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Orioles-Yankees series preview: Limping into a mismatch

The banged-up Orioles will take on the best team in the American League in a four-game set at Camden Yards.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Detroit Tigers Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

As Paul mentioned at the end of yesterday’s recap, any positive momentum for the Orioles dried up in the three-game sweep against Detroit. The Orioles failed to win a game against the worst team in the American League and will now face the best team in baseball.

Jorge Mateo suffered a left shoulder/chest contusion in Sunday’s game but X-rays were negative. It’s unclear if Mateo will be sidelined by the injury. The Orioles were already without Austin Hays and Ryan Mountcastle on Sunday.

Baltimore’s struggling lineup does not compare favorably to the talented lineup in New York. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have both heated up over the last two weeks. Judge leads the American League with 11 home runs and Stanton ranks slightly below with 10. Anthony Rizzo has nine long balls on the year. DJ LeMahieu, Joey Gallo, Josh Donaldson and Gleyber Torres also present challenges at the plate.

We’re officially on #AdleyWatch with Adley Rutschman completing another series at Triple-A. The Orioles top prospect should get the call soon, but Baltimore has yet to announce when we will see Rutschman with the Orioles.

Game 1: Monday, May 16, 7:05. MASN.

RHP Kyle Bradish (1-1, 4.24 ERA) vs. RHP Luis Severino (2-0, 4.08 ERA)

Kyle Bradish will look to build off a dominant 11-strikeout performance against the Cardinals last week. Bradish picked up his first win against St. Louis after allowing a pair of runs over seven innings. Bradish has surrendered a home run in each of his three starts this season but will need to keep the ball in the ballpark against a more talented lineup on Monday.

Severino is the only starter the Orioles will face with an ERA above four. His 1.33 WHIP could provide Baltimore hitters a chance to get on base, but Severino has given New York a chance to win in all six appearances this season.

Game 2: Tuesday, May 17, 7:05. MASN.

RHP Jameson Taillon (3-1, 2.93 ERA) vs. RHP Spenser Watkins (0-1, 5.19 ERA)

This game represents the most lopsided pitching matchup in the four game set. Watkins allowed seven runs and failed to complete four innings his last time out against the Cardinals. Watkins had been serviceable prior to the implosion against St. Louis, but the Orioles will rarely ask him to complete more than five innings. Baltimore could rely on Keegan Akin or another middle-inning reliever for multiple innings out of the bullpen.

Taillon has been strong out of the gate after an ankle surgery last year. The former Pirates prospect boasts an impressive 25/3 strikeout-to-walk ratio through 30.1 innings this season. Pitchers have dominated early in the season, but Taillon appears to be living up to his potential at 30-years-old this season.

Game 3: Wednesday, May 18. 7:05. MASN.

RHP Jordan Lyles (2-3, 4.38 ERA) vs. RHP Gerrit Cole (3-0, 2.95 ERA)

Game 3 features both teams’ highest paid free-agent signings on the mound but one makes just a touch more than the other. The Yankees signed Gerrit Cole to a nine-year, $324 million contract before the 2020 season. Baltimore signed Lyles to a one-year, $5.5 million dollar deal in March. I’ll let everyone choose their favorite metaphor for this one.

Lyles has mostly lived up to the inning-eater label so far this season. The 31-year-old has worked at least 5.2 innings in his last three starts. He picked up a win with six strong innings against Boston but did not receive a decision despite working into the eighth against the Royals.

Cole has settled in after a rough three starts to begin the season. The former Bucco has struck out at least nine batters in three of his last four outings.

Game 4: Thursday, May 19, 12:35. MASN.

LHP Bruce Zimmermann (2-2, 2.72 ERA) vs. LHP Jordan Montgomery (0-1, 3.06 ERA)

The pair of lefties will face off on get away day Thursday at Camden Yards. Zimmermann has been a brightspot for Baltimore on the mound this season. The Baltimore native has been extremely effective early in the game with just three earned runs before the fifth inning.

The lefty could struggle if he faces this talented lineup for a third time, but this game could represent the best opportunity for Baltimore’s high-leverage relievers. Jorge López has four strikeouts and did not allow a hit in three innings against the Yankees this season. Baltimore took two of three against New York early this year but the Yankees swept Baltimore at the end of April.

Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    4 (Orioles sweep)
    (10 votes)
  • 1%
    3 (Orioles win series)
    (5 votes)
  • 14%
    2 (Split)
    (38 votes)
  • 46%
    1 (Yankees win series)
    (119 votes)
  • 32%
    0 (Yankees sweep)
    (82 votes)
254 votes total Vote Now