The Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees open a three-game series at Yankee Stadium this Monday night, so let’s take a closer look at this American League East showdown, as the hosts have a lot at stake.

New York is chasing the wild card, and the Yankees were two and a half games behind the Oakland Athletics on Sunday. The Orioles, on the other side, are the worst team in the AL East by far, so they opened as huge underdogs for Monday’s clash on Bovada Sportsbook

The O’s are playing above expectations in the second half of the season

Excluding their Sunday afternoon’s game at the Detroit Tigers, the Baltimore Orioles have won nine of their 14 post-All-Star contests while scoring 66 runs in the process. On the pitching side of things, the O’s have recorded a 4.33 ERA, but they are still sporting the highest ERA in baseball in 2021 (5.42).

Jorge Lopez will toe the slab Monday, and he’s 2-12 with an awful 6.19 ERA and 1.68 WHIP in 21 starts this term. The 28-year-old righty has struggled mightily for most of the season, posting a 4.98 FIP and a 90/43 K/BB ratio across 96 innings of work.

https://twitter.com/Orioles/status/1421866148577038341

The Orioles are undefeated in Jorge Lopez’s previous three starts, but in his five outings in July, the right-hander has allowed 16 earned runs on 33 hits and ten walks across just 20 innings of work. Lopez is 0-2 with an 8.44 ERA and 1.87 WHIP in three starts (10.2 innings) against the Yankees in 2021.

The Yanks start a seven-game homestand

The New York Yankees desperately need to start winning games in sequences. They’ll play the Orioles and Mariners at home in the next seven days, so it’s a big week for the Yanks, who’s been pretty busy on the trade deadline.

Anthony Rizzo smacked a home run in each of his first two appearances as a Yankee, and New York beat the Marlins on the road, 3-1 and 4-2, looking to sweep a three-game interleague series on Sunday afternoon. Excluding that closing contest in Miami, the Yankees have scored just 49 runs over their last 13 outings while slashing .225/.329/.377.

https://twitter.com/Yankees/status/1421910089695436803

Andrew Heaney will make his Yankees debut Monday against the Orioles, and the 30-year-old lefty is 6-7 with a pedestrian 5.27 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 18 starts with the Los Angeles Angels this season. Heaney is 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in three career starts against Baltimore (16.2 innings pitched), but he hasn’t met the Orioles since 2018.

Trends:

Baltimore:

  • 2-11 in Jorge Lopez’s last 13 starts on the road
  • 2-8 in the last ten road games against the AL East

New York:

  • 5-2 in the last seven games overall
  • 12-1 in the last 13 home tilts against Baltimore

Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees Pick:

The Yankees acquired Andrew Heaney, hoping that the southpaw will improve in the pitcher-friendly environment, though they desperately needed an addition to their rotation that has struggled with injuries thus far. Anyway, the Yankees have to improve at the plate, and there’s no better opportunity than a matchup with the Orioles pitching staff.

New York has won 12 of its last 13 home encounters with Baltimore, and the Yankees are 6-4 against the O’s in 2021. If they want to make it to the playoffs, the Bombers will have to find their groove. I’m backing them to hit well against Baltimore in this one.

The Total:

The Orioles bullpen has improved a lot since the All-Star, posting a decent 3.66 ERA and 3.93 FIP. On the other side, the Yanks ‘pen has struggled, registering a 4.91 ERA and 4.52 FIP. I’m expecting the Yankees relievers to improve, but the Orioles could easily score a few runs off Andrew Heaney.

Baltimore is slashing .269/.326/.437 against the left-handed starting pitchers, and Heaney has allowed three or more runs in each but one of his last seven starts. On the other side, the Yankees should torture Jorge Lopez, so I’m taking the over despite a tricky line at 9.5 runs.