When last the O’s and the Yankees met on April 15-17 in Baltimore, the 1-5 Orioles (then the worst record in all of baseball) shocked the Bronx Bombers by taking the series, holding what was supposed to be one of the AL’s top offenses to three runs in three games. Since then, the Birds have gone 3-4 on their West Coast trip, their offense looking a little better while their pitching has looked somewhat worse.
Although Bronx fans’ antics turned off a lot of people this weekend, the Yankees continue their winning ways, their 10-6 record leaving them only a half-game back of the lead in the AL East. The pitching has been solid, with an AL-best 2.53 ERA. (Although you know who’s not far back from that? Baltimore, at 3.17, third in the AL.) For what it’s worth, the Birds get some good luck this time around, avoiding New York’s two best starters, staff ace Gerrit Cole and soft-tossing lefty Nestor Cortes, who carved up Baltimore with 12 K’s in five innings on April 17, a game the Yankees bullpen eventually lost.
The Yankees offense, which was supposed to be a strength of this team, has been just middle-of-the pack so far. They’re eighth in the AL in runs scored, and at the moment, only two Yankees hitters have an OPS north of .750: Anthony Rizzo, hitting .250 with five home runs, .571 slugging, and a .954 OPS, and Aaron Judge, averaging .263 with an OPS of .863. Lefty slugger Joey Gallo is really scuffling, with an average of .146 and a .421 OPS.
Game 1: Tuesday, April 26th, 7:05 p.m., MASN
Jordan Lyles (1-1, 3.52 ERA) vs. Luis Severino (1-0, 2.08 ERA)
The last time Lyles saw the Yankees, he had an unflattering ERA of 9.00 after a wonky debut against Tampa. That ERA is much better now, thanks to two successful consecutive starts, including 5.1 innings of one-run ball against New York on April 15. Lyles followed that outing by shutting out Oakland over five innings the week after. He’s also cut down on the walks, issuing just three over 10.1 innings his last two starts. If Lyles can continue to locate, and if his breaking balls keep looking sharp, the veteran righty may just outperform Orioles’ fans lowly expectations and keep Yankees bats in check for a second time.
The Orioles didn’t face Severino last series. The righty has had a sharp start to the season, allowing only three runs in 13 innings while striking out 14. Severino has faced just four members of the current club: Anthony Bemboom (0-for-1), Austin Hays (0-for-2), Trey Mancini (6-for-12, 1 HR), and Rougned Odor (1-for-6, 2 RBI). The odds look fairly steep for the Orioles in this one.
Game 2: Wednesday, April 27th, 7:05 p.m., MASN
Tyler Wells (0-2, 6.75 ERA) vs. Jordan Montgomery (0-1, 2.51 ERA)
Three starts in, the Tyler Wells starting experiment still hasn’t quite gotten off the ground. So far, the big righty has a -0.2 WAR and 1.875 WHIP as a starter. But the season is young. He’s had one good outing out of three so far—encouragingly, against the Yankees on April 16 (4 IP, 0 R). Above all, Baltimore would like to see Wells get his walk/strikeout numbers (4.5 BB/9 so far, to just 6.8 K/9) closer to what he achieved as a reliever last year (1.9 BB/9 and 10.3 K/9, respectively).
Jordan Montgomery had a poor first start but has stabilized in two outings since. Against Baltimore on April 15, he threw five scoreless, and last week in Detroit, he allowed one run over six innings. Several Orioles have good career averages against the lefty, including Trey Mancini (.435, 1 HR), Ramón Urías (.300), Cedric Mullins (.278), Anthony Santander (.286, 1 HR), and Robinson Chirinos (2-for-3 with a HR).
Game 3: Thursday, August 28th, 1:05 p.m., MASN
Bruce Zimmermann (1-0, 1.20 ERA) vs. Jameson Taillon (1-1, 3.07 ERA)
After his 14-inning scoreless streak, Zimmermann may no longer have a 0.00 ERA, but he has been a standout for Baltimore in the rotation this year. In 15 innings pitched, he’s allowed just two earned runs and has 16 strikeouts. His pitches look unusually sharp, especially his changeup, which has a 40.5% whiff rate, and he’s throwing them all for strikes. Aaron Judge (3-for-6) and DJ LeMahieu (4-for-6) have been nemeses for Zimmermann in the past. We’ll see if that continues.
After an ankle injury prematurely ended Jameson Taillon’s 2021 season, he’s gotten off to a solid start in 2022. He’s allowed five runs in 14.2 innings across three starts, including one long ball per start. Austin Hays is 3-for-5 against Taillon in his career, Cedric Mullins is 3-for-7 with two home runs, and Ryan Mountcastle is 1-for-6 with a home run.
Can the Orioles continue to be Yankee kryptonite?
How many games will the Orioles win in this series with the Yankees?
This poll is closed
Three - an Orioles sweep!