O's game blog: O's are 7-2 in last nine AL East games as Yankees series begins

The Orioles have won three straight American League East series, going 7-2 against Boston, Tampa Bay and Toronto. That mark will get challenged tonight as they open a three-game series in the Bronx against the New York Yankees. New York has been playing well lately, and has the best record in the majors since May 2.

The Yankees start right-hander Gerrit Cole (5-0, 2.01 ERA) tonight with lefty Nestor Cortes (4-2, 5.21) on tap tomorrow, so a real challenge is at hand for the surging Orioles.

But the Birds (31-16), who are three games behind Tampa Bay for both the best record in the majors and for first in the AL East, are coming off their impressive three-game sweep of Toronto. Playing in a ballpark where they went 0-10 in 2018, they swept that three-game series, outscoring the Blue Jays 20-10 over 30 innings of baseball in downtown Toronto.

On the year, the Orioles have the second-best record when AL East teams play each other:

.611 – Tampa Bay (11-7)

.600 – Orioles (9-6)

.529 – New York (9-8)

.500 – Boston (7-7)

.385 – Toronto (5-13)

The Orioles put their strong 13-2 record in series openers on the line tonight, and they are 8-0 in road series openers. Per Stats Perform, that is the longest streak to begin a season since the 1972 Detroit Tigers started 9-0.

Since they scored just eight runs in the three-game series with Pittsburgh – even though they won two of three – the Birds have scored 40 runs the last seven games. They are scoring 5.11 runs per game to rank fourth-best in the AL. In the series at Toronto they produced 20 runs on 31 hits with six doubles, a triple and five homers while going 11-for-34 with runners in scoring position.

The Orioles begin this series three games back of division-leading Tampa Bay, and are three games up on third-place New York, 5.5 games up on fourth-place Boston and 6.5 up on last-place Toronto.

The Orioles have won three in a row, five of six, nine of 12, 14 of 21 and 22 of their past 31 games. Their .660 win percentage would produce 107 wins over the full season of 162 games.

The Orioles are 16-8 in road games and 6-2 in road series. They have lost road series to Atlanta and Boston.

The Yankees (29-20) have won four in a row, six of seven and 14 of their past 19 (.737). They are 16-10 at home. New York has scored 93 runs the past 15 games, averaging 6.2 runs per game in that span. They have also hit 22 homers the last 10 games and 33 in the past 15.

Slugger Aaron Judge is a hitter rolling right now. He went 7-for-12 with two homers his last three games. Over his last eight games, he is 14-for-31 with two doubles, seven homers and 16 RBIs. In that span he is batting .452 with an OPS of 1.758. And here is a strange stat: Judge has an OPS of .824 at home, but 1.345 on the road.

Right-hander Kyle Bradish (2-1, 3.90 ERA) gets tonight’s start for the Orioles, and he has allowed three runs or less in four consecutive starts, going 1-0 with a 2.82 ERA in that span. Over his past two starts against Pittsburgh and the Los Angeles Angels, he has allowed just one earned run and seven hits in 12 2/3 innings. He has walked one and fanned 11 in those games, allowing a .405 OPS.

In the first inning of his 2023 starts, Bradish has an ERA of 0.00 and has allowed just one hit in 21 at-bats.

But the right-hander does not have a win in 15 career AL East starts. In those games, per Stats Perform, he is 0-8 with a 7.91 ERA and 1.91 WHIP.

Cole starts for the Yankees, and has allowed two earned runs or less in nine of his 10 starts with the Yankees, going 8-2 when he pitches this year with losses to the Rays and Jays. Cole has seven quality starts and is 3-0 with a 1.18 ERA in six home games. 

But in three 2022 starts versus the Orioles, he went 1-2 with a 4.29 ERA. In those three games last season, Austin Hays went 5-for-10 with three doubles and three RBIs and Cedric Mullins was 4-for-10. Adam Frazier, not then an Oriole of course, went 3-for-6 against him last season.

In 10 career starts versus the Orioles, Cole is 5-3 with a 2.33 ERA and 0.929 WHIP.


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