Opposite dugout: Yankees make first trip to Baltimore with offensive woes

yankees-logo.jpgManager: Joe Girardi (9th season)

Record: 8-15

Last 10 games: 3-7

Who to watch: 2B Starlin Castro (.314/.352/.500 with 12 RBIs), C Brian McCann (.262/.360/.415), DH Alex Rodriguez (5 HR, 12 RBIs), RHP Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 2.87), LHP Andrew Miller (0.00 ERA with 5 saves)

Season series vs. Orioles: First meeting (9-10 in 2015)

Pitching probables:

May 3: RHP Luis Severino vs. RHP Chris Tillman, 7:05 p.m., MASN
May 4: LHP CC Sabathia vs. Tyler Wilson, 7:05 p.m., MASN
May 5: RHP Masahiro Tanaka vs. Kevin Gausman, 7:05 p.m., MASN

Inside the Yankees:

The Bronx Bombers aren't exactly bombing to start this season. Or maybe, they are bombing? Depends on your definition, but what I mean to say is the Yankees aren't hitting very well in 2016, not even home runs. New York ranks just 10th in the American League with 23 bombs, compared to the Orioles' league-leading 34 longballs. Also, the Yankees' slash line of .234/.305/.365 ranks outside the top 10 in the AL.

The Yankees are riding a five-game losing streak into Camden Yards for this week's three-game set. Over that losing streak, the Yankees have been outscored 33-12 combined over two games against the Rangers and a three-game sweep at the hands of the Red Sox. The offensive struggles can also be attributed to the Yanks having only won two series so far this season.

And it's not just the struggles of a handful of players, it's up and down the lineup. The one bright spot would be second baseman Starlin Castro, who is slashing .314/.352/.500 with three home runs and tied for the team lead with 12 RBIs. The next highest batting average is catcher Brian McCann's .262. Outfielders Carlos Beltran (.250), Jacoby Ellsbury (.247) and Brett Gardner (.243) are next in terms of batting average but have combined for just seven home runs and 23 RBIs.

Meanwhile, the Yankees infield is faring much worse. Maryland native first baseman Mark Teixeira is batting just .225, with shortstop Didi Gregorius hitting .221. Designated hitter Alex Rodriguez is hitting a lowly .203 but has knocked a team-leading five home runs with 12 RBIs. And to wrap it all up, third baseman Chase Headley hasn't been able to do much at all at the plate with a .156 average, no home runs and just two RBIs.

But to be fair, it's not like the Yankees' pitching staff has been lights out with no offensive help. No one on the staff has multiple wins yet, which isn't really a surprise as the team doesn't even have double-digit wins yet. Second-year right-hander Luis Severino takes the mound tonight for the opener. He'll be looking for his first win of the season, with a 0-3 record and 6.86 REA over his first four starts. He has only faced the Orioles once in his career, pitching seven innings and giving up five hits and three runs last Oct. 3. He gave up homers to Nolan Reimold and Manny Machado in that outing. Lefty CC Sabathia is expected to start tomorrow night's game, bringing his 1-2 record and 5.06 ERA to Camden Yards. Sabathia was 0-1 with a 4.86 ERA over three starts against the Birds last year, but is 18-7 with a 3.45 ERA in 33 starts against the O's in his career. Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka should be starting Thursday night's finale, posting a Yankees staff-best 1-0 record and 2.87 ERA. He was 1-0 with a 2.30 ERA in two starts against the Orioles last season, while 1-1 with a 3.03 ERA in four career starts against Baltimore.

If the Yankees manage to get a lead late in the game, they have two of the best relief pitchers to count on to close out the game. Right-hander Dellin Betances, who took over the closing duties for a part of last year, didn't give up a run over his first nine outings, but he's given up runs in each of his last three for an ERA of 3.09. Former Oriole Andrew Miller is back as the Yankees closer and has not allowed a run in 10 innings with five saves. But these two can't do what they do best if they don't have a lead to protect.

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