Opposite dugout: Is a division crown out of reach for the Yankees?

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

Record: 79-47

Last 10 games: 6-4

Who to watch: DH Giancarlo Stanton (.286 with 32 HR, 81 RBIs); 3B Miguel Andújar (.295, 130 hits); 2B Gleyber Torres (.264, 18 HR); LF Brett Gardner (104 hits, 13 SB); LHP J.A. Happ (14-6, 3.84 ERA); RHP Luis Severino (16-6, 3.28 ERA); RHP David Robertson (3.11 ERA, 3 saves)

Season series vs. Orioles: 6-6

Pitching probables:

Aug. 24: LHP CC Sabathia (7-4) vs. RHP Alex Cobb (4-15); 7:05 p.m., MASN
Aug. 25: LHP J.A. Happ (14-6) vs. RHP Yefry Ramírez (1-5); 1 p.m., MASN
Aug. 25: TBA vs. TBA, 7 p.m., MASN
Aug. 26: RHP Luis Severino (16-6) vs. RHP Andrew Cashner (4-11); 8 p.m., ESPN

Inside the Yankees:

As we near the final month of baseball's regular season, the Yankees find themselves in second place in the American League East, owners of the league's top wild card spot. There's still time for the Bronx Bombers to capture their first division title since 2012. But unless a certain squad in Boston is feasting on a steady diet of chicken and beer, it seems the boys in New York will be hosting - or at least playing in - the wild card round. There are a few reasons you can point to when looking at why the Yankees haven't been able to climb on top of the division. Sure, this year's club has been hit with a rash of injuries, including some to its star players. But don't forget the team's record this season against the Orioles. New York is just 6-6 against Baltimore this year, and will look to have more success against the struggling Birds.

To get a sense of the Yankees' offense, let's revisit that injury bug we mentioned earlier. Right now, Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Jacoby Ellsbury and Gary Sánchez are all on the disabled list, meaning reserves have had to pick up the slack. All of these injuries has put added pressure on slugger Giancarlo Stanton. His first season in New York didn't get off to the most promising start, but the reigning National League Most Valuable Player has still rattled off a team-leading 32 home runs and 81 RBIs. Then there is rookie second baseman Gleyber Torres. The 21-year-old made the All-Star team this season, and has tallied 82 hits in 88 games. Keep an eye on third baseman Miguel Andújar, too. Just like Torres, Andújar has enjoyed a stellar rookie campaign, hitting .295 with 130 hits and 20 home runs.

CC Sabathia is expected to be activated on the DL to start Friday night following a brief stint with right knee inflammation. He'll look to win just his second start since July 4, and will hope to rebound from his most recent start against the Orioles. On July 9, Sabathia allowed five earned runs on seven hits in a loss at Camden Yards. Lefty J.A. Happ will start Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader for the Yankees. Happ is just 6-6 in 17 career starts against the Orioles, having spent six seasons with the Blue Jays - among other stops - before being traded to the Yankees at this year's Trade Deadline. A change of scenery appears to have done Happ a world of good, though. Since joining the Yankees, he is 4-0 with a 2.22 ERA. While it's unknown who will start Game 2 of the doubleheader, it will be Luis Severino taking the hill for the Yankees in Sunday's series finale. Severino finished third in AL Cy Young Award voting a season ago, and has followed it up nicely this year. He is 16-6 with a 3.28 ERA, yet, oddly enough, Sunday will be his first start against the Orioles this season.

In the bullpen, closer Aroldis Chapman just landed on the DL with left knee tendinitis, so his 31 saves and rocket-throwing arm are on the mend. In the meantime, the Yanks have a host of outstanding relievers, including Chad Green, David Robertson and former Oriole Zach Britton.

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