Now that the draft has come and gone, Orioles fans can turn their attention to player development and the international signing period. That being said, the Orioles are going to keep playing baseball for a few more months.
Baltimore will head down to Houston to take on Mike Elias’s former employer. While the Orioles may have modeled some of their draft strategy after Elias’s time in Houston, Baltimore will look to best the ‘Stros for a couple games in June.
The Astros will enter the series comfortably in first place of the AL West. Houston appears to be on track for its third consecutive division crown, and continues to provide hope to Orioles fans that things can be turned around under the right leadership.
Game 1: Friday, 8:10
RHP Gabriel Ynoa (0-2, 5.06 ERA) vs. RHP Gerrit Cole (5-5, 3.94 ERA)
The Orioles will kick off the series with Gabriel Ynoa on the mound. Yesterday, Harrison Jozwiak wrote that Ynoa has a chance to stick in the rotation. Whether or not that is out of pure necessity should not matter to Ynoa. If he pitches well, he’s going to keep getting opportunities. If he pitches poorly, he still might get those opportunities. Regardless, this certainly looks like a make-or-break year for Ynoa at the Major League level. Every start is a chance to show that he belongs.
The Astros will counter with Gerrit Cole. The former Pirate hasn’t quite replicated his All-Star campaign from a year ago, but he has his ERA back under four after two consecutive quality starts. Cole ranks among the league leaders in strikeouts again this year, so he represents a clear challenge for this Orioles lineup.
Game 2: Saturday, 4:10
RHP Andrew Cashner (6-2, 5.04 ERA) vs. LHP Framber Valdez (2-2, 3.12 ERA)
Andrew Cashner’s 6-2 record and his 5.04 ERA may not appear to line up, but that’s where we are. Cashner has done enough to keep Baltimore in several games, and the Orioles have provided him with ample run support. Cashner allowed five and six runs his last two times out, but came away with victories in both games. The pair broke a streak of three consecutive quality starts. Cashner will look to get back on track Saturday afternoon.
Framber Valdez will make his first start of the season after pitching solely in relief. In 14 games, Valdez has a 3.12 ERA through 26 innings. Valdez made five starts last season for the Astros, and was considered for the rotation before ending up in the ‘pen. As a starter last season, he went 2-1 with a 2.59 ERA through 24.1 innings. He tossed four innings on June 3, so Baltimore should see Houston’s bullpen relatively early in this one.
Game 3: Sunday, 2:10
RHP Dylan Bundy (3-6, 4.64 ERA) vs. LHP Wade Miley (5-3, 3.39 ERA)
The Orioles announced on Thursday that Dylan Bundy would start in the finale. Bundy has quietly put together a solid month of pitching for the Orioles. He has not allowed more than three runs in an outing since the end of April. Bundy tossed seven strong innings against Detroit before picking up a win in Texas his last time out. He’s still giving up the long ball (14 through 12 starts), but has given the Birds a chance to win. The next step for Bundy will be getting through the sixth inning consistently.
Wade Miley will start the finale for the Astros. Miley has come a long way since leading the league in walks with the Orioles in 2017. He’s been extremely consistent for Houston, and has not allowed more than four runs in 13 starts. Miley averaged over 7.5 strikeouts in his last three outings. He’s due for a hiccup, but it may not come against Baltimore.
How many games will the Orioles win in this series against the Astros?
This poll is closed
3 (Orioles will sweep)
0 (Orioles will get swept)