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Orioles-Red Sox series preview: The best team in baseball returns to Baltimore

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The Birds start a four game series at home against the surging Red Sox, which includes a doubleheader on Saturday.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Boston has dominated the season long matchup against the Orioles this year, having won 10 out of 12 games. Overall, the Red Sox have outscored the O’s 65-34.

This will be the second time the Red Sox have come to town since the All-Star break. The previous series was plagued by rain and each team won a game before the finale was postponed. That game will be made up this Saturday as part of a doubleheader.

There was some bad blood between these two teams after that last matchup. Boston manager Alex Cora was none too happy about how the last game and how the series overall was handled with the rain, making his thoughts well-known with the media.

Nonetheless, Boston keeps dominating in the standings, holding the best record in baseball at 81-35 atop the AL East. They have a +196 run differential and have won eight of their last 10 games. Their offense is one of the most potent in baseball, leading in several major statistical categories, including runs (625), batting average (.269) and OPS (.799), to name a few. And they have the pitching to match, with the second best ERA (3.50) and third most strikeouts (1116) in baseball.

The Orioles offense has awoken since the All-Star break and they were able to muster a few solid pitching performances in the last series against the Rays, albeit with mixed results. We’ll see if the Birds can bring together the pitching and hitting in order to give the best team in baseball a run for their money.

Game One: Friday, 7:05 PM

RHP Dylan Bundy (7-10, 4.38 ERA) vs. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (5-4, 3.38 ERA)

On Friday fireworks and music night at Camden Yards, Dylan Bundy will face off against the Red Sox. His last time out, he gave up two runs (one earned) in seven innings but took a hard luck loss. That one earned run was a home run, something Bundy has struggled with all season. On the year, he is allowing two home runs per nine innings and in four starts during the month of July, he allowed eight home runs in 19.1 innings.

The newest Red Sox starter, hard throwing right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, will oppose Bundy. He was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on July 25 for LHP Jalen Beeks. Earlier this year he missed a lot of time due to loose bodies in his right elbow, so he has only pitched 72 total innings. But he’s been good when he’s been on the mound. Most recently, over his first two starts with Boston, he has thrown 15 scoreless inning. On the year, he is allowing only 0.89 walks and hits per inning pitched.

Game Two: Saturday, 1:05 PM

RHP Jimmy Yacabonis (0-0, 7.15 ERA) vs. LHP David Price (11-6, 3.93 ERA)

You may remember David Price’s last start against the Orioles — it was a rained soaked affair that only lasted a few innings before being postponed and wiped from the records. Price will look to keep his recent luck going, seeing as he’s only allowed three runs in his last 20.1 innings pitched over the course of three games. In his lone official start against the O’s this year, Price went the distance and got a win, allowing only two runs.

Jimmy Yacabonis, prominent member of the Norfolk shuttle, will get his third start of the year in game one of the doubleheader. In four appearances with the big league squad, including two starts, he has allowed nine earned runs in 11.1 innings. In his first start, he allowed two runs over four innings, and in start number two, he allowed three runs over five innings. Yacabonis has done a bit better in the minors this year, carrying a 4.23 ERA over 66 innings.

Game Three: Saturday, 7:05 PM

RHP Yefry Ramirez (1-4, 5.66 ERA) vs. TBD

Yefry Ramirez will be starting for Baltimore and he needs to have a bounce back game. August 5 against Texas was his shortest outing of the year, lasting only 1.2 innings, and he gave up five earned runs while allowing five hits and five walks. In the month of July alone, Ramirez’s ERA went from 2.89 to 4.59. There was hope that he could pitch deeper into games as he gained more experience, but that has not been the case. His season high for innings pitched in a game is still only five.

Boston has not yet posted a starter for game two of the doubleheader on Saturday.

Game Four: Sunday, 1:05 PM

RHP Alex Cobb (3-14, 5.55 ERA) vs. LHP Chris Sale (11-4, 2.04 ERA)

The Red Sox will send their ace to the mound for the series finale at Camden Yards. He will be making his return from the disabled list, where he has been since July 28 due to an inflamed shoulder. Sale will also look to continue his excellent season, in which he leads the American League in numerous pitching categories, including ERA (2.04), WHIP (0.87) and strikeouts (207).

Alex Cobb will get the difficult task of facing off against Sale. The last time he pitched, Cobb threw a gem, giving up one run over seven innings while settling for a no-decision. He’s been able to turn things around recently, allowing three runs or fewer in his last five starts. Since July 8, Cobb’s ERA has gone from 6.67 to 5.55.

Poll

How many games will the Orioles win in this series?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    4 (clean sweep)
    (12 votes)
  • 1%
    3
    (3 votes)
  • 7%
    2
    (12 votes)
  • 46%
    1
    (78 votes)
  • 37%
    0 (get swept)
    (62 votes)
167 votes total Vote Now