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Orioles-Cubs series preview: Taking the win streak to the windy city

The Orioles head to Wrigley Field riding an eight-game win streak. Can the Birds keep things going?

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Baltimore Orioles Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles are flying high during an eight game win streak. Can this thing reach double digits? The Birds head to Chicago to find out.

The Cubs will enter the series sitting in fourth place of the NL Central. At 34-52, the club is expected to sell at the trade deadline for a second consecutive season. The 2016 World Champs represent the latest example of how winning windows can open and close.

The Orioles defeated Chicago 9-3 at Camden Yards back on June 7. Kyle Bradish limited Chicago to two runs in 4.2 innings. The Orioles tagged Keegan Thompson for seven runs in just three innings. The following game was postponed due to rain and is scheduled to be made up on August 18.

The Orioles can clinch the season series with a pair of wins at Wrigley field.

Game 1: Tuesday, 8:05 PM. MASN

RHP Jordan Lyles (5-7, 4.50 ERA) vs. RHP Adrian Sampson (0-0, 2.91 ERA)

Jordan Lyles will take the ball in the opener for the Birds. The innings-eater completed six frames and allowed just one run in his last two starts against Minnesota and Los Angeles.

It’s officially audition time for Lyles. The righty could pitch his way onto a contender—although some would say he is already pitching for a contender—if the Orioles end up selling at the end of the month. At a minimum, he can add a few dollars to his next contract if he pitches well down the stretch.

The Orioles will face righty Adrian Sampson. Sampson has worked into the sixth inning in his last two starts after bouncing between Chicago and Triple-A. The 30-year-old allowed five runs (four earned) in a start against Boston but rebounded to allow just one run in 5.2 innings his last time out against Milwaukee.

Game 2: Wednesday, 8:05 PM. MASN

RHP Spenser Watkins (2-1, 4.15 ERA) vs. TBD

Spenser Watkins gets the nod in the second game. Watkins currently serves as a poster boy for the Orioles' improbable success. His 4.70 FIP sits slightly higher than his 4.15 ERA, but it represents a serious improvement from his 6.37 FIP over 16 games last season. Watkins, a 30th-round pick by Detroit in 2014, appears to have found a home in Baltimore.

Watkins will likely face All-Star catcher Willson Contreras at the dish. Contreras and his brother made headlines for being the first siblings set to start in the Summer Classic in almost 20 years. Contreras has slashed .266/.384/.483 over 73 games this season.

The Cubs had yet to announce a starter as of Tuesday morning.


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

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    2 (O’s mini sweep)
    (166 votes)
  • 39%
    (118 votes)
  • 4%
    0 (O’s get mini swept)
    (13 votes)
297 votes total Vote Now