Series Preview: Orioles enter Bronx with season on the line

I’m just gonna come out and say it, the odds are not in the Orioles favor. Mathematically the O’s are not out of the playoff race but they are on life support and the Yankees have a chance to pull the plug this weekend.

MLB.com has given the O’s a 1.1% chance of making the postseason. If you want a second opinion, FanGraphs has been a little more generous, giving Baltimore a 1.5% chance. With just sixteen games remaining in the season the Orioles cannot afford to lose another series and are realistically going to need a couple sweeps along the way just to stay alive.

Standings Update: The Orioles (72-74) have dipped below .500 again after their recent six game losing streak. The losses have also put the Orioles 4.5 games out of the second wildcard spot. The Yankees (79-66) are doing much better and currently hold a three game lead for the first wildcard spot. New York is not out of the division race though as the Red Sox sit just three games above.

Last Meeting: These two teams last met in the first week of September and the Yankees delivered the O’s their first series loss since August 20. After that pivotal series the Orioles accumulated a six game losing streak that would not be broken until yesterdays game against the Blue Jays.

Game Times and Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Thursday, September 14, 7:05 pm – Wade Miley (8-12, 4.96 ERA) vs Masahiro Tanaka (11-11, 4.82 ERA)

Game 2: Friday, September 15, 7:05 pm – Jeremy Hellickson (8-9, 5.23 ERA) vs Luis Severino (12-6, 2.96 ERA)

Game 3: Saturday, September 16, 4:05 pm – Ubaldo Jimenez (5-10, 6.75 ERA) vs CC Sabathia (11-5, 3.85 ERA)

Game 4: Sunday, September 17, 1:05 pm – Dylan Bundy (13-9, 4.03 ERA) vs Sonny Gray (9-10, 3.17 ERA)

Notes on the Yankees:

  • Sonny Gray has been a big pick up for the Yankees but the former A’s starter has not pitched very well against the Orioles. Gray holds a record of 2-3 with an 4.39 ERA in five starts against Baltimore since 2013.
  • Brett Gardner remains a big threat whenever the Orioles and Yankees meet. Despite having a dip in stats since May, Gardner has been a thorn tin the O’s side all year. His .299 batting average, four homers and eight RBI’s stand as some of his best numbers against any team in 2017.

Notes on the Orioles:

  • After getting of to a hot start with the O’s, Tim Beckham has not been producing very much lately. His go ahead homer against Toronto on Tuesday is certainly a highlight but in the last 14 days the Orioles shortstop is hitting .180 with 14 strikeouts and just three RBI’s.
  • Manny Machado saved the Orioles from a sweep the last time these two teams met and he will look to be a deciding factor again this weekend as the teams meet in New York. The Orioles third baseman has only played one series at Yankee Stadium this year, but it was a good one. Machado went 4/12 with three RBI’s and five walks.

Up Next: The Orioles will start their final home stand of the season next week when the Red Sox and Rays come to town. Depending on how things shake out this weekend the Orioles could be playing the role of spoiler for the remainder of the season.

Image Credit: Washington Post

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