The Baltimore Orioles are more than 50-games under-.500, but have played the New York Yankees tough this season, winning six of their first 12 meetings. The Birds will host the Bronx Bombers on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball looking to play better than their dismal record shows against a team destined for October baseball.
The game also features an intriguing pitching matchup against good, young starters who have had their share of struggles lately.
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ESPN Sunday Night Baseball – New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles
Date and Time: Sunday, August 26, 2018, 8:05 p.m. ET
Location: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
2018 MLB Betting Odds at BETCRIS: (Check Back Later)
Yankees vs. Orioles 2018 MLB TV Coverage: ESPN
Dylan Bundy and Luis Severino got the Opening Day starters for their respective teams, but both have taken their lumps of late. Things have been particularly bad for Bundy over the last couple months.
The Orioles young right-hander has allowed seven runs in each of this last three starts and has pitched to a 9.08 ERA over the last two months. He’s been bad for a while now and much of it can be traced back to the long ball. He’s allowed a league leading 33 home runs, giving up three in his last game alone and 13 over his last six games.
In 24 starts this season, the O’s righty is 7-12 with a 5.31 ERA, 5.29 FIP and 1.378 WHIP. The O’s are just 8-16 in his starts and 1-7 in his last eight games.
Prior to his recent struggles, Bundy had a 3.75 ERA after the first few months, showing how good he can be when he’s on his game, but he’s certainly not on his game right now.
As for Severino, he’s just 2-4 with a 7.26 ERA since the All-Star break. It’s been a rough second half, but nowhere near as bad as it’s been for Bundy. After all, Severino is still 16-6 with a 3.28 ERA and 1.142 WHIP in his 26 starts, going 159.1 innings.
The righty also looked a bit better in his most recent start, going five innings and allowing just two runs while striking out eight. He didn’t go deep in that game but did his job and made a few Toronto hitters look foolish. The Jays, of course, don’t have the best offense, but—then again—neither do the Orioles.
Severino is also a very respectable 4-1 with a 3.33 ERA against the Orioles, all that came against a much better Oriole team as he’s yet to face Baltimore this season.
Judging the Yankee Line-up
Aaron Judge leads the Yankees in rWAR at 5.2 but has been on the DL with a chip fracture in his right wrist. He’s only played in 99 games this baseball season. They miss Judge and his team leading 152 OPS+. Of course, with a star-studded roster, they have plenty of power and offense to make up for his loss, but when Judge is in the order, it makes the lineup that much deeper.
Judge’s loss is even more pronounced with both Didi Gregorius and Gary Sanchez joining him on the Disabled List. Ronald Torreyes and Austin Romine have adequately filled in for the latter two, but their absence has made an impact.
Of course, even without Judge, Sanchez or Gregorius, the team still features last year’s NL MVP in Giancarlo Stanton who has 32 homers, 81 RBIs and a .895 OPS. Beyond the slugging outfielder, Miguel Andujar, Gleybar Torres and Aaron Hicks have all also hit at least 18 bombs.
Overall this season, the Yankees are second in baseball in runs scored and first in home runs, hitting 202 bombs. No other team has hit more than 175. New York’s OPS of .781 also ranks second in the sport behind the Red Sox.
Yankees’ Bullpen Depth
For a while, the Yankees bullpen was the best in baseball according to ERA, but the team has slipped behind the Astros and Diamondbacks with a still very solid 3.16 mark as a unit.
Some of the regression of the pen has come because of the struggles of newly acquired southpaw Zach Britton. The former Oriole will undoubtedly get some chances against his former team this series, perhaps even on Sunday. In 10.1 innings, he’s allowed six runs and walked six batters.
Britton’s struggles are manifested a bit with the injury to Aroldis Chapman. The Yankee closer won’t be available on Sunday. Typically, Britton could slide into the ninth inning, but with him slumping, the closing duties likely fall to David Robertson.
Fortunately for the Yankees, they are deep in former closers and/or guys that could easily be closing on other teams. Along with Robertson, Britton and Chapman, the team also has Chad Green with electric stuff and Dellin Betances, both are striking guys out at an impressive rate.
Even with Chapman out and Britton reduced to lower leverage situations until he gets back in a groove, Aaron Boone is presented with enough options. In addition to the aforementioned options, he also has recalled Tommy Kahnle who was a dynamic arm last year along with A.J. Cole and Jonathan Holder who have pitched well in their respective roles this season.
The Rebuild Is on in Baltimore
The Orioles came into the 2018 season with visions of grandeur. While most saw the team well below the competition in the AL East, the Birds made offseason moves with the intention of competing, but things went awry.
After finishing third in the MLB AL Rookie of the Year voting last year, Trey Mancini has had a poor sophomore season even as he’s started playing better of late. Chris Davis is having a historically terrible season. Meanwhile, Tim Beckham and Caleb Joseph have proven themselves part time players—at best—given entirely too much playing time.
With things going so wrong, the Orioles were one of the most prolific sellers at the non-waiver trade deadline, moving Manny Machado, Kevin Gausman, Jonathan Schoop, Zach Britton and Brad Brach in different deals.
With so many players gone, the Orioles in this game is a much different team than the one that played the Yankees so tough earlier this season. Statistically, however, the second half offense in Baltimore has been much better than the first half one.
The Orioles have their rebuild in full swing. The main piece of that rebuild in the Majors right now is Cedric Mullins. He’s played very well since getting promoted and has been a spark plug, getting on base and providing a bit of pop in the process. Jonthan Villar—picked up in the Schoop trade with the Brewers—has also added to the athleticism of the O’s.
In net, the offensive changes seem to be a positive, but the bullpen is much worse for the wear. The Birds have Mychal Givens as the de facto closer, but he’s got a 4.65 ERA. Meanwhile, Miguel Castro has struggled as have Tanner Scott, Mike Wright and just about everyone else they’ve tried not named Paul Fry and Cody Carroll, neither of whom are back-of-the-bullpen arms.
New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles Free Picks
Neither Bundy nor Severino have been throwing well of late, but Severino is the superior pitcher. He’s also facing the inferior offense. Look for Bundy to get bit by the home run ball again against a powerhouse lineup from the Bronx. The Yankees should cruise to an early lead and carry that to a rather easy victory. The Yankees’ pen is deep enough to survive the injuries and deliver a win if Severino keeps them in the game through the first five. The Yankees’ bullpen is head and heels better than the O’s back-end. The Bombers should break this game open in the later innings if it’s not already broken open by then.
New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles Pick: Bet the money line on the New York Yankees as they should take care of business against the Birds.
New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles Score Prediction: Yankees 9, Orioles 4
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