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On Thursday night, the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees will conclude their three-game series from the Bronx. New York has won two of the first three games in this series, though the Orioles enter this series finale with some momentum after winning their most recent meeting on Wednesday. Going into this contest, the question is which starting pitcher will hold up the best to the scrutiny from the opposing batting order.
The Baltimore Orioles stopped the bleeding in the Bronx on Wednesday night when they beat the New York Yankees to pull within one game of securing a four-game split. They finally held the Yankees offense in check in that game, limiting them to just three runs in a 6-3 victory. On Thursday, the Orioles will look to hold the Yankees in check once again, as they send Kyle Bradish to the mound.
Bradish has had an up-and-down year so far, going 4-4 with an ERA of 3.58, but his performances have been better than his record would indicate. He is coming off of a tough-luck loss to the Minnesota Twins, where he allowed just one run in six innings, but still got the loss as the Orioles were shut out for that game. Here, he will hope for more run support so that he can get back into the win column.
Offensively, the Orioles should have the edge over the Yankees in this game, as they are ahead of the Yankees in every major statistical category except for home runs. But the Orioles need to be more consistent with their bats, as we saw earlier in this series. On Monday, they took a 3-0 lead but did not score again in what turned out to be a 6-3 loss, and that cannot happen again with Bradish likely to put them in a winning position.
The New York Yankees are in third place in the AL East, but they are playing some better baseball of late. New York is nine games above .500 on the season and has a chance to move to 10 games over that mark with a win tonight over the Orioles. To get that win, they will need Luis Severino to pick up his level on the mound, and not let the potent offense of the Orioles get rolling early.
Severino is just 1-3 so far this season with a bloated ERA of 6.30, but it is his home run numbers that are the real concern. Severino has allowed 10 home runs in just 40 innings of work on the season, an average of one every four innings. Against a dangerous Orioles lineup, we could see that average get even worse, which could cost the Yankees the chance to win this series.
With only one series left until the All-Star break, this game is of vital importance to New York. A chance to be 10 games over .500 going into the break is not one to miss out on, especially with so much catching up to do at the top of the AL East. If the Yankees fumble this opportunity, it could be time for them to focus entirely on the Wild Card race in the second half of the season.
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Jay Sanin is a sports bettor and writer from New York. He has been handicapping since the moment he was old enough to gamble legally, with his specialties being niche sports like the WNBA and XFL. He’s been told he has a voice for radio. He also has a face for radio.More info on Jay Sanin
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