As they try to make the best of a bad situation, the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles will wrap up their improvised two-game series Thursday night in Baltimore. The Yankees are heavily favored with a money line of -210 compared to Baltimore’s +180.
The Yankees took Wednesday’s game against the Orioles 9-3 behind another stellar outing from Gerrit Cole. Of course, thanks to their games on Monday and Tuesday being postponed, the win brought the Yankees to just 3-1 on the season. However, they’ve been impressive early in the season.
Meanwhile, the Orioles got off to a surprising 2-1 start this year before their games against the Marlins were postponed. Alas, after wrapping up this two-game series with the Yankees, Baltimore hosts the Rays over the weekend, so the Orioles have a lot of challenging games on the horizon.
Lefty John Means will take the mound for Baltimore on Thursday. He emerged as the team’s ace last season, going 12-11 with a 3.60 ERA.
He was initially scheduled to be Baltimore’s opening day starter, only to be scratched because of arm fatigue. Less than a week later, Means is ready to make his 2020 debut.
Of course, making his first start of the year against the Yankees won’t be easy for Means. The lefty made two starts and a few relief appearances against the Bronx Bombers and got hit around a little bit. The Yankees are likely to throw a right-hand heavy lineup at him, which won’t be easy for the young lefty.
Despite sitting for a couple of days, the Yankees had no trouble getting their offense in gear on Wednesday night. D.J. LeMaheiu led the way with four hits, including one of three home runs the Yankees hit while scoring nine runs.
The Yankees will send their lefty to the mound on Thursday, as JA Happ makes his first start of 2020. The 37-year-old Happ is primarily a back-end starter at this point in his career.
He posted a 4.91 ERA in 2019 over 30 starts and one relief appearance. However, he still managed to go 12-8 and is capable of keeping the Yankees in a game, especially if he gets a little run support.
It’s worth noting that Happ has had mixed results against some of Baltimore’s young hitters. Slugger Renato Nunez is 11 for 19 with four home runs in his career against Happ.
Hanser Alberto is 6 for 13 with three extra-base hits while Jose Iglesias is 4 for 11 with a pair of doubles against the lefties. However, the Orioles haven’t received much production from their lineup this year outside of the trio of Nunez, Alberto, and Iglesias.
It’s a little tempting to take a chance on the Orioles in this game. There would be a decent payoff with a money line of +180, especially since a few of their hitters have owned Happ. However, coming off a period of dead arm, there are concerns about Means traversing New York’s lineup of heavy hitters.
Play it safe and bet on the Yankees to beat the Orioles on Thursday.
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