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Orioles-Royals series preview: A test against the AL’s hottest team

The Orioles return home for a three game set against the Kansas City Royals, who currently hold the second wild card spot in the AL. Will the Orioles gain any ground this series?

Baltimore Orioles v Texas Rangers Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

The Orioles are returning to Baltimore off of their series win over the Texas Rangers. The Orioles are currently 50-54 overall with a 6-4 record in their last ten games. They are currently 6.5 games back in the AL East and are 5.5 games back from the second wild card spot.

They will face the red hot Kansas City Royals who are 9-1 in their last ten games and have an overall record of 55-48. They are only 2 games out in the AL Central and they hold the second wild card spot by 2.5 games over the Tampa Bay Rays. The Royals have been red hot the last two months going 17-9 in June and have posted a 16-9 mark so far in July.

The biggest news of the day is the trading deadline. The Orioles are looking to sell off some relievers, but not do much else in all likelihood. Although, it is possible that by the end of this series this Orioles team could look markedly different.

Game 1 - Monday, July 31st 7:05pm

Danny Duffy (7-6, 3.56 ERA) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (4-7, 6.93 ERA)

The first game of this series may the last of Ubaldo Jimenez in an Orioles rotation. Ubaldo’s 2017 season has been glimmers of hope surrounded by despair. The addition of Jeremy Hellickson and the fact that Jimenez is an impending free agent may mean Orioles fans have seen the last of him in the rotation. Unless, of course, Buck decides to go to a six man rotation.

Jimenez in his last outing saw him pitch six innings against the Rays, giving up only two runs on three hits, two walks, and nine strike outs. That was his third best start of 2017 according to Game Score. This will be his first start against the Royals in 2017. For his career Jimenez is 5-5 against the Royals with a 4.58 ERA in 13 starts.

The Orioles will be facing off against Danny Duffy. The 28-year-old left-handed pitcher has been the second-best pitcher for the Royals in 2017. In his last time out against the Detroit Tigers he pitched 6.1 innings giving up one run, on six hits, one walk, and four strike outs. For his career Duffy has faced the Orioles eight times, including six starts. He is 2-2 with a 2.41 ERA in those eight appearances.

Game 2: Tuesday, August 1st 7:05pm

Ian Kennedy (4-6, 4.43 ERA) vs. Dylan Bundy (9-8, 4.53 ERA)

In the second game of the set, the Royals will be sending out Ian Kennedy who is having a down year, but still above average at a 103 ERA+. The Orioles would love to have a guy like that. In Kennedy’s last game out, he earned the win against the Tigers, pitching six innings while giving up only one run on three hits, two walks, and four strike outs.

Kennedy has started against the Orioles three times in his career. He is 0-1 with a 6.17 ERA in those appearances. In two career starts at Camden Yards, Kennedy has a 11.12 ERA in only 5.2 innings pitched.

Facing off against Kennedy will be the reeling Dylan Bundy. Bundy, in his last game out against the Houston Astros, pitched 5.1 innings giving up seven runs, on eight hits, three walks, and four strike outs. Bundy has given up at least one home run in all but two starts since the start of May.

Bundy has faced the Royals only twice in his career and started only once. He has a 0-0 record with a 3.68 ERA in his 7.1 innings pitched against the Royals.

Game 3: Wednesday, August 2nd 7:05pm

Jason Vargas (13-4, 3.00 ERA) vs. Jeremy Hellickson (6-5, 4.73 ERA)

The probable starter currently listed for this game is TBA, but it will most likely be Jeremy Hellickson. Hellickson is the newly-acquired pitcher from the Phillies. He was acquired because he has an arm and can throw a ball with it and the Orioles need guys like that.

Hellickson has been pretty bad to date in 2017, which should make him feel right at home in the Orioles rotation. He was coming off a strong campaign in 2016 and the Orioles were hot and heavy after him back then as well. They got their man, only a year late.

In his last start, Hellickson faced the Milwaukee Brewers and pitched five innings giving up six runs, on seven hits, two walks, and six strike outs. Like Bundy, Hellickson has surrendered at least one home run in every start of his since the beginning on May. Hellickson has faced the Royals eight times, seven starts, in his career. He is 2-2 with a 4.85 ERA.

The Orioles will see surprise Royals ace Jason Vargas. Vargas has pitched very little for the past two years is now putting up a career year. The lefty has been the best Royals starter to date in 2017 and has been one of the most effective in baseball in 2017.

In his last start Vargas faced the Boston Red Sox. He pitched six innings giving up only one run on five hits, two walks, and two strike outs. Vargas has been an Orioles killer in his career. He has started against the Orioles eight times in his carer going 2-3 with a 1.94 ERA. He is 0-3 in four Camden Yards starts, but with a 2.76 ERA.

Join us here for game threads and late breaking trade deadline news. See you all tonight at 7:05pm for the start of the series.

Poll

How many games will the Orioles win this series?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    The Orioles will be swept
    (63 votes)
  • 28%
    1
    (51 votes)
  • 23%
    2
    (41 votes)
  • 12%
    The Orioles will sweep
    (23 votes)
178 votes total Vote Now