The first-place Orioles (yes, that’s correct) will face off against the Yankees in a three-game set this week. The Bombers dropped two games in Boston this past weekend and exposed a few glaring problems. Nonetheless, New York and Toronto remain tied for second in the AL East at 5-4, one game behind Baltimore.
Buck Showalter has continued to work his magic with the O’s, after starting to right their ship last season. This is his first visit to the 10451 after making some disparaging (but truly not horrendous) remarks about Derek Jeter.
The Yankees’ winningest pitcher, AJ Burnett (2-0) (yes, that’s correct, too) will open things up against Chris Tillman (0-0) on Tuesday. Phil Hughes (0-1) will try to lower his outrageous 16.50 ERA and try to keep everyone from panicking that he’s somehow lost his velocity against the long-time favorite starter TBA. Ivan Nova (1-0) is coming off the shortest outing of his career (4.1 innings) in Boston and will face off against Jake Arrieta.
Offensively the Yankees numbers have offended the senses, and not in a good way. Only Russell Martin, A-Rod and Cano are at/above .300. The O’s aren’t hitting the cover off the ball either. Felix Pie is up to .357 at the plate but Vlad Guerrero (yes, THAT Vlad Guerrero) is the next closest at .270. However, Baltimore has five pitchers with a sub-1 ERA and three more under-4. Earl Weaver would be proud.
There’s no question that feathers will fly this week. Showalter is a fierce competitor and he’s not bringing his re-vamped team in for a friendly fly-by.
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Written by Stephanie Geosits