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Orioles-White Sox series preview: Post-sweep, O’s take on a friendlier foe

The Orioles found no luck hosting or visiting the Twins, but will get a chance to rebound against a White Sox team they played well last week.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles couldn’t get done with the Minnesota Twins soon enough. Chances are, they’ll be happier to see their next opponent on the schedule.

A three-game set with the Chicago White Sox is next on the docket, and it’s a team with which the Orioles had a productive series just last week. Baltimore dropped the opener, 12-2, but bounced back behind strong starts from Andrew Cashner and John Means, respectively, to win 9-1 and 4-3 and take the series.

The White Sox (11-14) will come in with more momentum, however, having taken two games from Detroit, 12-11 and 4-1, that were sandwiched around a postponement.

There’s health news regarding notable players for both teams. Trey Mancini is day-to-day for Baltimore (10-19) with a bruised finger suffered during Saturday’s loss to Minnesota, while heralded White Sox youngster Eloy Jimenez was placed on the injured list Sunday and won’t be available for this series.

Game 1 - Monday, 8:10 p.m.

Starting pitchers

  • John Means: 3 GS, 20.2 IP, 1.74 ERA, 3.33 FIP, 1.113 WHIP, 23 SO, 6 BB
  • Manny Banuelos: 1 GS, 14.1 IP, 2.51 ERA, 3.90 FIP, 1.395 WHIP, 13 SO, 8 BB

The opening game will match up two decent finds for their respective clubs. Means has, without question, been the Orioles’ best pitcher this year. He impressed out of the gate with a strong relief outing against the Yankees in Baltimore’s third game of the season and has rolled since, making six appearances without allowing more than an earned run in either of them.

Banuelos, meanwhile, has been solid this season for the White Sox as both a starter and a reliever. There are causes for concern, however. His ERA is good, but his control has been spotty, and is the main reason for his vulnerable WHIP. The Orioles would do well to be patient - certainly more so than they were in Banuelos’s first start against them, when they drew only one walk against him in four shutout innings.

Game 2 - Tuesday, 8:10 p.m.

Starting pitchers

  • Andrew Cashner: 6 GS, 32.1 IP, 4.18 ERA, 5.11 FIP, 1.392 WHIP, 20 SO, 13 BB
  • Ivan Nova: 5 GS, 25.2 IP, 8.42 ERA, 4.57 FIP, 1.753 WHIP, 18 SO, 6 BB

The last time these pitchers faced, the Orioles had their way at the plate, battering Nova for four home runs in a 9-1 win. Renato Nunez, Chris Davis, Dwight Smith Jr. and Joey Rickard had the Baltimore homers, and Nova limped through a four-inning outing in which he allowed 11 hits, nine runs (all earned) and struck out four against three walks.

It wasn’t an anomaly from the former longtime Yankee, who has been inconsistent this season. He allowed one run in two outings this season, but has also had starts in which he gave up six, seven and then nine.

Cashner, meanwhile, allowed one run in seven tidy innings in that start, and at 4-1 is tied for second in the American League in wins. His statistics haven’t been sensational, but the Orioles have scored 6.7 runs per start for him, a rate that last year would have been the fourth best in the major leagues.

Game 3 - Wednesday, 8:10 p.m.

Starting pitchers

  • Likely David Hess: 5 GS, 26 IP, 5.88 ERA, 6.56 FIP, 1.231 WHIP, 18 SO, 7 BB
  • TBD (possibly Carlos Rodon)

For the Orioles, the next man up would likely have been Alex Cobb, who started the first game against the Twins, but who’s on the injured list while trying to work his way back to health from a lower back strain. Enter the Hess Express, who was bumped to the bullpen for Means, only to get the call back to the rotation after Cobb’s injury.

The no-hitter-that-wasn’t aside, Hess has struggled in his starts for the Orioles. He won’t look forward to seeing these Chicago hitters either, as he was bombed in the 12-2 loss last Monday, allowing four runs in five innings of work.

It’s a shuffling scenario as well for the White Sox, who would be scheduled to give the ball to Ervin Santana had they not designated the veteran righty for assignment after he allowed four runs in 4.2 innings of work in a 4-3 loss to the O’s.

If the White Sox don’t go with a call-up or a spot starter, the ball could go to Rodon, who pitched in Chicago’s 12-11 win over Detroit on Friday. He allowed eight runs, all earned, in three innings of work, and for the season is 3-2 with a 4.94 ERA and 40 strikeouts versus 15 walks in 31 innings.

Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    0 (The Orioles get swept)
    (11 votes)
  • 35%
    1
    (43 votes)
  • 44%
    2
    (53 votes)
  • 10%
    3 (The Orioles sweep the White Sox)
    (13 votes)
120 votes total Vote Now