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Orioles-Nationals series preview: An abbreviated Battle of the Beltway

The Orioles will be playing their neighbors from down the road in Washington, DC for the first time this season.

Baltimore Orioles v Washington Nationals Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Is it still the Battle of the Beltway if it’s really brief and only one team is gunning for the playoffs while the other is languishing in futility? Might be more of a skirmish than a battle.

The Orioles host the Nationals at Camden Yards for a brief two-game series starting tonight. Despite coming into town on a one-game losing streak, Washington has won eight of its last 10 games. They are currently 49-43, including an even .500 record on the road.

Facing a considerable void in star power with the departure of Bryce Harper this past offseason, the Nats are now led on offense by Anthony Rendon (.309/.393/.608, 20 HR, 62 RBI) and Juan Soto (.301/.404/.538, 16 HR, 59 RBI). Veteran Howie Kendrick is hitting a career high .333 at the moment and young Trea Turner isn’t doing bad himself with an .807 OPS.

On the pitching side, the Nationals have yet to announce a starter for Tuesday or Wednesday’s game. One thing the O’s will not have to worry about is facing Nats ace Max Scherzer, who was placed on the injured list retroactive to July 10 because of his back.

Game 1: Tuesday, 7:05 PM

TBD vs. RHP Asher Wojciechowski (0-2, 6.10 ERA)

After joining the Orioles organization only 15 days ago, Wojciechowski will be making his fourth appearance (third start) this evening. In his first two outings he allowed four runs in 5.1 innings against the Rays and three runs in 4.1 innings against the Blue Jays. He also pitched 0.2 scoreless innings in relief of Dylan Bundy this past Friday. In his limited time with the Orioles, the right-hander is averaging 12.2 SO/9 but also 4.4 BB/9.

Game 2: Wednesday, 7:05 PM

TBD vs. RHP Aaron Brooks (2-3, 4.75 ERA)

After spending his first five-plus years in the majors with Kansas City and then Oakland, Brooks found his way to the Orioles after being claimed on waivers July 6 and getting activated three days later. He was pivotal in helping the O’s effectively execute the opener strategy on July 13 against the Rays, pitching 2.2 scoreless innings before giving way to the bullpen. In that game he had a pair of strikeouts and did not allow a single hit or walk, although he did hit one batter with a pitch. The Birds will see if he can build on that success and pitch deeper into the game in the series finale against the Nationals.


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

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Two (pull off a sweep)
    (19 votes)
  • 25%
    (42 votes)
  • 62%
    None (get swept)
    (101 votes)
162 votes total Vote Now

All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, ESPN and MLB.