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Orioles-Blue Jays series preview: The final series between AL East bottom dwellers

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The Blue Jays come to Camden Yards for a three game series that will not mean much.

Tornoto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

It was just two years ago that the Orioles and Blue Jays were on their respective ways to meeting each other in the wild card game. Now both teams are playing out the string on bad seasons and are in rebuilding mode. The Toronto Blue Jays make their final trip to Camden Yards to begin a three-game series tonight at 7:05.

The Orioles just lost two of three games to the Chicago White Sox and have lost eight of their last 10 games. But they won yesterday behind an eight-run offensive outburst and a bullpen that didn’t allow a run in 4.2 innings of work. Toronto enters this series with a record of 67-82 and have lost six of their last ten. They are coming south from New York where they took two of three games from the Yankees.

The season series between these two clubs has been awfully lopsided. The Orioles have won just four out of the 16 meetings. Amazingly, that winning percentage of .250 is better than they’ve fared against eight other teams this season. Yes, 2018 has been rough.

The Orioles’ pitching situation is in flux entering this series, as Dylan Bundy is the only confirmed starter. Injuries have decimated the O’s rotation and Wednesday’s starter is a complete mystery at this point.

Game 1: Monday, 7:05

TBD vs. Ryan Borucki (3-4, 4.26)

Buck Showalter was expected to announce tonight’s starter after yesterday’s game, but he didn’t. He did say that it will be a “bullpen game” without indicating who the opener would be. Buck said he would choose between three starters, and beat reporters are expecting it to be Donnie Hart, Evan Phillips, or Sean Gilmartin. As Dan Connolly notes, this isn’t being done out of strategy like we have seen Tampa Bay and Oakland do. It is because injuries have taken a toll on the rotation and this is the only option. We can be thankful for expanded rosters.

Ryan Borucki is having a solid rookie campaign for the Jays. He has accumulated a WAR of 0.8 through 76 innings pitched despite posting a WHIP of 1.42. Borucki seems to be, understandably, tiring as he reaches the end of his rookie season. His ERA was 2.30 after his first August start. A little over a month later, it is over two runs higher. With that said, he is coming off a nice start against Boston where he allowed two earned runs in 6.1 innings.

Borucki’s only appearance against the Orioles came on August 29. The O’s won that game because Borucki allowed five runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings. Trey Mancini and Adam Jones homered off of him. Let’s hope Jones plays tonight!

Game 2: Tuesday, 7:05

Dylan Bundy (8-14, 5.48) vs. Aaron Sanchez (4-6, 4.90)

This is a matchup of two young, talented pitchers whose numbers should look a lot better. Bundy’s season has been one of the biggest disappointments for the 2018 Orioles. As we all know, he’s giving up home runs at an alarming rate. He’s allowed 38 this season and has given up at least one in every start he’s made since the beginning of July. Bundy is coming off a very good outing against Oakland. He allowed two earned runs and struck out eight in six innings. That is a performance to build on.

This will be Bundy’s fourth start against the Jays this season. Toronto hasn’t been kind to him thus far. He is 0-2 with a 7.88 ERA. Despite those horrid numbers, his WHIP of 1.38 against them is better than his overall WHIP. Five current Jays have hit home runs off of Bundy in their careers. Aledmys Diaz has two in only six at bats. Kendrys Morales has five hits in sixteen at bats including a home run.

Aaron Sanchez has made four starts since being activated from the disabled list. He’s had a disappointing season overall, but his last two outings have been very good. Most recently he held the Red Sox to one run over seven innings. His K/9 of 7.6 would be a career best for him.

Sanchez has won one of his two starts against Baltimore this season and has a 1.88 ERA in those two games. He has pitched very well in Camden Yards over his career; his ERA there is 3.16 in 37 innings. Chris Davis has owned Sanchez over his career, hitting 3.48 with four home runs. Adam Jones, on the other hand, is only hitting .097 in 31 at bats.

Game 3: Wednesday, 7:05

Both teams are listing Wednesday’s starters as TBD. It would be Luis Ortiz’s turn in the rotation, but Buck Showalter said that we aren’t likely to see him anytime soon after tweaking his hamstring on Friday night. Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner could be possibilities depending on how their injuries are progressing. As Steve Melewski indicated, John Means needs to be added to the 40-man roster this winter and could be a candidate to make a start down the stretch. The last option is another bullpen game.

Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    0 (The Orioles get swept)
    (51 votes)
  • 50%
    1
    (95 votes)
  • 15%
    2
    (30 votes)
  • 6%
    3 (The Orioles sweep)
    (13 votes)
189 votes total Vote Now