Aaron Judge shifts to left field for first time as Yankees shake up lineup

Aaron Judge prior to the game between the Yankees and Brewers on April 26, 2024.
Amanda Paula
Monday April 29, 2024

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In a surprising move, Aaron Judge will make his first career start in left field tonight as the New York Yankees open a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles. Three hours before the opener, the Yankees released their lineup with Judge penciled in to patrol left field at Camden Yards.

The lineup shakeup comes after the Yankees made another adjustment, placing outfielder Alex Verdugo on the paternity list. Verdugo had been swinging a hot bat for New York this season.

On the Yankees’ YES Network broadcast, analysts noted Aaron Judge has already driven in teammate Juan Soto six times in 2024 – more RBIs than he had for any single Yankees player all of last season. The most times Judge knocked in one teammate in 2023 was five.

Aaron Judge’s dominance vs. Orioles

Aaron Judge, player of the new york yankees

The 31-year-old slugger has absolutely mashed Baltimore pitching since 2017. In 89 career games against the Orioles over that span, Judge is hitting .320 with 39 homers, 85 RBIs, 92 runs scored and a 1.184 OPS. If stretched over a full 162-game season, that pace would equate to 71 home runs, 155 RBIs and 167 runs scored.

These historic numbers against Baltimore show why Aaron Judge will be the center of attention in the series opener, with high expectations as the numbers have consistently fallen his way versus the Orioles.

Yankees streaking after rough start

Aaron Judge, player of the new york yankees

According to FanGraphs, the Yankees split a four-game set against the surprisingly tough Oakland Athletics before exploding for 30 runs while taking two of three from Milwaukee over the weekend. Aaron Judge homered twice in that series after scuffling early on. Rookie Anthony Volpe’s adjustments seem to have paid dividends as he takes a step forward.

First pitch for the series opener between the AL East’s top two teams is set for 6:35 p.m. ET from Camden Yards.

What’s your prediction for this big four-game series opener? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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