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The Friday late night Orioles game thread: at Angels, 10:05

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The Orioles have a chance to secure their wild card position - at least for now - this weekend against the Angels. If they perform well, of course. It's Kevin Gausman opposing Andrew Heaney in the opener.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Whether you're ready for it or not, the Junior Lake era is upon us. As far on-field performance goes, it's not likely to go any worse than the Travis Snider era, although it would really be nice if it could go better. Lake gets his first action as a designated hitter. Are we about to get a DH platoon with Lake and Jimmy Paredes? That doesn't sound like much fun. Platoons are fun, maybe not so much DH platoons.

The Angels are losers of seven of their last ten games. How the team with Mike Trout on it ever loses seven out of ten games is one of those mysteries of baseball. The Angels, from the outside, seem like an underachieving team. Perhaps that is because their manager is basically a giant asshole whose obstinate behavior ran one GM out of town.

The team has also chased away Josh Hamilton this year, and there was reportedly some grumbling about the fact that C.J. Wilson is electing to get some surgery - as if he's a wimp for not "pitching through pain." What a bunch of jerks. Which doesn't mean the Orioles are going to beat them.

It's a crucial series for the wild card hopes, because if the O's can take games out of the Angels, it drags one more team down into easier striking distance. The Angels' recent poor play has brought them almost out of the top wild card spot. In fact, if the Orioles sweep the Angels, the Orioles will ascend to one of the wild card spots and the Angels will potentially be out of the picture, depending on how Toronto performs against New York this weekend. That would be something.

Today's Lineups

BALTIMORE ORIOLES LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Manny Machado - 3B David DeJesus - LF
Gerardo Parra - RF Kole Calhoun - RF
Adam Jones - CF Mike Trout - CF
Chris Davis - 1B Albert Pujols - 1B
Matt Wieters - C David Murphy - DH
J.J. Hardy - SS Erick Aybar - SS
Jonathan Schoop - 2B Conor Gillaspie - 3B
Junior Lake - DH Johnny Giavotella - 2B
Nolan Reimold - LF Chris Iannetta - C
Kevin Gausman - RHP Andrew Heaney - LHP