Thoughts on Orioles-Yankees series, schedule, pitching market - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Thoughts on Orioles-Yankees series, schedule, pitching market

Photo Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

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NEW YORK—The Orioles are set to begin a three-game series with the New York Yankees on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium, and while the games are important, nothing will be decided by Thursday night when the series concludes.

Since the Orioles and Yankees play 13 times as opposed to the 19 games played before last season, each game is meaningful.

The Orioles trail the Yankees by 1 ½ games, and unless the Orioles sweep the three games, they’ll leave the Bronx still trailing New York.

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The teams played four games at Camden Yards from April 29th-May 2nd with the Orioles winning three. If the Orioles are able to win two of three—or even sweep this series—they would be in an excellent position to win seven games from the Yankees, assuring a win of the season series.

That’s important because if the teams end up tied, the winner of the season series is awarded the American League East title.

Last season, the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros had 90-72 records, but since the Astros won the season series, 9-4, the Astros won the AL West and got the bye while the Rangers played at Tampa Bay, won the series and swept the Orioles in the Division Series.

The Orioles and Yankees play three more times in Baltimore from July 12th-14th and again in the final week of the season in the Bronx September 24th-26th.

For now, the teams seem evenly matched. The Orioles and Yankees have the best two records in the American League. They’ve. each allowed 250 runs—tied for the best in baseball, and the Yankees and Orioles are 1-2 in runs scored. New York has scored 374, 10 more than the Orioles’ 364. The Orioles lead the majors with 114 home runs. The Yankees are second with 110.

The matchup should be compelling, but because of the vagaries of the starting rotation, the Orioles will start Albert Suárez, Cade Povich and Cole Irvin while the Yankees will counter with Nestor Cortes, Gerrit Cole, making his first start of the season, and Luis Gil, a contender for the American League Rookie of the Year.

Challenging schedule

The Orioles enjoyed their only offday in June on Monday. Since their difficult stretch of 29 games in 30 days began on May 31st, they’re 12-5.

Manager Brandon Hyde noted after Sunday’s game that his players looked tired leaving the field. They had just played an emotional three-game series, winning two against the Philadelphia Phillies, who hold the best record in the National League.

They beat the Atlanta Braves, another playoff-bound team, in two of three. After the Yankees, they’ll go to Houston for three games against the Astros, who are six games below .500 (33-39) but still have plenty of players left from their 2023 NL West title team.

To close out the month, the Orioles will return home for three games against Cleveland, which handily leads the American League Central, and four with the defending World Series champion Rangers.

Pitching market could be slow to develop

Friday night was a difficult one when the Orioles lost starting pitcher Kyle Bradish, who was put on the 15-day injured list with a sprain of the right ulnar collateral ligament. It’s the same injury that delayed his start to the season. There hasn’t been an update on his condition.

Nor has there been an update on Danny Coulombe, their ace left-handed reliever who went on the injured list with left elbow inflammation a week ago.

Even if Bradish and Coulombe were both healthy, the Orioles would still be in the market for a starter and another reliever who could help set up closer Craig Kimbrel.

If the injuries to Bradish and Coulombe are serious, that makes it imperative for Executive Vice President/General Manager Mike Elias to add to the team.

While I’m sure Elias would love to pull off a deal now, it’s still probably too early, and the trade deadline isn’t for another six weeks, July 30th.

With three wild-card spots, more teams think they have a chance to play in October, and that makes early deals harder to make.

Only five teams — Chicago White Sox, Colorado, Los Angeles Angels, Miami and Oakland — can’t be considered contenders.

Over the next six weeks, many fringe contenders — Arizona, Boston, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, the New York Mets, St. Louis, San Francisco, Tampa Bay, Texas. Toronto and Washington — will decide if they’re buyers or sellers.

When more teams decide to sell, that makes more pitchers available, but with so many teams not far out out of playoff spots a good week or 10 days—or a bad one—may change their minds.

It should be a fascinating time around baseball and lots of names will be tossed around. Maybe one or two will wind up in Baltimore.

Note: The Orioles claimed right-handed pitcher Nick Avila off release waivers from San Francisco and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk, where he was placed on the minor league 7-day injured list with a right shoulder impingement. Avila was 1-0 with an 8.49 ERA in eight games with the Giants.

Call for questions: Most weekdays, I answer Orioles questions. Please send yours to: [email protected].

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