With a four-game showdown looming against American East-leading Toronto, the New York Yankees are dealing with an injury list that seemingly grows longer by the day. The Yankees trail the Blue Jays by 1 1/2 games and will try to prevent the deficit from getting larger when they host the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday in the rubber match of a three-game series.
New York designated hitter Alex Rodriguez continues to reach some lofty career milestones after going deep for the third straight game Tuesday, tying Hank Aaron for the most career 30-homer seasons with 15 and passing Rickey Henderson for 22nd place on the all-time hit list with 3,056. The Yankees were expected to go to a six-man rotation with CC Sabathia set to come off the 15-day disabled list to start Wednesday’s game, but that was before they learned 14-game winner Nathan Eovaldi will be shut down for two weeks due to right elbow inflammation. Chris Davis has been one of the few bright spots for the slumping Orioles, belting a tiebreaking homer in the ninth inning Tuesday to give Baltimore only its fourth win in 19 games. It was the major league-leading 41st blast for Davis, who has six homers and 10 RBIs during his seven-game hitting streak.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, MASN (Baltimore), YES (New York)
LINE HISTORY: The Bronx Bombers opened as -125 home favorites and have been bet up to -138. The total has held steady at the openning number of 8.5.
Orioles – CF A. Jones (questionable Wednesday, shoulder), SP M. Gonzalez (15-day DL, undisclosed).
Yankees – LF B. Gardner (probable Wednesday, shoulder), SP N. Eovaldi (out indefinitely, elbow), 1B M. Teixeira (15-day DL, shin), LF D. Ackley (15-day DL, back).
WEATHER REPORT: There is a very slight chance of thunderstorms at Yankee Stadium Wednesday to go along with a 16 percent chance of rain. There will also be an eight mile per hour wind blowing out to left field.
UMPIRE REPORT: Paul Emmel will be the man calling balls and strikes for tonight’s matchup. Home team’s are 15-11 in Emmel’s 26 games behind home plate, while the O/U is 14-12.
HOT FAN WAR:
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Ubaldo Jimenez (10-9, 4.24 ERA) vs. Yankees LH CC Sabathia (4-9, 5.27)
Jimenez overcame six walks last time out to earn the victory in Toronto, limiting the Blue Jays to two runs (one earned) and four hits over 5 2/3 innings. That ended a four-start winless drought for Jimenez, who permitted 18 runs in that span and has failed to get through six innings in five consecutive outings. He was hammered for seven runs in 2 1/3 innings at Yankee Stadium on July 23 to drop to 3-5 with a 6.60 ERA versus New York.
Sabathia, who has not won in two months, will be making his first start since Aug. 23, when knee pain forced him to exit a game against Cleveland in the third inning. Even though his last victory came on July 8, the 35-year-old Sabathia is 0-1 with six no-decisions over his last seven turns. He gave up four runs in each of his two starts versus the Orioles this season, but sports an 18-7 record and 3.48 ERA in 32 starts against them.
* Yankees are 7-1 in Sabathia’s last eight home starts versus the Orioles.
* Under is 4-1 in Sabathia’s last six home starts versus the Orioles.
* Orioles are 1-5 in the last six meetings.
* Over is 4-0 in Jiminez’s last four starts versus the AL East.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The Yankees are the popular here, with 71.47 percent of wagers backing the New York at -138.