The Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees suit up for the fourth and final meeting of this critical American League East battle. The Yankees need to play catch up, and the last three days played into those plays. The Yanks will go for the sweep, after defeating the Orioles in their previous three matchups. They were able to blank the O’s by a score of 5-0 yesterday. After topping the Rays back-to-back in their first appearances after the All-Star Break, the Orioles are now in danger of squandering four games in a row away against the Yankees. It’s tight quarters in this division, with the Red Sox up by 0.5 games on the Orioles, followed by the Blue Jays who are 1 game back. The Yankees have helped their cause these last few days, coming within 6 games of the first place Red Sox.
Despite the success in this series for the Yankees, they are still stuck in irrelevant land. All indications show that this is a race between the Red Sox, Orioles, and Blue Jays. Way back in the pack are the Rays, who are 17 games back. Any predictions of them of being the surprise team of 2016 are down the tubes. For the Yankees to make a run at the top guns in the division, it’s going to start and end with CC Sabathia. Okay, okay there is a little more that goes into it, but they’re going to need him to play like he did early on this season. Sabathia had a surprising start to this season, after it appeared his career was done.
Thanks to that nice run, CC has posted an adequate ERA of 3.94. For Sabathia, that is a major improvement to where we anticipated his career going this year. He’ll draw Chris Tillman on the other side, representing the Orioles. It would be a massive momentum boost for the Yankees if they can knock the O’s off again secure the sweep. We’ll see how it unfolds early Thursday afternoon.
Baltimore Orioles vs. N.Y. Yankees
Chris Tillman (13-2, 3.29 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (5-7, 3.94 ERA)
If you were to tell me Sabathia would have an ERA under 4.00 at this point, I’d snap back that you’re crazy. I don’t think anybody would have been brave enough to predict this feat from the veteran. However, how long for is he going to hold it there? Ten starts ago, Sabathia had a 2.83 ERA, five starts ago it was at 2.20. That is mightily impressive for him, but as you can see, that number has slipped all the way back to 3.94. It has to be frustrating for him. In his last three starts, he’s posted an ERA of 7.41 with a 1.82 WHIP. Note that Sabathia hasn’t allowed less than 5 runs since June 16th, which was six starts ago.
Tillman has been looking great in Baltimore this season. The Orioles have been getting plenty of productive miles out of him. He’s led the Orioles to the top of the division, and are in desperate need of him preventing a sweep at the hands of the Yankees this afternoon. Tillman has been frustrating plenty of batters lately, posting a 1.29 ERA in his last three starts. He has given up no more than 1 run per game in his past three appearances. The Yankees bid for a sweep gets stopped this afternoon. Tillman and the Orioles salvage the series in New York with a win against the Yankees on Thursday afternoon.
PICK: ORIOLES TO WIN -104