The battle for last place in the American League East kicks off in Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Monday night. That is essentially all that's at stake in this three game series. The team that wins the series will not be in last place. The team that loses the series will be in last place in the division. For all that Buck Showalter is out there saying that the Orioles going to try to win every game from here on out, let's be real, it's not happening, because baseball teams just don't win 20 games in a row.
And even if the Orioles somehow did win every remaining game, that would get them to 89 wins, which may not even be worth all that much as far as getting into the postseson. That would be pretty fun if it happened, though. It's not going to happen because the Orioles that have stumbled along to a 69-73 record are not going to suddenly win 20 games in a row. They aren't good enough to do it! The starting rotation isn't good enough. Neither is the combined rest of the team.
In this game, the O's will face off against former Orioles prospect Eduardo Rodriguez, who has had an up and down debut year for the Red Sox at age 22. The thing is that the ups have been night games, and the downs have been day games, and tonight, as you know, is a night game. Rodriguez has made ten night starts with a 1.68 ERA against eight day starts with a 7.88 ERA.
That is a stark difference and it's what has played out in the two starts Rodriguez has made against the Orioles. The first time he faced them was at night and he shut them out over six innings, although the O's ended up winning this game. The second time he faced them was a day game and the O's blasted him for 6 runs in 3.2 innings. Expect to be no hit tonight.
|BOSTON RED SOX||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Mookie Betts - CF||Nolan Reimold - DH|
|Josh Rutledge - 2B||Manny Machado - 3B|
|Xander Bogaerts - SS||Chris Davis - 1B|
|David Ortiz - DH||Adam Jones - CF|
|Travis Shaw - 1B||Steve Pearce - LF|
|Pablo Sandoval - 3B||Jonathan Schoop - 2B|
|Rusney Castillo - LF||Caleb Joseph - C|
|Blake Swihart - C||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Jackie Bradley - RF||Dariel Alvarez - RF|
|Eduardo Rodriguez - LHP||Kevin Gausman - RHP|