Villar (MLB Gifs)

For the first time in more than two months, the Yankees get to face the AL East’s worst team, the Baltimore Orioles.

Their Story Thus Far

At 38-73, the Orioles have the second-worst record in baseball to the woeful Tigers. Yes, the same two teams that each took two of three from the Yankees to start the season. The O’s have gone 2-10 against the Yankees, losing their last nine in the series.

Their pitching staff can charitably be described as a patchwork. They’ve allowed an MLB worst 676 runs this season. Baltimore has given up 218 home runs over 111 games, putting them on pace for 318 for the entire season, which would shatter the MLB record.

Injury Report

LHP Josh Rogers and RHP Alex Cobb are both out for the season. DH Mark Trumbo is still recovering from knee surgery and is out indefinitely.

OF Dwight Smith Jr. is on the 10-day IL with a calf strain while LHP John Means, on the IL with rotation cuff inflammation, is scheduled to be activated to start Wednesday.

(MLB Gifs)

Player Spotlight: Gleyber Torres

There are some offensive players having good seasons for the Orioles — Trey Mancini is as powerful as the last few seasons and is taking more walks now — but let’s talk about the best player to rule Camden Yards this season, Gleyber freaking Torres. Yes, even if he may not play Monday after leaving Sunday’s game early.

The 22-year-old infielder owned the Orioles on a Babe Ruthian level in the first 12 meetings of the season. In those games (11 starts), Torres sports an otherworldy .465/.540/1.233 batting line with 10 home runs, 13 RBI, 7 BB and 8 K. He has a hit in all 12 games.

Torres has five multi-homer games this season and four have come against Baltimore. He’s been even better at Oriole Park, batting .522 with seven homers and more walks than strikeouts. The two-time All-Star has a home run in four of his six starts in Baltimore this season.

Potential Lineup

  1. Jonathan Villar, 2B (.260/.326/.419, 96 wRC+)
  2. Trey Mancini, RF (.280/.341/.539, 127 wRC+)
  3. Anthony Santander, LF (.296/.344/.485, 116 wRC+)
  4. Renato Nunez, DH (.245/.315/.488, 108 wRC+)
  5. Pedro Severino, C (.271/.346/.457, 112 wRC+)
  6. Hanser Alberto, 3B (.314/.335/.405, 95 wRC+)
  7. Chris Davis, 1B (.184/.270/.324, 57 wRC+)
  8. Steve Wilkerson, CF (.228/.278/.399, 75 wRC+)
  9. Richie Martin, SS (.191/.249/.300, 44 wRC+)

Right now, they have a bench of just two players: Catcher Chance Sisco (99 wRC+) and utility man Jace Peterson (0 wRC+ in 39 PA). However, they sent down a reliever after Sunday, so they may add a bench bat before the series.

Pitching Matchups

Monday (7:05 PM ET) Masahiro Tanaka (vs. Orioles) vs. Gabriel Ynoa (vs. Yankees)

The Orioles’ swingman, Ynoa, will take the start after six straight impressive outings. The right-hander has appeared in six games since July 17 and has a 1.26 ERA with a .157/.204/.255 batting line against in that span. However, he hasn’t started a game since June 30 nor pitched more than 3 IP since July 17.

Ynoa, for the season, has a 5.55 ERA with a similar FIP (5.47) and xFIP (5.46). He boasts a career-low strikeout rate of 14.3 percent, which ranks in the bottom five percent of baseball and he’s allowed 14 home runs in just 71.1 IP.

The right-hander attacks with a 93-mph four-seamer and sinker, mixing in a slider and changeup. The slider has been his best pitch while 11 of his 14 homers have come on versions of his fastball.

Ynoa (Baseball Savant)

Tuesday (7:05 PM ET) TBD vs. Asher Wojciechowski (vs. Yankees)

Wojciechowski was grabbed off the scrap heap from the Indians earlier this season and has given the O’s a few great starts, including one of their best this season. On July 21, he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Red Sox en route to a 5-0 win. He followed that up with seven innings of two-run ball.

However, the right-hander allowed four runs — two homers — and didn’t make it out of the fifth inning against the Blue Jays last time out before exiting with hip soreness. He should be good for this start, but his previous injury should be kept in mind.

Wojciechowski is a fly-ball pitcher and he’s been hit hard this season, allowing a 42.5 percent of balls in play to be hard hit. He’s gotten plenty of strikeouts by utilizing his low-80s curve and mid-80s slider, though he throws his fastball more than 50 percent of the time.

Wojciechowski (Baseball Savant)

Wednesday (7:05 PM ET) James Paxton (vs. Orioles) vs. John Means (vs. Yankees)

The Yankees haven’t seen Means since the season’s opening week, when he shut down the Yankees and earned one of Baltimore’s two wins against New York. That started him on a course towards becoming the O’s lone All-Star rep with a 3.12 ERA over 98 innings this year.

The left-hander has been out since July 24 with rotator cuff inflammation. In four starts in July, he allowed six home runs, yet put together two quality starts anyway.

He butters his bread with a fastball-changeup combo before occasionally going to his slider. The changeup is what befuddled the Yankees in March, though hitters have eight home runs against it this year. It allows him to play off a low-90s fastball as he gets 11 mph of separation on the two pitches.

Means (Baseball Savant)

Bullpen Status

The Orioles kept veteran Mychal Givens at the deadline, so he still sits near the back-end of their bullpen with an impressive strikeout rate and too many homers. Joining him is RHP Shawn Armstrong and LHP Paul Fry, each of whom have earned saves in recent games. Right-hander Miguel Castro has had good outings against the Yankees before and comes in with a 4.96 ERA.

Lefty Richard Bleier has a 6.34 ERA this season over 33 games. RHP Jimmy Yacabonis worked as an opener yesterday but can give the O’s length, as can RHP David Hess. RHP Branden Kline could also see work.

Yankees Connections

Jace Peterson spent all of a few days with the Yankees last season while RHPs Cody Carroll, Dillon Tate and Josh Rogers, all on the 40-man but not on the current roster, were traded for Zack Britton last year.

Bleier gave the Yankees 23 good innings in 2016 before they traded him for cash the following spring.