Opposite dugout: Powerful Yankees have struggled against Orioles

yankees-logo.jpgManager: Aaron Boone (1st season)

Record: 67-37

Last 10 games: 5-5

Who to watch: 3B Miguel Andújar (.293 with 12 HR, 43 RBIs), SS Gleyber Torres (.286/.335/.534 with 26 HR, 61 RBIs), DH Giancarlo Stanton (242 HR, 64 RBIs), RHP Masahiro Tanaka (8-2, 4.09 ERA), LHP Aroldis Chapman (1.93 ERA, 28 saves)

Season series vs. Orioles: 5-5

Pitching probables:

July 31: RHP Yefry Ramírez (1-3) vs. RHP Masahiro Tanaka (8-2), 7:05 p.m., MASN
Aug. 1: RHP Alex Cobb (2-14) vs. RHP Sonny Gray (8-7), 1:05 p.m., MASN

Inside the Yankees:

Among the great oddities in baseball this season is how the Orioles, who can’t seem to beat anyone with any regularity, have managed to post a 5-5 record against the powerful Yankees. If the Bronx Bombers continue to play as they have, and can’t overtake the first-place Red Sox in the American League East, it’s entirely possible that they could be a 100-win team playing in the wild card game. They’ve been spinning their wheels lately, not really gaining any ground on the Red Sox, and have bolstered their pitching staff by trading for Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ, Twins starter Lance Lynn and Orioles reliever Zach Britton.

The Yankees lead the major leagues in home runs (167) and slugging percentage (.459), are second in total bases (1,636) and third in runs (540). That’s enough offense to withstand the loss of slugging right fielder Aaron Judge, who is out for several weeks with a chip fracture on his right wrist. Designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton has hit 24 home runs and leads the Yankees with 64 RBIs. New York is asking a lot of a pair of youngsters in the infield. Third baseman Miguel Andújar is hitting .293 and has chipped in 12 homers, while second baseman Gleyber Torres is slashing .286/.335/.534 with 26 homers and 61 RBIs. Shortstop Didi Gregorius has cooled off after an insane April, but still has 18 homers and 59 RBIs. Seven Yankees have reached double figures in home runs, and first baseman Greg Bird, who has hit .308 in his last 18 games, is one away from joining them.

Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, Tuesday’s starter, is back from a pair of wonky hamstrings that landed him on the disabled list. He’s won six straight decisions over a span of 12 starts since late April. Tanaka is 3-3 with a 4.04 ERA in 11 lifetime starts against the Orioles, and 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in five Camden Yards starts. Righty Sonny Gray will start Wednesday afternoon and has been knocked around at times this year, but he’s won all three of his starts against the Orioles. Gray has on his last three starts, but has not worked more than 6 2/3 innings since June 6.

Even with the acquisition of Britton, hard-throwing lefty Aroldis Chapman remains the Yankees closer, and with good reason: He’s got a 1.93 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and has struck out 73 in 42 innings. But Chapman has been experiencing some tendinitis in his knee, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Britton get a save opportunity against his former teammates.

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