The Orioles are back in action this week after a couple of days off for a battle against the Mets. This will be a quick trip to Citi Field, an early June visit to New York to shake off the cobwebs and hopefully start a bit of a summer run where things can be — at the very least — watchable.
Below, a quick preview of the pair of games that we’ll see to kick off the shortened week for the Birds.
Game 1: Tuesday, June 5, 7:10 p.m.
Starters: Alex Cobb vs. Jason Vargas
We start things off with our friend Alex Cobb, who could use a big game to build off of his start against Washington last week. It was a tough loss for the Birds, but he turned in seven very solid innings, allowing just three runs in a plus start. For Cobb, it’s all about building momentum to try to go into this long summer stretch with some confidence. We know the talent is there; it’s just a matter of finding a three or four game stretch where he’s able to throw consistently.
He’s done well in his career against the current Mets lineup, holding it to a .188 average over 64 at-bats.
Vargas has struggled this season, allowing 36 hits in 25.1 innings pitched to the tune of a 8.53 ERA. He did toss five scoreless innings against Atlanta last week, but the 35-year-old has struggled mightily out of the gate in 2018. He’s held most of the Orioles lineup in check over his career (.200 average in 135 at-bats), but as they like to say, there’s no better time than the present to get things moving in the right direction.
Game 2: Wednesday, June 6, 1:10 p.m.
Starters: Dylan Bundy vs. Zack Wheeler
Even in a very up and down season, all just seems right with the world when Dylan Bundy takes the field to pitch. Maybe that’s more of a statement about how rough the current state of the rotation is this season, but it’s true nonetheless. It’s Bundy Wednesday, and a possible chance for the Birds to get the mini-sweep against the Mets.
Bundy doesn’t have a wealth of experience against members of this lineup, but he’s done about as good as you can do against Jose Bautista (0-8) and Todd Frazier (0-8). It’ll be an interesting matchup for certain — we’ll see if the strikeout numbers continue to rise. He’s fanned 28 batters over his last 21 innings of work. Home runs have been a difficulty, but there’s a good chance we see plenty of missed bats on Wednesday.
For Wheeler, the only Oriole he’s seen over his career is Mark Trumbo (0-3). He’s been passable this year for the Mets, but can’t seem to find a way to keep runners from crossing the plate. He has posted a 5.14 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 10 starts, walking 21 and striking out a solid 57 batters through 56 innings of work.
If the bats can come alive and do what they’re supposed to do, it could be a rather successful two days for the Birds against the foes from the NL East.
How many games will the Orioles win this series?
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