Orioles head north for an AL East showdown in the Bronx

For the Orioles, Monday had to be a glorious day. After playing 17 games in 17 days – and going 12-5 versus the Rays, Jays, Rays, Braves and Phillies – they got the day off.

A chance, finally to rest and briefly regroup.

But the intensity returns quickly as tonight the Orioles begin a three-game series in the Bronx against the first-place New York Yankees.

The Orioles (47-24) and the Yankees (50-24) are the two top teams currently in the American League. Atop the East, New York holds a lead by 1.5 games.

The clubs have been eyeing each other all year. New York has gone 30-11 since they lost three of four at Camden Yards in a series that ended May 2. The next day they began the 30-11 run but could not shake a Baltimore team that has gone 27-13 in that time.

Friday night the O’s suffered a very tough extra innings loss to Philadelphia and fell 3.5 games back. But then the Orioles won the last two against Philly while New York was losing two at Boston. For a while it seemed like New York won every night then suddenly and quickly ahead of this series the O's gained two games.

It is hard to separate these teams by much in the standings and the same is true on the stat sheet.

The Orioles are first in the league in runs per game at 5.13 and homers with 114. The Yankees are second at 5.05 and 110. The Yankees rank first in the league in team OPS with Baltimore second at .767 to .761.

New York has the No. 1 AL team ERA at 3.02 with the Orioles second at 3.07. New York is tops in rotation ERA too with Baltimore second, 2.90 to 2.99. The O’s rank second in bullpen ERA with New York third at 3.20 to 3.24.

All these stats are pretty close. Not much to separate the teams. Even in the defensive metric, Outs Above Average, the teams are both a plus-10 to tie for fourth-best in the AL.

Of course, head to head this year, the Orioles are 3-1 against New York and outscored them 13-6 in the earlier series at Oriole Park.

For what it is worth, the Orioles are 3-0-1 in the previous four series against the Yankees, going 9-5 in games in that time. They lost their first series of last year when they hosted the Yankees in early April. Since then, they went 2-1, 2-2, 2-1 and 3-1 in four series.

The Orioles’ streak of 21 straight series in the AL East without losing one is riding this week in the Bronx. 

The Yankees are the last AL East team to take a series from the Orioles in that set from April 7-9, 2023. Since then, Baltimore has won 15 and tied six division series, going 47-22 (.681) in the games in those 21 series.

This year the Orioles easily have the best record among AL East teams in AL East games:

.739 – Baltimore (17-6)
.474 – New York (9-10), Toronto (9-10)
.438 – Boston (7-9)
.370 – Tampa Bay (10-17)

This season the Orioles are 5-0-2 in division series, they have tied both series with Toronto and are 3-3 versus the Blue Jays. They are 14-3 against the three other clubs, going 6-1 versus Tampa Bay, 5-1 against Boston and 3-1 against New York.

A team playing .739 ball over a full year, as the O's are this season against the AL East, would win 120 games.

The pitching matchups in the Bronx:

Tuesday: RHP Albert Suárez (3-0, 1.61 ERA) vs. LHP Nestor Cortes (3-5, 3.59 ERA).

Wednesday: LHP Cade Povich (0-1, 4.76 ERA) vs. RHP Gerrit Cole (season debut).

Thursday: LHP Cole Irvin (6-3, 3.03 ERA) vs. RHP Luis Gil (9-1, 2.03 ERA).

Cortes is 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA in his career versus the Orioles, but they did get four runs in six innings off him April 30 in Baltimore. Suarez is 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA in his seven starts. He has an ERA of 1.08 over his past nine games. Does he come up big yet again for the Birds?

Wednesday the rookie Povich faces Cole, the 2023 AL Cy Young Award winner when he went 15-4 with a 2.63 ERA. Since late March he has been on the IL with right elbow inflammation. In his most recent minor league rehab start for Triple-A Scranton on Friday, he fanned 10 over 4 1/3 innings allowing one unearned run.

Thursday, can Irvin keep up his great season for the Orioles as he faces Gil who is having a fantastic year for New York? He leads the AL in both ERA and opponent batting average and his strong year includes a 6 1/3 innings scoreless outing against the Orioles on May 1. 



Orioles lineup vs. Yankees in first game of series
Leftovers for breakfast

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