For one last time this year, the Orioles play a series in Yankee Stadium. It’s historically a place the O’s suck in, yet this season has been a tad better. In six games played in the Bronx, the Orioles are 2-4. Still not good, but an improvement nonetheless.
This series will be pitched by John Means in game one, Chris Ellis in game two, and Keegan Akin in game three. Means returns to the place he made his debut back in 2018, while Chris Ellis gets his first crack at a Yankee lineup.
For Akin, this a huge start. Not only is he facing maybe the premier lineup in the A.L., but he also attempts to build on his last two starts, which have been the best of his career.
The Orioles will see the back end of the Yankees rotation, including former Rule 5 pick for the Birds, Nestor Cortes. Also, Corey Kluber will be making his second start since returning from injury in game three.
With the Yankees in the hunt for the A.L. East Division Title, the Orioles could become the Rays’ best friend in this series. Taking a game or maybe even two would seriously complicate things for the Yankees. And who wouldn’t love that?
To be successful in this series, the offense HAS to wake up. Scoring only two or three runs against this lineup simply won’t do. Cedric Mullins will need to get hot again, and, hopefully, Ryan Mountcastle keeps up his bat, as he gets to see two more left-handed pitchers.
To get out of New York with a win in this series, the Orioles must rely on these Baltimore Battery ❌-Factors!
The first ❌-Factor is Austin Hays. Lately, Hays’ bat has been electric. In this series, he gets to see two left-handed pitchers, which are his favorite. With Hays being productive offensively, it will help hold down the top of the lineup, which has been slumping with Mullins and Mancini. At the bottom, Urías and Mateo have been on fire. Having Hays on base for these guys could be a game-changer.
The next ❌-Factor is John Means. This is one that could go one way or the other. Since returning from injury, there is no denying that Means just hasn’t been the same. However, it is up to him to begin this series on a good note. He has had one start against the Yankees this year, and it was a good one. For Means, the key is his changeup. If he can work that pitch, keep it down and keep the ball in the yard, he can turn a winnable game over to the bullpen. As for the bullpen, they have been very solid but can only do so much if the starters crap the bed.
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