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Orioles-Twins series preview: Struggling teams match up

This series features a pair of teams that were out of contention by the month of July. The Twins had some early hopes, but much like the Orioles, they’re going nowhere now.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at New York Mets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

After a quick stop in the nation’s former capital, the Orioles head to Minnesota for a four game series against the Twins. Baltimore should have an opportunity for a rare series win, as they square off against another team below .500.

The Twins have lost four consecutive series, with their last series win coming against Boston in mid June. The Orioles took 2-of-3 from Atlanta on June 22-24 before losing seven straight games. Both of these teams should be happy to see each other.

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Colby Rasmus has left the Orioles. Joey Rickard is back with the big club, and should have an opportunity to play in this series. We’ve officially reached the part of the season where a trade could take place at any point, so Machado rumors could dominate the conversation throughout the four-game set.

The Twins announced Wednesday afternoon that they too would start four right-handed pitchers. The Orioles will face Lance Lynn, an alleged free-agent target from last offseason, on Friday. His 5.59 ERA would make any team glad they stayed away, until they saw Alex Cobb’s stats.

Game one: Thursday, 8:10 pm

RHP Andrew Cashner (2-8, 4.48) vs. RHP Aaron Slegers (0-0, 3.38)

Andrew Cashner takes the hill looking for his third win of the season. Cashner may not have a victory since the month of May, but he’s pitched extremely well in his last three starts. Cashner dominated the first four innings of a matchup against the Nationals before rain cut his outing short on June 20.

Cashner followed that outing with two Quality Starts. The righty allowed three runs in six innings to Seattle, but gave up only one run in his last outing against the Angels. Cashner broke the century mark in pitches thrown in both of those games. The Orioles failed to win in his last two outings, but it’s only a matter of time if he continues to pitch in this fashion.

Game two: Friday, 8:10 pm

RHP Dylan Bundy (6-7, 3.75) vs. RHP Lance Lynn (5-7, 5.59)

One has to think that Dylan Bundy could have a winning record if he pitched for a different club, but he’s been doing his best to win with the Birds. In his last three starts, Bundy is 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA. During that stretch, Bundy has 20 strikeouts in 20.1 innings pitched.

Bundy has not lost since the month of May, and has won three consecutive decisions. The righty has established himself as a modern-day innings eater this season. After failing to record an out all the way back on May 8, Bundy has tossed at least six innings in every single start. He tossed a complete game against the White Sox on May 24, and did not allow a run in either of his next two starts against Boston and the Mets.

Game three: Saturday, 2:10 pm

RHP Kevin Gausman (4-6, 4.05) vs. RHP Kyle Gibson (2-6, 3.58)

Gausman and Bundy have both been the subject of some trade deadline buzz. Many believe the Orioles would have to be blown away by offers to part with either of the young pitchers. While some clubs may see either pitcher as an adjustment or two away from dominance, both are “success stories” in context of the Orioles organization (their ERAs are below five).

Gausman’s season ERA is a touch below his average of 4.16, and he’s pitched well in his last three starts. Last time out, he threw eight strong innings in a win against the Angles. That outing marked three consecutive Quality Starts for the righty.

After consecutive years with a 5.07 ERA, Gibson has pitched far better in 2018. However, his record does not tell that tale. He blanked the Orioles over six innings in his first start of the year, but he did walk five batters that day.

Game four: Sunday, 2:10 pm

RHP Alex Cobb (2-10, 6.53) vs. RHP Jake Odorizzi (3-6, 4.57)

I still cringe every time that I type/read those numbers. At this point, the Orioles are just looking for encouraging signs from the former star free agent. Cobb has gone over a month since his last victory, but the Orioles have no choice but to keep trotting him out there every fifth day. Maybe the righty will surprise some folks this Sunday.


How many games will the Orioles win in this series against the Twins?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    0 (The Orioles get swept)
    (23 votes)
  • 30%
    (42 votes)
  • 41%
    (58 votes)
  • 7%
    (10 votes)
  • 5%
    (7 votes)
140 votes total Vote Now