Today is no time for another Yankee loss. They’re at home, playing one of the worst teams in professional baseball — and one that was just weakened to boot. There is no longer a Manny Machado or Johnathan Schoop to blast two home runs each, and no one else is tearing the cover off the ball. Alex Cobb takes the mound for Baltimore, and it’s been a long, long time since he gave the Yankees fits. New York’s roster has turned over big time, and this club is in a dogfight for the division title.
A Banged Up Alex Cobb vs The Yankees
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Right-hander Alex Cobb (2-14, 6.08 ERA and 1.56 WHIP) spent the first 7 of his 8 year major career with the Tampa Rays, missing the 2015 season in it’s entirety with a partial tear of his UCL, requiring Tommy John surgery.
On June 13th of the 2013 season, Cobb took a line drive to the head off the bat of Eric Hosmer. He suffered a concussion, and missed the next couple of months of action. His 2015 (right forearm tendinitis) and 2016 (Tommy John) campaigns began on the disabled list, while in 2017 he did a 10-day stint on the DL with turf toe.
Over 14 career starts against the Yankees, Cobb is 6-4 with a stingy 2.99 ERA, with 66 strikeouts and 21 walks over 90.1 innings. Yankee Stadium, where he’s 1-2 in 5 starts (3.12 ERA) has been less friendly to him than The Trop.
Cobb has not faced the Yankees since April 10, 2017 at The Stadium where he took the ‘L’ after 7.1 innings, allowing 4 earned runs. Aaron Judge and Chase Headley took Cobb deep. The only Yankees in that lineup playing today are Brett Gardner and Austin Romine.
In March of 2017, Cobb inked a 4-year, $57 million deal with the Orioles. Since the surgery, he has relied mainly on a four-seam fastball and curve. His strikeout rate is down somewhat this season, with 69 Ks in 103.2 innings. Cobb had a rough July, going 0-5 in 5 starts, and hasn’t won a decision since June 5th against the Mets. Go figure. Prone to the long ball, he has given up 17 so far in 2018.
Yankees To Stack
This could go one of two ways this afternoon. Either Yankee hitters feast on Cobb, or their heads are already in Beantown and they mail this one in. The latter better not be the case as they have a chance to pick up yet another game on Boston if they win and Philly cooperates. Hot-hitting Yankees at the moment are Neil Walker ($4,000), Giancarlo Stanton ($5,100), and third-baseman Miguel Andujar ($4,200). You shouldn’t go wrong with any combination of those guys.
The All-Important Loss Column
With a win today and Boston idle, the Yankees can move it to 2.5 back in the loss column. With a 4-game series, they could actually leave Boston in first place. For weeks, the pinstripe faithful have been belly-aching that we only get up for the good teams, not the crappy ones. Well it doesn’t get any gooder than the Red Sox right about now, sso let’s see if that holds true.
Sonny Gray Progressing
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Sonny Gray has been lights out against the Orioles over 3 starts this season, and there is no reason that shouldn’t continue this afternoon. He needs to pitch carefully to shortstop Tim Beckham ($3,500), who is 9-17 (.368) with 2 home runs off Gray, and also Caleb Joseph ($3,100) (5-13, .385 BA). He’s put together 3 solid starts in a row, allowing only 2 earned runs over 16.1 innings. Granted these were bad teams (Baltimore, the Mets, and Kansas City), but that’s what you’re supposed to do to bad teams. Yankees Universe is looking for Gray to keep this up and start doing the same to elite teams — like he used to.
Remember this is for speculation only, not meant to be taken as gospel. And don’t forget to double-check your lineup(s) just prior to game time as the weather may create havoc for you. We exist under the manta that “You can’t predict baseball” but it’s fun trying. Good luck with your lineup and let’s go Yankees!