Based on how this series has gone so far, we can probably guess that there are going to be some home runs hit in tonight's game. If things are going well for the Orioles, then perhaps they'll be the ones hitting those home runs - or at least more of them, or with more men on base, or both, than the Rangers manage to hit.
The challenge for the O's will be facing Yovani Gallardo, who's been surprisingly among the better pitchers in the American League so far this season. When you're sitting on a 2.72 ERA after 16 starts, a lot of things have gone well for you. His weak side, so to speak, is facing lefties, who still only have a .634 OPS against him. He's better at home than on the road, but even his road ERA is 3.14.
He has not given up more than two earned runs in a start since May 19, has not pitched fewer than five innings since Opening Day, and has gone at least six innings in six of his last seven starts.
Meanwhile, the Orioles. They've called up Kevin Gausman to start in this game. This is the latest in their game of yo-yo with him. Will he be immediately re-optioned? Will they actually, gasp, find room for him in the MLB rotation? Supposedly, Bud Norris is available out of the bullpen in a pinch tonight, which is good since the O's optioned Tyler Wilson back to the minors when they called up Gausman. Maybe they could just leave Norris out there in the bullpen for good...? But they probably won't, because maximum messing with Gausman seems to be their goal.
The Rays have already lost today. The Yankees are off. The Blue Jays play the Red Sox in Toronto, also starting early in the 7 o'clock hour. Since the Yankees aren't playing, the worst the O's can do is end the day tied for first place. If they win against Texas to split the series and manage to extend their meager lead, even better, but I'm not holding my breath.
|TEXAS RANGERS||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Rougned Odor - 2B||Manny Machado - 3B|
|Mitch Moreland - 1B||Jimmy Paredes - DH|
|Prince Fielder - DH||Adam Jones - CF|
|Adrian Beltre - 3B||Chris Davis - RF|
|Josh Hamilton - LF||Matt Wieters - C|
|Shin-Soo Choo - RF||Chris Parmelee - 1B|
|Elvis Andrus - SS||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Leonys Martin - CF||Ryan Flaherty - 2B|
|Robinson Chirinos - C||David Lough - LF|
|Yovani Gallardo - RHP||Kevin Gausman - RHP|