The Texas Rangers might be a team you don’t think about very often. If so, that’s fair. They not only play in the far away A.L. West, but like the Orioles they haven’t had a winning season since 2016. Their loss numbers haven’t plunged to the depths that the Orioles have achieved in the last few years, but it’s all the same in the end.
Fun fact: the 2016 Rangers finished first in their division, but their postseason ended in the same way that the Orioles’ did that year. They lost to the Blue Jays.
Starting today, the Orioles and Rangers kick off a three-game series in Baltimore, the start of a seven-game homestand. After their series with the Rangers, the also bad Los Angeles Angels will come to town.
This year’s Rangers team has notched one more win than the Orioles to date, but because the Astros are the only good team in that division, the Rangers are actually tied for second place! They’re not in play for a playoff spot so it doesn’t really matter, but it’s still kinda wild. I wonder what it would be like to be in a division where literally every other team isn’t currently in a playoff spot.
Game 1: Monday, 1:05 PM, MASN2
Starting pitchers: RHP Dean Kremer (2-1, 1.29 ERA) vs RHP Dane Dunning (1-6, 4.09 ERA)
Guys! Dean Kremer is good! At least, he has been since returning from the injured list. In five starts this season Kremer has given up just four earned runs in 28 innings. In his last start, Kremer pitched seven shutout innings, looking as good as we have ever seen him. In fact, Kremer hasn’t allowed an earned run in any of his last three starts. What’s next for Kremer? Eight shutout innings? Nine? We can only dare to dream.
The first thing that jumps out at me when I read Dane Dunning’s stat line is that he leads the league with hit by pitches. Keep him away from Trey Mancini! That guy needs a break. Dunning, who was traded to the Rangers by the White Sox for Lance Lynn, is pretty much the definition of average. I don’t mean that as an insult! The Orioles could use a few guys like that! His OPS+ is 94 this season and he’s pitched at least five innings in 11 of his 16 starts, and at least six in eight.
Game 2: Tuesday, 7:05 PM, MASN2
Starting pitchers: RHP Austin Voth (0-1, 3.00 ERA) vs TBD
Austin Voth’s overall ERA this year is actually 7.34 but I am feeling kind and generous, so I just listed his ERA as an Oriole. This will mark Voth’s fourth consecutive start for the Orioles, though he really is still pretty much a reliever, so don’t expect him to go much more than three innings. He has mostly done his job well, though he did run into some bad luck in his last outing. If he can get through three innings with zero or one run allowed, it’ll be a success.
Game 3: RHP Spenser Watkins (1-1, 4.61 ERA) vs Glenn Otto (4-4, 5.63 ERA)
Do you think that when Glenn Otto does something good, Rangers fans say, “You go, Glenn Otto!” If he was on the Orioles, I would at the very least think that whenever Glenn Otto pitched. Typing Glenn Otto this many times is starting to feel strange.
Spenser Watkins is coming off of his finest start at the major league level in his career. He matched his career high with six innings pitched, and pitched five straight perfect innings after giving up one run in the first. He did that against the first-place Twins, so hopefully some of that will carry over to the below .500 Rangers.
How many games will the Orioles win this series?
This poll is closed