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Yankees vs Orioles series preview

After a mini series with the Marlins put in between two off-days, the Yankees head the Baltimore to end the weekend with a four-game set against the Orioles. Coming off a split in Miami, the injury-riddled Bombers receive at least one player back from the DL in CC Sabathia, who had to skip a start with knee inflammation. On the other hand, Didi Gregorious, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez remain sidelined among others.

The Yankees split a two-game series at the Stadium last time they played Baltimore at the beginning of the month. They are 6-6 overall this season against the Orioles, although 4-1 at Camden Yards. The Orioles have gone from bad to worse after the trade deadline, as they traded away most of their top talent.

They are in the midst of a four-game losing streak, and have lost six of their last seven as part of the worst record in baseball (37-90). Since getting swept by Boston in early August, the Yankees are 11-5 in their last 16 games, a stretch where they have won three out of five series. Another series win to end the road trip is crucial in order to keep a comfortable lead for the first Wild Card spot over the surging Athletics.

Game 1: CC Sabathia vs Alex Cobb

Sabathia (7-4, 3.32 ERA) makes his first start since being placed on the DL in the ballpark where he received his last loss on July 9. He was tagged for five runs in as many innings last time he faced the O’s, including two home runs.

Since then, CC has bounced back to pitch to a 3.24 ERA in his previous five starts with 31 strikeouts in 25 innings. The leftie has a respectable career showing against Baltimore, with a 3.70 ERA. Although, the last two seasons haven’t been so pleasant (7.41 ERA and 8.00 ERA in 2017 and 2018, respectively).

Cobb (4-15, 5.09 ERA) owned an ERA as high as 7.23 through 11 starts. A month later, he shaved it to 6.41 and now it’s almost below five thanks to a magnificent stretch of his past six starts. He’s pitched to a 2.03 ERA, holding opponents to a .603 OPS.

The Yankees fell victim to Cobb last time they faced him, as the right-hander held the offense to one run over six innings on August 1. Cobb’s latest performance was a complete game victory, where he allowed two runs on five hits against a potent Indians offense.

Game 2 probables: JA Happ vs Yefry Ramirez

Happ (14-6, 3.84 ERA) continues to do his job for the Yankees, and will be called upon for Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader. He’s got a 2.22 ERA ever since donning Pinstripes and a considerable amount of success against Baltimore this season. In three starts (all with the Blue Jays), he owns a ridiculous 1.00 ERA, having allowed two earned runs while striking out 21 in 18 innings. Last time at Camden Yards, Happ went five innings and allowed a run on four hits while striking out nine.

The Yankees have torched Ramirez (1-5, 6.49 ERA) this season. He has not made it into the sixth inning in two starts, and has allowed 10 runs in the nine innings he’s thrown. In his last outing, Ramirez was tagged for seven runs in three innings by the Indians. Everything has seemed to go downhill for him ever since his last start against the Yankees (5.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R).

Game 3 probables: Sonny Gray vs David Hess

Gray (9-8, 5.34 ERA) is the leading candidate to start the nightcap of Saturday’s twin bill, according to Aaron Boone. Since being moved to the bullpen, he has not been bad. Aside from allowing a couple runs against Texas, Gray pitched scoreless outings against the White Sox and Blue Jays, while allowing a run in over three innings of work against the Rays.

He’s shaved his ERA down from 5.56 to 5.34, although what’s concerning is that Gray’s opponents are still hitting him hard (12 H in last 9.1 IP). Last time against the Orioles is what caused Gray’s departure from the rotation, as he let up seven runs in 2.2 innings.

Hess (2-8, 5.50 ERA) has been up and down the whole year between the majors and minors. Since being recalled on July 28, he’s made four starts and a relief appearance, pitching to a 4.30 ERA in 23 innings. His latest outing against Toronto impressed, as he allowed one run run on three hits in seven innings with as many strikeouts.

Game 4: Luis Severino vs Dylan Bundy

Severino (16-6, 3.28 ERA) looked much better in his last start against the Blue Jays. He threw five scoreless innings and was sent back out for the sixth. After allowing a double and a run scoring single, he was pulled and Tommy Kahlne allowed the inherited runner to score to round out Sevy’s line. Overall, it was a step in the right direction, as Severino struck out eight batters in the outing.

Surprisingly, this will be his first start against the O’s this year. The good thing is, Severino owns a 4-1 record with a career 3.33 ERA, and a 3.62 ERA at Camden Yards.

Bundy (7-12, 5.31 ERA) was having a mediocre season until his last three starts. His ERA jumped nearly an entire run from 4.38 to 5.31 as he’s allowed 21 runs in his last 14.1 innings pitched. He had a good start to the year, but he has been on a steady decline ever since the beginning of July. He’s allowed multiple home runs in 10 of his 24 starts, and 33 overall (most in the AL).

On paper, the Yankees overpower the Orioles in every category by a sizable margin. Although, they will have to continue to persevere through these injuries and find it in themselves to shut down Baltimore for once this year.