Series Preview: Orioles (53-37) @ Yankees (45-46)

After kicking off the second half of the season by taking a best out-of-three series in St. Petersburg against the Rays, the Orioles will now fly to the Bronx to take on their permanently loathed rival, the New York Yankees, for a four-game set at Yankee Stadium.

The Orioles (53-37) take a two-game advantage over the Red Sox for first place in the AL East into the Bronx and will be looking to improve upon their glittering 24-14 record against division rivals. They currently sit at 20-23 away from Camden Yards.

The Yankees (45-46) avoided a three-game sweep against the Red Sox after topping Boston 3-1 on Sunday night, but find themselves still 8.5-games behind the first place Orioles in the division and 5.5-games back from the second wild card spot in the American League. Their 11-19 record against the competitive AL East isn’t doing them any favors.

After taking two of three in each of these teams’ first two series this year (both at OPACY), the Orioles boast a 4-2 mark versus the Yanks this year and a 45-36 record against them since the start of the 2012 season.

Oh, how times have changed…

Kevin Gausman (1-6, 4.15 ERA) will take the mound against Ivan Nova (6-5, 5.18 ERA) in the series opener on Monday night.

The Orioles 25-year-old flamethrower sports an impressive track record against the Bombers, going 3-2 with a stellar 2.22 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 13 games (seven starts) vs. NYY in his young career.

Despite owning a blank record in two starts versus the Yankees this season, Gausman has had their number in 2016. The LSU alum has allowed only one run on ten hits over 14 innings with two walks and nine strikeout against the Bombers, good for a miniscule 0.64 ERA and 0.85 WHIP.

Nova, 29, owns a 7-4 record in 16 career outings versus the Orioles, but has recorded a 5.22 ERA during that span as well. In his last start against the O’s on June 4th, Nova allowed five runs on seven hits over six innings with two walks and six K’s, but received the no-decision in the Yanks 8-6 comeback win.

The DR native has also seen his campaign trend in the wrong direction as of late, recording a 3-4 record with a bloated 6.34 ERA over his last nine starts.

Vance Worley (2-0, 2.87 ERA) will take the hill against Nathan Eovaldi (7-6, 5.11 ERA) on Tuesday.

Worley has been phenomenal out of the bullpen this season for the O’s, but he will be making his first start since surrendering four runs on four hits over six innings against the Rangers on April 15th. This will also mark Worley’s first career start versus the Yanks and just his second appearance against them overall after allowing a run on three hits over 0.2 innings against them on June 4th.

Eovaldi lost his spot in the rotation after allowing six runs on seven hits over 4.1 innings against the Padres on July 1st and has recorded a miserable 9.20 ERA over his last six starts.

But the 26-year-old earned his way back into the rotation after scattering just three hits over 7.2 shutout innings out of the bullpen in his last three appearances. The Houston native last faced the Orioles on June 3rd and coughed up five runs on eight hits over 5.1 innings in a 6-5 loss.

Yovani Gallardo (3-1, 5.77 ERA) will get the nod versus Michael Pineda (3-9, 5.56 ERA) on Wednesday night.

The 30-year-old Gallardo will be making his first start of the season versus New York and just the fourth of his career. The Mexico native owns a 1-1 record and a 5.50 ERA over three starts against the Yanks.

Pineda, 27, has posted a 3-2 record and a 4.10 ERA over nine career starts versus the Orioles and is also going into his first meeting against them this season.

Pineda will be looking for a turnaround in form, as he owns a 0-2 record with a 5.82 ERA over his last three outings and a 2-4 record with a 5.46 ERA at Yankee Stadium on the year.

Orioles ace Chris Tillman (13-2, 3.29 ERA) will take the mound against CC Sabathia (5-7, 3.94 ERA) in the series finale on Thursday.

Tillman has been simply sensational all season long and especially over his last three starts, going 3-0 with an outstanding 1.29 ERA over that span. He also owns an impressive 5-2 record and 3.38 ERA away from Camden Yards and a perfect 6-0 mark versus AL East opponents.Tillman_032516A

In 22 career starts versus the Bombers, Tillman has recorded a 7-6 record with a 4.87 ERA. In two starts against them in 2016, the Orioles 28-year-old stud is 1-0 with a 4.26 ERA.

Sabathia’s sparkling track record versus the O’s is no secret, as he’s registered a staggering 19-7 record with a 3.28 ERA and 1.17 WHIP over 35 career starts.

This season is no different, as the 35-year-old has allowed just eight hits over 12 shutout innings while recording 11 K’s in two starts against the Orioles in 2016. However, Sabathia has seen a dip in form since the last time he faced the O’s, and owns a horrid 7.94 ERA since June 22nd.

The Orioles dynamic offensive attack ranks second in the AL in scoring (5.0 runs per game) and third in batting average (.270) and OBP (.331) while leading the league in home runs (141), while the Yankees woeful offense comes into the four-game clash in the Bronx ranked just 12th in the AL in runs per game (4.16), homers (95), and batting average (.250) and 13th in OBP (.311). This despite the valiant efforts of future hall-of-famer Carlos Beltran (.297, 19 HR, 58 RBI), seven-time All-Star catcher Brian McCann (.244, 14 HR, 39 RBI), three-time All-Star Starlin Castro (.257, 10 HR, 32 RBI) and 26-year-old Amsterdam native Didi Gregorius (.299, 11 HR, 41 RBI).

However, the Yankees now rely on their menacing back-end of the bullpen to lock up close wins and strike fear in the hearts of opposing batters. Aroldis Chapman (3-0, 18 saves, 2.30 ERA), Andrew Miller (5-1, seven saves, 1.34 ERA) and Dellin Betances (2-4, 22 holds, 2.60 ERA) make up the three-headed monster that has kept the Yankees in playoff contention this season. The trio has also racked up a staggering 189 combined K’s over 112.2 combined innings.

The objective against the Yankees is simple: take the lead before the seventh inning, and hold onto it. The odds of coming back against these guys are slim to none.

With that being said, I for one can’t wait for first pitch. To me, nothing says baseball like an old-fashioned Orioles-Yankees match-up.

Here’s to chalking up a few more W’s against our long-loathed rivals in the Bronx!

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About Logan Quick

Logan Quick is a 23-year-old journalist from Harford County, Maryland. Loves hockey so much, there's ice in his veins, not blood. Breathes soccer. Kind of wishes he lived in Barcelona. Oh yeah, and his love for music, especially 1960's and 70's rock and roll, is unwavering. Also a lover of...more

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