It’s opening day and the Orioles play the New York Yankees in the Bronx this afternoon to begin the 2019 season. Today the Orioles begin their 66th season in Baltimore while the Yankees play their 117th home opener.
The Orioles have won the last three opening days with walk-off wins, the last two years in extra innings. Baltimore has won eight openers in a row since a last loss in 2010. The Orioles are 15-3 in their last 18 openers and 43-22 all-time on opening day. The Orioles are 3-1 on opening days against the Yankees.
Adam Jones hit a walk-off homer to start the 11th inning last year as the Orioles beat the Twins 3-2. But the season-opening win was followed by five straight losses. Then the Orioles were 5-14 after 19 games and 8-20 by the end of April. With Boston going 21-7 last April, at that point the Orioles were already 13 games out of first place.
This is the first time since 2009 that the Orioles are playing the Yankees on opening day. That day Jeremy Guthrie beat CC Sabathia, 10-5. The top three in the Baltimore order - Brian Roberts, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis - combined to go 8-for-11 with seven runs and four RBIs.
The last time the Orioles opened in the Bronx it was 1962, and Baltimore’s Billy Hoeft started against lefty Whitey Ford. O’s shortstop Jerry Adair went 3-for-3 with three RBIs, but New York won 7-6.
Right-hander Andrew Cashner (4-15, 5.29 ERA) will get the start against New York right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (12-6, 3.75 ERA) this afternoon.
Cashner is making his second opening day start. In 2014 he pitched San Diego past the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1. Over six innings and 96 pitches he gave up four hits and one run.
In seven career starts against the Yankees, Cashner is 2-3 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.147 WHIP. He went 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA in four starts last year. In his lone career start at Yankee Stadium, last April 5, he was the winning pitcher by a 5-2 score. Over six innings he gave up just two hits and one run.
Tanaka went 2-1 with a 4.09 ERA last year versus the Orioles. In 22 innings he allowed five homers with five walks and 27 strikeouts. In 12 career starts, he is 4-3 with a 3.72 ERA and 1.190 WHIP against Baltimore.
He started on opening day for New York for three straight seasons from 2015-2017. The Yankees lost all those games and Tanaka went 0-3 with a 9.49 ERA in the three games. In his last start in an opener, in 2017 at Tampa Bay, he gave up eight hits and seven runs over 2 2/3 innings.
The Orioles have 11 players making their first career opening day roster. They are pitchers Paul Fry, David Hess, John Means and Jimmy Yacabonis, catcher Pedro Severino, infielders Drew Jackson, Richie Martin, Renato Núñez and Rio Ruiz and outfielders Cedric Mullins and Dwight Smith Jr.
As for the lineup, Chris Davis is batting seventh today. He made 18 starts batting seventh last season and had 72 plate appearances last year in that spot in the order. He hit seventh 13.8 percent of the time. Davis is 3-for-37 in his career on opening day with one homer, and that was in 2013.