The Yankees will finish up their series with the Astros on Wednesday and as the reigning World Series champs exit, we should expect a fresh batch of W’s to enter as we march into the dog days of summer.
The Yanks-‘Stros rivalry has become one of the best in baseball over the past few years, and this season’s series thus far have backed that up entirely. But the Yankees would not be where they are if they had to play the likes of Houston all season long, and their next stretch of games should help them pad their stats and the win column too. Let’s take a look at the next few upcoming series:
Poor Buck. The Orioles (17-37) have been one of the worst teams in baseball all season long. I dare you to name three of their five starting pitchers. Give up yet? Kevin Gausman is their current ERA leader at 4.31. Yikes. Showalter’s magic in Baltimore appears to be running out as his team looks lost on the mound and at the plate. Look for Greg Bird to take advantage of Camden Yards’ dimensions in this series and don’t be surprised if the Yankees cruise to a sweep against their once-formidable AL East rivals.
The Yanks and Tigers (24-29) will square off in a doubleheader after being rained out earlier in the season. The Tigers have been better than some predicted, but have still struggled to find an identity for new skipper Ron Gardenhire. Miguel Cabrera is clearly on the last legs of his Hall of Fame career and the team does not have much offense beyond the veteran first baseman. One item of note to watch here is if the team faces Michael Fulmer, who despite an up-and-down start to the season, has been rumored to be on the trading block and a piece the Yankees may want to pursue later this season.
Toronto is also one of the most under performing teams this season as they currently sit at 25-29, fourth place in the AL East. Josh Donaldson is not having the type of free agent season he would have hoped and the rest of the offense is not enough to carry the load after the departures of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. Another pitcher the Yankees could be on the lookout for is J.A. Happ, a crafty lefty who has come into his own in Toronto and was named their Opening Day starter this season.
Later on: Mets, Nationals & Rays
Aside from the Nats, who have caught fire of late, the Yankees should continue their winning ways against the slumping Mets and awful Rays. All in all, this stretch of games should help the club keep pace with the Red Sox who currently have a 2.0 game lead in the AL East. It’s shaping up to be another fun summer in the Bronx.