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Yankees, O’s Trending in Opposite Directions

The New York Yankees begin a four-game series Thursday at Yankee Stadium against their AL East rival Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees hold a 9-6 advantage against the Orioles so far this season. New York is coming off a 6-3 road trip after taking two of three games from the Tampa Bay Rays at Citi Field. Baltimore has struggled of late, winning just one of their past seven games.

While the Yankees remain in the thick of the American League playoff race, the Orioles recent decline has left them fighting for postseason life. New York is three games behind the Boston Red Sox in the American League East and has a three game lead in the Wild Card race. The Orioles are now 4.5 games back of the second Wild Card spot, currently held by the Minnesota Twins.

The Yankees will want to keep Baltimore on it’s downward trend. If they are going to make a serious run at the division title, the schedule may be a positive. 14 of the Yankees remaining 17 games are scheduled to be played at Yankee Stadium where they hold a 40-27 record this season. On the road, the Yankees have played .500 ball at 39-39.

Baltimore, 28-44 on the road this season, will start Wade Miley (8-12, 4.96) in the series opener. Miley has lost two straight games. Masahiro Tanaka draws the start for New York and will be looking to bounce back after he surrendered seven runs in four-plus innings of an 11-5 loss to the Rangers in his last outing. Tanaka is 6-4 with a 3.40 ERA in his last 13 starts.

Much of the struggles for the Orioles has been it’s starting pitching. Baltimore’s starting pitchers had combined to go 0-8 with a 6.75 ERA over the team’s last 13 games prior to Wednesday. Kevin Gausman finally put an end to that Wednesday when he have up one run on six hits in seven innings for the win against Toronto.

The Yankees lineup is as close to healthy as you can expect. Manager Joe Girardi has been able to give some players days off for rest so everyone is ready to go down the stretch. One of those players that could be ready for a hot streak is rookie right fielder Aaron Judge. The power threat has hit nine home runs off Baltimore pitching this season, is most against any club.

Gary Sanchez has been swinging a hot bat of late. In his last six games, Sanchez is batting .375 with two doubles and two home runs.

Pitching Probables

Thursday: Masahiro Tanaka vs Wade Miley

Friday: Luis Severino vs Gabriel Ynoa

Saturday: Jordan Montgomery vs Jeremy Hellickson

Sunday: CC Sabathia vs TBA


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