Either Baltimore or the New York Yankees will get back to .500 in the AL East with a win Tuesday night at Camden Yards in Game 2 of their series. The Orioles opened as slight -112 favorites on MLB odds with a total of 8 runs.
Orioles Still Not Whole
Baltimore remains without injured shortstop J.J. Hardy and catcher Matt Wieters which is something you should keep in mind when looking at the MLB odds. Hardy hit soft toss Monday and should head to a rehab assignment with Double-A Bowie in a couple of days. Hardy is currently on the 15-day DL with a shoulder injury. Wieters, coming off Tommy John surgery on his right elbow that cut last season short, was to play designated hitter in an extended spring training game in Florida on Tuesday. There is no timetable for Wieters return, but the team is hoping for early May. So it's not really fair to judge the Orioles yet until they get those two guys back because they are two of the better players in the league at their position. Reliever Wesley Wright was placed on the disabled list Saturday with a strained left trapezius muscle.
The Yankees are pretty healthy. Catcher Brian McCann and second baseman Stephen Drew did not start Monday's game but neither were due to health issues. The Yanks might have to give all their regulars at least one day off this week after that 6-5 19-inning loss to Boston on Friday. Manger Joe Girardi is planning to give Alex Rodriguez either this game or Wednesday's off. Speaking of A-Rod, he has been one of the team's better offensive player thus far -- who saw that coming? He also played third base for the first time this season on Monday because Girardi gave Chase Headley the night off. A-Rod is hitting .250 with a homer and six RBIs.
The Yankees have won two straight games, beating the Red Sox in the Sunday night ESPN game and then taking the opener of this series at Camden Yards 6-5 on Monday. Drew hit a pinch-hit grand slam in the seventh inning to erase a 4-2 deficit. It was the first pinch-hit slam for a Yankee in 14 years. Rodriguez was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and was booed heavily in his first road game of the season. The Yankees lost outfielder Brett Gardner as he was pulled from Monday's game after being hit on the right wrist in the first inning. It was Drew who pinch-hit for Gardner in the seventh inning. X-rays on Gardner's wrist were negative but he probably will get this game off even though Gardner says it's no big deal. He is hitting .261 with a homer and three RBIs.
It's big left-hander CC Sabathia for the Yankees. He's not close to being the ace of the club he used to be. He was limited to only eight starts last year due to injury and was ineffective when out there, going 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA and 1.48 WHIP, both the worst numbers in his career. His regression really began in 2012. All those innings are likely going to catch up to a guy at some point and Sabathia has thrown 2,827.0 innings in his 14-year career and that doesn't include spring games or the postseason. Sabathia's first start this year didn't go all that well as he took the loss against Toronto, allowing five runs (four earned) and eight hits in 5.2 innings. He did strike out eight and not walk anyone so perhaps that's encouraging. Sabathia didn't face Baltimore in 2014. Adam Jones hits him well, batting .304 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 56 at-bats. Manny Machado is 6-for-20 with three doubles and five RBIs. Chris Davis struggles against Sabathia, batting .143 with 11 strikeouts in 18 at-bats.
Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez starts for the Birds. He took the loss in his first start this season, allowing one run and three hits over 5.2 innings at Tampa Bay, walking five and striking out five. Last year Gonzalez was 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts against the Yankees. He was 4-5 with a 3.18 EAR in 76.1 innings at Camden Yards. Carlos Beltran is 3-for-3 with a double, homer and RBI off Gonzalez in his career. McCann has a homer in eight at-bats off him.
MLB Free Picks: Take Baltimore and the 'over' total with your MLB picks. New York is 1-6 in Sabathia's past seven starts on four days of rest. Baltimore is 12-5 in Gonzalez's past 17 as a home favorite. The 'over' is 4-0 in the past four meetings. New York is 2-6 in its past eight in Baltimore.