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The Wednesday afternoon Orioles game thread: vs. Astros, 4:35

The Orioles need a solid effort from Ubaldo Jimenez and some hitting against Astros starter Collin McHugh to have a good chance of taking down the series in the rubber game.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles team taking the field today will be different than the one that did so yesterday. Ryan Flaherty is back. Alejandro De Aza is gone. Is that the kind of thing that will make a difference? Who knows. Flaherty is batting eighth, so it's not like he's the heart of the lineup threat the team is currently missing. It's a move, though, and hopefully not the last the team will make because, you may have noticed, the AL East is wide open.

Yesterday's game kind of sucked. The O's can still win the series if they are not bad today. They'll have to try to not be bad against Astros starter Collin McHugh, who comes into the game with 4.06 ERA this year. That's not so good in the modern baseball run environment. Which could mean he'll dominate the Orioles, because that's how these things go.

One thing about McHugh is that he doesn't walk many batters. Since the Orioles don't walk, this might be to their benefit. They are always up there wanting to swing, and McHugh throws many strikes. So maybe their swing-happy nature will pay off in this case. All of this has happened before. All of this will happen again.

Today's Lineups

George Springer - RF Manny Machado - 3B
Jose Altuve - 2B Travis Snider - LF
Preston Tucker - LF Jimmy Paredes - DH
Evan Gattis - DH Adam Jones - CF
Colby Rasmus - CF Chris Davis - 1B
Luis Valbuena - 3B Steve Pearce - RF
Chris Carter - 1B J.J. Hardy - SS
Jason Castro - C Ryan Flaherty - 2B
Marwin Gonzalez - SS Caleb Joseph - C
Collin McHugh - RHP Ubaldo Jimenez - RHP