The New York Yankees enter Friday’s series opener on the road against the Baltimore Orioles in last place in the American League East and in need of an offensive spark.
New York Yankees (-125, 8.5) vs. Baltimore Orioles
Since June 4, when the team played their first game without Aaron Judge in his second injured list stint of the season, the Yankees are 27th in the league in runs per game with 3.88 while their .220 batting average in that span is the worst among all MLB teams.
According to reports, Aaron Judge has a good possibility to play on Friday, but it is unclear in what capacity or how close to 100 percent he will be.
Orioles starter Grayson Rodriguez will look to take advantage of the beleaguered Yankees offense to get his season back on track as he enters Friday with a 6.91 ERA this season, though the advanced numbers show he’s pitched better than the ERA would indicate.
Rodriguez has a fielding independent more than a point and a half lower than his ERA at 5.28 and while the four walks and 2.1 home runs per nine innings are concerning, Rodriguez is also getting 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings.
The Yankees oppose Rodriguez with the American League’s All-Star Game starter Gerrit Cole, who has allowed three runs or fewer in nine straight starts and has allowed two runs or fewer in 16 of his 21 starts this season.
Cole has also been at his best on the road this season, posting for the season a 2.78 ERA with 0.9 home runs per nine innings, which improved to a 2.58 ERA with 0.6 home runs per nine innings allowed.
Both teams enter the series lending their starters good support from the bullpen with the Yankees owning the league’s best bullpen ERA at 3.20 while no other team in the league has better than a 3.54 bullpen ERA while Baltimore is sixth in the league in bullpen ERA.
With the Orioles averaging just 4.4 runs per game at home compared to more than 5.3 runs per game on the road this season, Friday’s series opener will be headlined by dominant pitching.
The Play: Yankees vs. Orioles Under 8.5