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Orioles @ Red Sox lineups and previews of games of interest in the wild card race

The Orioles need to keep on winning, but they also need some help from other teams at this point. Here are the lineups and a preview of the games important to the wild card race.

Jim Rogash


Baltimore Orioles

1. Nate McLouth (L) LF
2. Manny Machado (R) 3B
3. Chris Davis (L) 1B
4. Adam Jones (R) CF
5. Nick Markakis (L) RF
6. Danny Valencia (R) DH
7. Matt Wieters (S) C
8. J.J. Hardy (R) SS
9. Brian Roberts (S) 2B

Boston Red Sox

1. Dustin Pedroia (R) 2B
2. Shane Victorino (S) CF
3. David Ortiz (L) DH
4. Mike Napoli (R) 1B
5. Jonny Gomes (R) LF
6. Daniel Nava (S) RF
7. Will Middlebrooks (R) 3B
8. Stephen Drew (L) SS
9. David Ross (R) C

Starting Pitchers

The Orioles and Red Sox play game two of their three-game series tonight with Wei-Yin Chen pitching against Jake Peavy. The O's got the win they needed last night and just need to keep on going.

Peavy was traded to the Red Sox just before the July 31st deadline and had made eight starts for his new team with a 3.66 ERA. In his last two starts against the Yankees and Rays he struggled with his control, walking three in six innings against the Yankees and five in six innings against the Rays. Of course, that's probably irrelevant to the Orioles because they don't walk.

Peavy hasn't faced the Orioles since April 2012 when he was pitching for the White Sox, when he shut them down over seven innings with eight strikeouts. He has just one other start against them way back in 2007.

Wei-Yin Chen got lit up by the Red Sox when he last faced them in late August, and in five career games against them he has a 5.14 ERA. Ouch. His last game pitched was against the Yankees and wasn't very good, and since coming off of the DL in mid-July he has an ERA of 4.95.

Wild Card Games of Interest

There are three games of interest tonight. The Rangers and Rays are tied atop the wild card standings and face off against each other. The Indians are 1/2 a game behind them. The Orioles sit two games behind the Rangers and Rays and 1 1/2 behind the Indians. Trailing them are the Royals and Yankees, both of whom are 3 1/2 games behind the Rangers and Rays. Got it?

Texas Rangers @ Tampa Bay Rays, 7:10 p.m.
Derek Holland vs. Chris Archer

The Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays split the first two games of their four-game series. If the Orioles are going to win one of the wild card spots we have to root for other teams while under the assumption that the Orioles are going to keep winning. Because if they don't, it doesn't matter what the other teams do. So if the Orioles keep winning it would be good for the Rays to win these last two against the Rangers. Then when the Orioles go to Tampa Bay this weekend they can take care of the Rays.

Anyway, tonight it's Holland pitching for the Rangers against Archer of the Rays. I like the Rays chances in this one, although Holland is a pretty good pitcher so it could go either way. The Rangers have looked terrible lately, but they did win yesterday so maybe that'll give them new life.

New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m.
Phil Hughes vs. J.A. Happ

We're rooting for the Jays, obviously. On one hand, Phil Hughes is terrible. On the other, the Blue Jays seem to have given up on life. Edwin Encarnacion was just shut down for the season, joining fellow slugger Jose Bautista on the bench. The Yankees have beaten the Jays like a government mule (what does that mean?) this season, but the Jays won the last series and won last night.

Cleveland Indians @ Kansas City Royals, 8:10 p.m.
Danny Salazar vs Bruce Chen

Go Royals! Our old friend Bruce Chen will have the task of holding off the Indians so that the Orioles can try to gain a game on them. I don't know who this Salazar person is.