that has blown in the aftermath of the remnants of Hurricane Ida will help him out a little bit by suppressing fly ball distance. Or maybe it won’t.

Orioles lineup

  1. Cedric Mullins - CF
  2. Ryan Mountcastle - 1B
  3. Austin Hays - LF
  4. Trey Mancini - DH
  5. Ramon Urias - 3B
  6. Anthony Santander - RF
  7. Jorge Mateo - SS
  8. Jahmai Jones - 2B
  9. Austin Wynns - C

Yankees lineup

  1. D.J. LeMahieu - 2B
  2. Joey Gallo - LF
  3. Aaron Judge - CF
  4. Giancarlo Stanton - RF
  5. Anthony Rizzo - 1B
  6. Luke Voit - DH
  7. Gleyber Torres - SS
  8. Rougned Odor - 3B
  9. Gary Sanchez - C

This is the Yankees “Large Adult Son” lineup configuration, which nets them an outfield where the shortest of the three players is the 6’5” Gallo. The tradeoff of such a configuration is that Judge is the center fielder. Maybe the Orioles can make enough solid contact to keep these Large Adult Sons chasing all over the outfield after line drives that have fallen in for hits, or maybe they can’t. There are a lot of home run hitters out there.

The Yankees starting pitcher is Nestor Cortes Jr.