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Orioles-Red Sox series preview: The AL East frontrunners come to town

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The Orioles will open up a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox on Monday night at Camden Yards.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The Orioles will return home to lick their wounds after the trade of their best player and a three-game sweep to the Blue Jays coming out of the All-Star break. Two out of the three games in Toronto, the O’s only lost by one run. In the middle game of the series, they managed to score just one run.

The lineup and the left side of the infield obviously look very different without Manny Machado. With their former offensive leader now wearing a Dodgers uniform, the Orioles’ best on-base percentage belongs to Mark Trumbo, at .311. The major league average this year is .318. With Machado’s previously team-leading 24 homers now gone, Trumbo, Trey Mancini and Jonathan Schoop are tied for the team lead with 12 apiece.

Facing the Boston Red Sox pitching staff will be a tall order for the O’s in the three-game series that starts tonight at Camden Yards. In the entire major leagues, the Sox have fourth best team ERA (3.55), the fourth most quality starts (55), the sixth lowest batting average against (.233) and the second most strikeouts, trailing only the Houston Astros in that category.

The American League leader boards are littered with individual Red Sox names. Mookie Betts leads the AL with a .352 batting average and J.D. Martinez is third at .322. Martinez is also first in RBI with 81 and second in home runs with 29. Chris Sale is first in ERA at 2.13 and fifth in wins with 11. Sox closer Craig Kimbrel is second in saves with 31.

Boston has a 70-31 overall record on the year, holding a five game lead in first place over the New York Yankees. In the last ten games, the Red Sox are 8-2. The O’s, on the other hand, have lost 7 of their last 10. They currently stand 41.5 games out of first place in the AL East. The Red Sox and Orioles’ run differentials are nearly exact inverses of each other, at +167 and -164, respectively.

Game One: Monday, 7:05 PM

RHP Kevin Gausman (4-7, 4.33 ERA) vs. RHP Rick Porcello (11-4, 4.13 ERA)

In his only start against Baltimore this year, Rick Porcello allowed three runs over six innings and got a win. In the last three years against the O’s he has not pitched well, sporting a 5.46 ERA in 56 innings pitched, including a 5.29 ERA at Camden Yards. He also had a poor end to his first half, taking a loss in Toronto in his most recent start after allowing eight runs in only two innings. Maybe the O’s can touch him up for a handful of runs or so.

Kevin Gausman did not fare well against the Red Sox in his lone start against them this year. All the way back on May 17, he gave up six runs over 4.2 innings. He will look to right the ship tonight, seeing as his last two starts have yielded zero wins and eight earned runs over 10 innings. Interestingly enough, Gausman has nearly identical ERAs on the road and at home, at 4.38 and 4.28, respectively.

Game Two: Tuesday, 7:05 PM

LHP Drew Pomeranz (1-3, 6.81 ERA) vs. RHP Yefry Ramirez (0-3, 3.09 ERA)

Coming off the disabled list, Drew Pomeranz will make his second start of the season against Baltimore. It will be only his ninth start of the year. The last time he pitched this season, all the way back on May 31, he allowed four earned runs in five innings. In his previous start against the O’s, in Boston, he allowed five runs in four innings. In the last three years, Pomeranz has thrown 15 innings at Camden Yards, and in that time he has a .214 BAA and a 1.80 ERA.

Yefry Ramirez will be making his fifth career start and second start this year against Boston. In his first start against the Red Sox, he took a loss after giving up three runs in 4.1 innings. Very quietly, Ramirez has pitched well in short spurts. In June, he had a 2.89 ERA and in July he has a 3.21 ERA. But the key for him will be going deeper into the game, considering his season high for innings pitched is only five.

Game Three: Wednesday, 7:05 PM

LHP David Price (11-6, 4.17 ERA) vs. RHP Dylan Bundy (6-9, 4.57 ERA)

In his last start against the Orioles at Fenway Park, David Price spun a gem. He went the distance and got the win, throwing nine scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and zero walks. But July has not gone well for Price, excluding his last start, when he threw 6.1 scoreless innings. In four total starts this month, he has a 6.43 ERA. In his last three starts at Camden Yards, he has pitched to a 2.25 ERA.

Dylan Bundy will look to get back on track in the series finale against Price and the Red Sox. The month of July has not been kind to Bundy, as he has given up five runs in each of his last three starts, tallying a 10.95 ERA over that span. Hopefully his previous success against Boston this season is a harbinger of better things. In three starts against the Sox this year, he may be 0-2 but he also has a 2.29 ERA.

Poll

How many games will the Orioles win in this series?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    3 (O’s sweep)
    (11 votes)
  • 3%
    2
    (6 votes)
  • 22%
    1
    (36 votes)
  • 67%
    0 (O’s get swept)
    (108 votes)
161 votes total Vote Now