The Orioles just got embarrassingly swept in a four-game series by the Toronto Blue Jays, who were nine games under .500 and the fourth-best team in the AL East when the series began.
Now, the Orioles will face the second-best team in the East, one that’s 22 games over .500 and has an offense that leads the majors in runs scored (341) and hits (607) and a pitching staff that’s second in the AL in ERA (3.51). This is gonna go great.
The behemoth Boston Red Sox head to Camden Yards to face the abysmal Orioles, and if the O’s can escape the three-game series with even one win, it’ll be a minor miracle. The one bit of good news for the Orioles is that they won’t have to face their nemesis Mookie Betts, who owns a career .890 OPS and 14 homers against the Birds. Betts is on the DL with a left abdominal strain. Even without Betts, though, pretty much every player on the Red Sox is better than pretty much every player on the Orioles. So this could get ugly.
In a weird scheduling quirk, the Orioles have already made two visits to Boston this year — going 1-6 in those games — but this is the Red Sox’ first trip to Baltimore. With O’s fans turning out to Camden Yards at meager levels this season (and who could blame them?), expect Sox fans to take over the ballpark, obnoxiously yelling about “Fenway South.” Good luck to you if you’re an Orioles fan attending any of these games.
Game 1: Monday, 7:05 PM
RHP Dylan Bundy (4-7, 4.04) vs. RHP Steven Wright (2-0, 1.57)
Bundy is coming off one of his finest outings of the year, a win over the Mets on June 6 in which he tossed seven shutout innings. It was his third outing this season of seven scoreless frames. Bundy will already be making his third start against the Red Sox this year, and while he didn’t get knocked around in the previous two (a combined 3.86 ERA), he lost them both. Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi has been Bundy’s nemesis this year, hitting a double, triple, and home run against him in their two games.
The knuckleballer Wright didn’t make his season debut until May 15. He started the season with a 15-game suspension for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy, if you needed yet another reason to root against the Red Sox. His first six appearances came in relief — including a 4.2-inning stint against the Orioles May 18, in which he gave up two runs — and will be making just his second start of the year.
The O’s are a familiar opponent for Wright. Of the seven active MLB hitters he’s faced the most, five are Orioles (Adam Jones, Chris Davis, Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, and Mark Trumbo). That quintet is batting a combined .275 with six homers and 12 RBIs against him.
Game 2: Tuesday, 7:05 PM
RHP David Hess (2-2, 3.07) vs. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (7-1, 3.68)
Hess has been a breath of fresh air for the Orioles so far, bursting into the major leagues with four quality starts in his first five outings. His one non-quality start, though, came against these Red Sox in Boston. They tagged him for five runs and eight hits, including three homers, in 4.2 innings. J.D. Martinez hit two of them and Benintendi the other.
Hess will be facing the same pitcher he did in his previous matchup, Rodriguez. In that game, Rodriguez gave up nine hits to the Orioles but zero runs. Although Rodriguez hasn’t been a superstar, he’s racked up seven wins versus just one loss this season. That’s the kind of thing that can happen when you have a great offense and bullpen behind you. The former O’s prospect has faced the Birds more than any other team, making 12 career starts against them, in which he’s 5-5 with a 3.97 ERA.
Game 3: Wednesday, 3:05 PM
RHP Andrew Cashner (2-8, 4.98) vs. LHP Chris Sale (5-4, 2.83)
Cashner’s two June starts (one vs. the Yankees, one vs. the Blue Jays) have ended up with nearly identical pitching lines: six innings, nine hits, three runs (all earned), and four strikeouts. He coughed up a pair of homers against the Jays, though.
Cashner, despite spending all season in the Orioles’ rotation, managed to miss the Red Sox in each of the Birds’ two previous series against them. His only two career starts against Boston both came last year when he was a Texas Ranger. He won one and lost the other, pitching to a 3.75 ERA.
Chris Sale is still Chris Sale. His strikeout rate is a whopping 12.1 per nine innings (120 whiffs in 89 frames), and he’s had an easy time with the Orioles in his career, going 5-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 15 games (nine starts). Only two O’s hitters have had any kind of success against Sale, with Manny Machado going 6-for-16 with two doubles and a homer and Trey Mancini posting a 5-for-12 with a pair of doubles. It’ll be interesting to see whether Danny Valencia is in the lineup. Normally he’s a mainstay against southpaws, but he’s just 3-for-21 lifetime against Sale.
How many games will the Orioles win in this series?
This poll is closed
3 (Orioles will sweep)
0 (Orioles will get swept)