Series Preview

Yankees vs. Orioles series preview

The Yankees welcome the Orioles to the Stadium for a brisk two-game set before they head to Boston for a crucial four-game series with the Red Sox. This is the first time Zach Britton faces his old ball club, and the first time this season the Yankees face a Baltimore lineup without Manny Machado, who is hitting .366 against them this year.

The Yankees, although taking three out of four from Kansas City, did not gain any ground in the division race as the Red Sox did equally as well with the Twins.

Nevertheless, this is another opportunity to gain at least one game before heading north. The Yankees are a less than impressive 5-5 against Baltimore this season; not ideal against one of the worst teams in baseball.

Greg Bird enters the mini series slashing .333/.400/.524 in his last six games. Neil Walker is scorching hot, owning a .522/.567/.609 slash line over the past two weeks with six RBI.

Game 1 (Masahiro Tanaka vs. Yefry Ramirez)

Tanaka (8-2, 4.09 ERA) gained an extra day of rest as his start was pushed back from Sunday to make room for J.A. Happ‘s first start as a Yankee. Tanaka has made three starts this season with six or more days of rest, pitching to a 2-0 record with a 1.86 ERA and 0.78 WHIP. The right-hander is coming off a complete game, three-hit shutout against the Rays in his last start. Although Tanaka has not been great against Baltimore this year (1-1, 5.63 ERA), he’s got a 2.19 ERA in his past four outings.

Ramirez (1-3, 3.49 ERA) has been a serviceable spot-starter ever since making his MLB debut in early June. He pitched against the Yankees in the latter part of a doubleheader on July 9, going four innings and allowing as many runs on nine hits. He does not give the Orioles length, but seems to keep them in the game whenever he exits.

Game 2 (Sonny Gray vs. Alex Cobb)

Gray (8-7, 5.08 ERA), although being struck on the thumb by a comebacker in his previous start, will go for his fourth consecutive start of allowing two earned runs or less in the Bronx on Wednesday. Despite his struggles, the Yankees are encouraged with what they’ve seen as of late. In Gray’s last start against the Orioles, he threw six shutout innings, allowing three hits and striking out eight.

Cobb (2-14, 6.08 ERA) has struggled mightily for Baltimore this season. He is having the worst season of his career, although it seems to be getting a bit better. Cobb has a 4.43 ERA in his past four starts and his ERA went from 6.67 to 6.08 in that stretch. This will be the first time the Yankees see him this year. Cobb is 6-4 with a 2.99 ERA in 14 career starts against the Bombers.

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