The Orioles begin a four game set against the Minnesota Twins starting tonight at 8:10pm EST. The Orioles, 40-46, are looking to stem the tide after a very ugly series in Milwaukee. The Orioles are 4-6 in their last ten games and will have to start putting up some wins to justify buying at the increasingly closer trade deadline.
The Twins comes in at 43-41, also going 4-6 in their last ten games. The surprising third place Twins team, only 1.5 games back of the Indians, have been led on offense by Miguel Sano who has made a surprisingly decent transition to third base. On the pitching side they have been led by the young upstart Jose Berrios and the inexplicably effective Ervin Santana. Fortunately for the O’s, Santana isn’t expected to pitch in this series.
It is possible that Chris Tillman may return from paternity leave for one of these four games, but for now these are the probable starters. Let’s get down to it.
Game 1: 8:10pm Dylan Bundy (8-7, 4.02 ERA) vs. Jose Berrios (7-2, 3.44 ERA)
Thursday night the Orioles have their nominal ace Dylan Bundy on the mound. Bundy struggled his last time out pitching only four innings, giving up five runs on seven hits including three home runs to the Tampa Rays.
Bundy has faced the Twins in 2017, back on May 23 in an 0-2 loss back in Baltimore Bundy pitched seven innings giving up only two runs on six hits and three walks. That was Bundy’s only career start against the Twins.
Berrios has been the second best pitcher in the Twins rotation this year. The 23-year-old uber-prospect has turned it on in 2017. Berrios faced the Orioles back on May 24 of this year earning the win in 6.1 innings of work giving up three runs on four hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts.
Berrios has started against the Orioles twice in his career. In 11.1 innings of work he has a 4.76 ERA while surrendering five home runs.
Game 2: 8:10pm Kevin Gausman (5-7, 5.61 ERA) vs. Felix Jorge (1-0, 5.40 ERA)
The scheduled starter for the Twins in this game was Hector Santiago, but he was sent to the disabled list. According to the Twins beat reporters the likeliest candidate to replace Santiago is young right-handed pitcher Felix Jorge. Jorge made his major league debut this past Saturday against the Royals earning the win in his five innings or work giving up three runs on seven hits, one walk, and two strike outs.
Facing off against Jorge is a possibly resurgent Kevin Gausman. Gausman turned in the best start of his 2017 campaign in his last outing going seven innings against the Rays giving up no runs on two hits, two walks, and nine strike outs. That is the Kevin Gausman the Orioles desperately need.
Gausman has not yet faced the Twins in 2017, but he has not fared well in four career starts against Twins. With a record of 0-2 in four starts posting a 6.00 ERA across 24 innings of work. The numbers are even worse at Target Field where Gausman has posted a career 9.31 ERA in two career starts in that ballpark.
Game 3: 2:10pm Wade Miley (3-7, 5.20 ERA) vs. Aldaberto Mejia (4-3,
Miley’s last start was the shortest of the season that was not ended by him being hit by a line drive. Miley only pitched 1.2 innings against the Brewers giving up seven runs on seven hits and two walks. Miley is turning back into a pumpkin for the 2017 Orioles.
Miley has also not faced the Twins yet in 2017. For his career Miley only has one start against the Twins in which he worked only four innings giving up five runs on six hits and four walks. Miley surrendered three long balls in that game.
The Twins will counter with young Dominican right-hander Aldaberto Mejia. Mejia appeared in one game in 2016, so 2017 is ostensibly his first action in the major leagues. The 24 year old has never faced the Orioles in his burgeoning career. In his last start Mejia pitched seven strong innings against the Angels giving up three runs on nine hits, one walk, and five strike outs.
Game 4: 2:10pm Ubaldo Jimenez (3-4, 6.64 ERA) vs. Kyle Gibson (5-6, 5.82 ERA)
In the series finale the Twins will throw out Kyle Gibson who has been struggling on the season, but has pitched well as of late. His last time out he went 6.2 innings against the Angels giving up only two runs on five hits, two walks, and four strike outs.
Gibson faced the Orioles back on May 22nd going five innings while giving up six runs on seven hits and four walks. Gibson earned the win in a 14-7 Twins rout. Sorry for bringing that up. Gibson in six career starts against the Orioles is 2-1 with a 4.68 ERA in 32.2 innings pitched.
The Orioles will be rolling out Ubaldo Jimenez who followed up a gem of a start against the Jays with a turd of start in Milwaukee. He pitched five innings giving up five runs on six hits, three walks, and seven strike outs. He gave up three home runs in the process.
Jimenez has made 11 starts and 12 appearances against the Twins in his career. He has a 3.13 ERA in 69.0 innings of work against the Twins. In Target Field he has been even better posting a 1.81 ERA across seven starts and 44.2 innings pitched.
Join us here starting tonight for Game Threads and analysis. Maybe the Orioles can begin the 2017 turnaround in Minnesota.
How many games will the Orioles win this series
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The Orioles will be swept
The Orioles will sweep