The Yankees swept the Orioles in the four-game series and improved to 32-17 on the season. They were able to take advantage of poor Oriole pitching to score 34 runs in the series, led by Gleyber Torres who hit 4 home runs. They will look to continue their hot offensive stretch as they head to Kansas City where they will face the Royals in a three-game set.
Game 1: Friday 8:15 PM
Chad Green (0-2; 12.41 ERA) vs Jakob Junis (3-5; 5.69 ERA)
The Yankees will turn to Chad Green as an “opener in game one of the series. It will be his second time opening a game for the Yankees in 2019. In his first game he allowed two runs in 1.2 innings against the Rays. The Yankees have not confirmed who will follow Chad Green, but the expectation is that Nestor Cortes Jr. will pitch the middle innings. The Royals will counter with Jakob Junis who has struggled mightily this season. His most recent start was no different, a 7 inning 5 run performance.
Chad Green has faced the Royals 7 times in his career, all in relief. In 6.1 innings prior to 2019, he had only allowed 1 run. However, he has given up 3 runs in 1 combined inning over 2 appearances in 2019. In 19 at bats, the Royals are hitting .421 against Green with a double and a home run. Although it is an extremely small sample size, these numbers are definitely concerning. Jakob Junis is 1-3 in his career against the Yankees with a 6.43 ERA. In 2019, he is 0-1 after allowing 5 runs in 5.1 innings. He has struggled against Gleyber Torres and Aaron Hicks, allowing Torres to reach in 4 of his 8 plate appearances, while allowing Hicks to reach in all 6 of his plate appearances.
Game 2: Saturday 2:15 PM
J.A. Happ (3-3; 5.16 ERA) vs Danny Duffy (3-1; 3.45 ERA)
Game two of the series is a matchup of J.A. Happ and Danny Duffy. Happ is coming off another terrible start, one in which he gave up 6 runs in 3.2 innings to the Baltimore Orioles, a team he has struggled with all season. Duffy is coming off his best start of the season, a 6 innings, 1 run performance where he earned the win.
J.A. Happ is 4-3 with a 4.13 ERA in his career against the Royals. The bulk of Happ’s struggles against the Royals came in 2013 and 2014 where he gave up 13 runs in only 16.2 innings. In 2018, he went 2-0 with a 3.75 ERA. Happ has done a great job of limiting Royals hitters, giving up only 12 hits in 78 plate appearances, with only 4 of those hits going for extra bases. Danny Duffy is 3-3 in 8 career starts against the Yankees. He possesses a 5.54 ERA and gave up 5 runs in 4 innings during his lone 2018 start against the team. He has struggled against Aaron Hicks in his career, giving up 5 hits in 13 at bats, with 3 of those hits going for home runs.
Game 3: Sunday 2:15 PM
Domingo German (9-1; 2.60 ERA) vs Jorge Lopez (0-5; 6.04 ERA)
The series finale is a battle between Domingo German and Jorge Lopez. German is the current American League leader in wins, and has been one of the most pleasant surprises for the Yankees up to this point in the season. In his most recent start he got the win against the Orioles while giving up 3 runs in 5 innings. Jorge Lopez is still looking for his first win in 2019. In his most recent start, he gave up 5 runs in 5.2 innings, taking yet another loss and dropping to 0-5 on the season.
German’s lone loss in the 2019 season came against the Royals. He gave up 3 runs in 6 innings, with the majority of the damage coming via home runs. It was his first career appearance against the team. Lopez earned a no decision in his lone career appearance against the Yankees, earlier in 2019. He gave up 4 runs in 7 innings while striking out 6.
Who’s Hot and Who’s Not
Gleyber Torres (Hot)
The Yankees offense was scorching hot against the Orioles and Gleyber Torres was one of the main reasons why. In the last week Torres Is 9-24 with 4 home runs and a double. He has also walked 3 times during that span. In the absence of Didi Gregorius, Torres has filled in admirably on defense and offense. Although it is unlikely he can sustain this type of production, it is refreshing to see that Torres has taken his game to another level in his second season in the major leagues.
Gary Sanchez (Hot)
Gary Sanchez is continuing to prove that is poor 2018 season was a fluke. He has been much better with the bat and the glove so far in 2019. In the last week he is hitting .296 with 3 home runs, 9 RBIs, and 2 walks. He capped off a Yankee comeback in game one of the Orioles series with a 3 run go ahead home run in the 9th inning. His comeback so far in 2019 has been exactly what the Yankees have needed with so many injuries in the early part of the season.
J.A. Happ (Not)
J.A. Happ has been terrible so far in 2019. After an up and down first month of the season, he has had a miserable month of May. In his last two starts, Happ has given up 9 runs in 9 innings pitched with both starts coming against a terrible Baltimore Oriole team. Although the Yankees won both games, they simply need more out of Happ. The biggest issue that has plagued Happ early in 2019 is his inability to keep the ball in the park. He currently leads to the league in home runs allowed. If he cannot get the home runs under control, he will quickly become a free agent signing that Yankee fans will want to forget.
Austin Romine (Not)
Austin Romine had a promising 2018 season. He surprised people with his quality performance in Gary Sanchez’s absence. So far in 2019, Romine has regressed back to a well below average catcher both offensively and defensively. On the season he is hitting .197 with only 3 extra base hits. The terrific performance of Gary Sanchez has made Romine’s poor performance easier to handle, but the Yankees simply need more from a player that plays multiple times each week.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Gleyber Torres has to be the pick for the fantasy series. He has been the Yankees best offensive weapon for about a month now. He is coming off of a series in which he hit 4 home runs and paced the entire Yankee offense. Look for this to continue against another struggling team.
Aaron Hicks is going to get it going soon. He looked like he was about to turn the corner in the series finale against the Rays but had an average series against the Orioles. With the lack of production from the rest of the outfield paired with Hicks’ great numbers against both Junis and Duffy, Hicks still has to be the choice for the fantasy series.
Domingo German is the easy choice for the fantasy series, With the Yankees turning to an opener in Chad Green, Nestor Cortes Jr., and J.A. Happ, it is tough to imagine any of the starters getting more strikeouts than German. Hopefully German can continue his early season success and pick up his tenth win while striking out a high percentage of the Royals hitters he faces.
There is no right or wrong answer when picking a bullpen pitcher for the fantasy series. Adam Ottavino is the choice here due to his limited work against the Orioles and his wipeout pitches that typically result in weak contact or strikeouts. Expect Ottavino to appear in a couple games against the Royals and rack up strikeouts in a hurry against a weak hitting offense.
Hopefully the Yankees can continue their winning ways in their final matchup of the season against the Royals. In the first matchup they took 2 of 3 from them in the Bronx. This team just continues to find ways to win, and it seems unlikely that will change as they face another struggling team. Keep up with the series previews all season and as always, go Yanks!
Editors Note: This is a new thing we are doing this season. Each series you will choose one outfielder, one infielder, one starting pitcher, and one relief pitcher. We are only counting two stats. Total bases for hitters and strikeouts for pitchers.
Your totals will be counted and a winner will receive a prize at the end of each month. Make sure you come back and make your picks before each series. You will find them right here on the series preview post.