For one final time, the Orioles and Yankees match-up here in 2021. With a chance to play spoiler once again, the O’s come into this series with not much to play for besides that.
The Yankees are currently tied for the second A.L. Wild Card spot, a spot they are holding on to with dear life. A couple wins here against this Yankees team could really hurt their chances.
On the mound for the Orioles will be Alexander Wells, John Means and Chris Ellis. Wells is coming off a fine start in his last time out, when he lasted four innings and allowed just two runs to the Royals.
The surprise of the later part of this season has surely been Chris Ellis. Now having started five games for the Orioles, Ellis has yet to allow more than three runs and has only allowed three runs combined in his last three outings.
After an abysmal series against the Blue Jays, almost any form of play here will be better. However, unlike most parts of the season, the offense was actually on it’s game against Toronto. When facing another high-powered offense like the Yankees, the Orioles’ offense themselves must continue to produce.
With that being said, 40+ runs allowed in a series will never bring success. Will that happen again in this series? Most likely, no. The bullpen was so poor against the Blue Jays, it’s nearly impossible for that to happen again.
A few fun things to watch for in this series: with one more home run, Ryan Mountcastle will break the rookie home run record in Orioles franchise history. Mountcastle currently sits at 28, which tied Cal Ripken Jr. for his total in 1982. Also, Cedric Mullins is one home run and two stolen bases shy of 30/30. If he competes this, he will be the first 30/30 player for the Orioles ever.
To see some wins here in Baltimore, the Orioles must rely on these Baltimore Battery ❌-Factors!
The first ❌-Factor is this trip of starting pitchers. Alex Wells has the chance to deliver a decent outing; however, it wouldn’t be one that stretches too deep into the game, regardless. For Means and Ellis, getting into a groove early and getting a good chunk of quality innings is imperative. The Yankees have been a late game team over the last month, and the Oriole bullpen has been late game blowers. Keeping the bullpen off the mound for as long as possible is key. Holding the Yankee lineup at bay for six to seven innings and allowing our offense to produce is the best way to win.
The next ❌-Factor is Ryan Mountcastle and Austin Hays. The last couple of weeks, these two bats have been on fire. Hays enters this series after a 17-game hit streak that was finally broken against the Blue Jays. Mountcastle has been hitting the ball all over the place, including line drives and home runs. With these two bats in the middle of lineup, it is important for them to work these pitchers and create the offense themselves. If Mullins can get himself on base, you can expect some runs to come off the bat of these two, and the earlier that happens, the better.
The Orioles have recalled RHP Marcos Diplán and selected the contract of INF Pat Valaika. They have also placed Tanner Scott on the 10-day IL with a left knee sprain and Jorge Mateo on the 60-day IL with right lumbar inflammation. Both of their seasons are likely over.
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