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Saturday afternoon Orioles game thread: vs Guardians, 4:05

Can Tyler Wells play the stopper today against Cleveland?

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles are 1-2 in June. They have given up 37 runs in their last six games. It’s ugly. Above all, what they need right now is starting pitching.

On the bright side, if you had to pick one O’s starter to play the stopper today, it would be Tyler Wells. Last week, he annihilated the Red Sox, going six innings with no runs, two hits, and one walk allowed, and three strikeouts in the best start of his young career. Wells had a rocky start to the 2022 season, but the Orioles have to like a 3.03 ERA with just 3 walks over in his last seven starts. It would be great to see Wells play the role of stopper here.

The Guardians aren’t looking to make things easy, though. In his third year of pro baseball, right-hander Triston McKenzie has put up impressive numbers: a 3-4 record in nine outings, with a 0.86 WHIP and a team-leading 2.65 ERA. But as our Tyler Young wrote in his series preview a few days ago, McKenzie ranks in the bottom 10th of the league in average exit velocity against, and his 7.94 K/9 has dropped off from his 2020-21 numbers. Perhaps this Orioles lineup can make some solid contact against him.

One other funny thing about this starter matchup: both McKenzie and Wells are tall (McKenzie listed at 6’5” and Wells, as everybody knows, a massive 6’8”). But Wells, at 255 lbs, has 90 lbs. on the reed-thin McKenzie. Too bad this isn’t football, or we’d be assured of a win.

Let’s go O’s!

Orioles lineup

1. Cedric Mullins LF

2. Trey Mancini 1B

3. Anthony Santander RF

4. Austin Hays LF

5. Ryan Mountcastle DH

6. Rougned Odor 2B

7. Ramón Urías 3B

8. Robinson Chirinos C

9. Jorge Mateo SS

Guardians lineup

1. Myles Straw CF

2. Amed Rosario SS

3. José Ramírez 3B

4. Owen Miller DH

5. Josh Naylor 1B

6. Oscar Gonzalez RF

7. Andrés Giménez 2B

8. Luke Maile C

9. Steven Kwan LF