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Orioles-White Sox series preview: The O’s face another rebuilding club

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After starting their homestand by getting swept by the Twins, the Orioles play the White Sox for the first time this season.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Baltimore Orioles Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox, like the O’s, are not off to a good start so far this season. And like Baltimore, Chicago is in some phase of “rebuilding” in 2019, with a roster full of talent but low on experience.

The leader of the South Siders’ infield is shortstop Tim Anderson, who’s hitting .418/.443/.746 with four home runs and nine steals. He recently served a one-game suspension after the near-brawl against Kansas City, but will be active for the series against the O’s. The highly-touted Yoan Moncada — who came to Chicago as part of the Chris Sale trade with Boston — is also off to a hot start at the plate. He’s got six home runs and 18 RBI with a .317/.356/.756 slash line. On the other hand, veteran Jose Abreu is only hitting .192 with a .747 OPS through 20 games.

Starter Carlos Rodon is leading their pitching staff with a 2.89 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, but luckily the O’s won’t have to face him this series. Closer Alex Colome is a perfect 4-for-4 in save chances this year with a 3.00 ERA and 0.89 WHIP.

The White Sox record stands at 8-12, 4.5 games behind the AL Central leading Minnesota Twins. Chicago is carrying a -20 run differential into this series against Baltimore — who currently has a -46 run differential.

Last year the Orioles went 3-4 in the season series against the White Sox, scoring 29 runs while allowing 33 over those seven games.

Game 1: Monday, 7:05 PM

LHP Manny Banuelos (1-0, 3.48 ERA) vs. RHP David Hess (1-3, 5.57 ERA)

This will be Banuelos’ first start of the year for the White Sox, with all four of his appearances up to this point in the season coming out of the bullpen. His only MLB experience before this year was seven appearances (six starts) in 2015 with the Braves when he put up a 5.13 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in 26.1 innings.

Hess has allowed seven home runs in his last three starts after allowing none in his first two appearances of 2019. In his most recent outing, the right-hander only lasted two innings against the Rays while allowing six runs on eight hits.

In his lone career start against the White Sox, Hess allowed four runs (three earned, including three home runs) in 4.1 innings with one walk and seven strikeouts.

Game 2: Tuesday, 7:05 PM

RHP Ivan Nova (0-2, 6.23 ERA) vs. RHP Andrew Cashner (3-1, 4.97 ERA)

Nova started his career with the Yankees before being traded to the Pirates and then the White Sox. Having spent a chunk of his career in the AL East, Nova is no stranger to the Orioles. In 18 career appearances (17 starts) against Baltimore, the right-hander is 8-4 with a 4.98 ERA and 1.31 WHIP.

So far this year, Nova has had two starts where he’s allowed only one run, going six and seven innings. He’s also had two bad starts, allowing seven runs in 2.1 innings to the Mariners and in his most recent start, six runs to the Tigers in 6.1 innings.

The Orioles’ Cashner is coming off a solid outing against the Rays where he went five innings and allowed two runs. He also had his best K:BB ratio of the season (6:1). In five career appearances (three starts) against the White Sox, Cashner is 1-2 with a 4.34 ERA, 2.08 WHIP and 0.92 SO/W.

Game 3: Wednesday, 7:05 PM

RHP Ervin Santana (0-1, 10.38 ERA) vs. TBD

The 36-year-old Santana, who is now in his 15th major league season, has become a well-traveled veteran. After spending eight years in Los Angeles with the Angels, one year each in Kansas City and Atlanta, and four with the Twins, he finds himself on the South Side of Chicago with the White Sox.

He signed a minor league contract with an invite to spring training this past February and was assigned to the Charlotte Knights before being selected to join the big league club on April 9. In 16 career starts against the O’s, Santana is 5-5 with a 4.44 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 6.1 SO/9.

The Orioles have yet to announce a starter for the series finale as of early this morning. Two very speculative guesses (depending on usage the next couple days) are either Gabriel Ynoa or John Means.

Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Three (sweep city)
    (11 votes)
  • 41%
    Two
    (56 votes)
  • 41%
    One
    (56 votes)
  • 8%
    None (uh-oh)
    (12 votes)
135 votes total Vote Now