Once again, the New York Yankees are back to pay a visit to beautiful Camden Yards. After this three-game series, the Orioles and Yankees will have met 10 times and will not meet again until August. So far, the season series is 4-3 in favor of the Yankees.
On the mound for the Orioles will be the back end of the rotation, Dean Kremer and Jorge López, and then ace John Means in game three. The Yankees will start Corey Kluber, Domingo Germán, and Jordan Montgomery, who the O’s saw in the last series against New York.
After seeing the Yankees over and over again to start this season, it is clear the Orioles fare much better against the Evil Empire than in recent years. A 3-4 record against a team like the Yankees is actually very promising, especially considering the advantage they have over the rotation of the Orioles when it isn’t John Means pitching.
This will be a tough three-game series at home, where the Orioles are only 5-13. The last time these two teams met in Baltimore, the Orioles captured two of their five home wins in that four-game series alone.
However, there certainly is the chance for the Orioles to come away from this series with a win. Here is how they can do it!
1. Limit the long ball
The forte of the New York Yankees is certainly the home run. At the start of the season, they simply weren’t hitting them. Now in their last nine games, they have hit 13 home runs, six of which have come in their last two games. If you eliminate the long ball, especially from players like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and newly healthy Luke Voit, the Yankees aren’t nearly as good of a hitting team.
In order to accomplish this, Dean Kremer and Jorge López especially must do two things. First, they must get ahead in counts and eliminate chances for the Yankees to see hittable pitches. After that, these pitchers must be able to keep the ball down. We saw the other day against the Mets how a good hitting team will clobber the baseball when it is left up in the zone.
2. Score runs when runners are in scoring position
This Orioles squad has become somewhat famous for their troubles with runners in scoring position. As of late, however, things have been worse. In their last six games, the Orioles are 10-for-47 with runners in scoring position, good for a .213 average. That simply won’t get the job done against the Yankees. With their improved rotation and stellar bullpen, every base runner is extremely valuable, and leaving a large number in scoring position will be the difference maker.
3. Limit the strikeouts
As a team, the Orioles have had a strikeout issue, which has been better as of late. However, the Orioles still sit around the middle of the pack with 321 strikeouts. Striking out just eliminates any chance our hitters have and eliminates any chance of the Yankees defense having to make plays in the field. Putting the pressure on that defense and raising the pitcher’s pitch count by not swinging at bad pitches will go a long way. Their bullpen is one of their strong suits, but not when they have to enter too early. Take those bad pitches, and let the bat do the work in better counts.
Here are tonight’s game one starting lineups:
New York Yankees (20-17):
1. DJ LeMahieu 2B
2. Luke Voit 1B
3. Aaron Judge RF
4. Gary Sánchez DH
5. Clint Frazier LF
6. Brett Gardner CF
7. Miguel Andújar 3B
8. Kyle Higashioka C
9. Tyler Wade SS
SP. Corey Kluber RHP
Baltimore Orioles (16-21):
1. Cedric Mullins CF
2. Austin Hays LF
3. Trey Mancini 1B
4. Freddy Galvis SS
5. Ryan Mountcastle DH
6. DJ Stewart RF
7. Maikel Franco 3B
8. Pedro Severino C
9. Pat Valaika 2B
SP. Dean Kremer RHP
Tonight’s game is available on MASN and the flagship station of the O’s, 105.7 The Fan. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EST.
How do you feel about this series with the Yankees? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to follow The Baltimore Battery on the web and on Facebook and Twitter!