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Orioles-Blue Jays series preview: It’s back to the AL East

Because you can’t always just play the Royals…

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays
Last time these two faced, from May 19-21, the Orioles pulled off a sweep in Toronto.
Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

What’s better than sweeping the Blue Jays on the road in Toronto? Sweeping them in Camden Yards, of course! It’s only been a month since the Orioles gloriously took three games off the Jays in Rogers Centre from May 19-21. It wasn’t a piece of cake, but Orioles hitters feasted on Toronto pitching to give them a pleasant 20-10 combined run differential.

Since last they met, Toronto has been hanging in in this tough AL East. The Blue Jays find themselves in fourth place in the division, but just five games back of the Orioles. That’s not a margin that allows anybody to take a breather. The Jays come to town fresh off a series loss to the Twins, although before that, they took three of four games from the Astros.

Hopefully, Blue Jay-killer Ryan Mountcastle should be back and ready to go. He’s been resting the past few days due to an illness, and was going through some struggles at the plate before that. But in his career, he has destroyed the Blue Jays. A hot Gunnar Henderson could help against two righties in this series, and expect to see a lot of the hot lefty duo of Aaron Hicks and Ryan O’Hearn, as well.

Game 1: Tuesday, 7:05 ET, MASN2

Chris Bassitt (7-4, 82 IP, 3.29 ERA, 70 K) v. Dean Kremer (6-3, 70 IP, 4.89 ERA, 59 K)

Chris Bassitt is one of the reasons the Blue Jays were able to tame the Astros last week. He simply dominated Houston, tossing eight innings where he allowed just four hits and no walks. Bassitt has had sustained success this season. His 2.69 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 1.00 WHIP both rank among the best in the AL, making him a tall order for Baltimore. Expect a lefty-heavy order tonight.

Dean Kremer struggled his last time out, allowing six earned runs over five innings in a loss to the Brewers. One big issue for him has been homers. He’s allowing one and a half per nine innings after giving up just 0.79 last season. Despite that, Kremer has shown toughness on the mound this year. He’s difficult to fluster or blow out of games. Last week’s was his first loss since May, so hopefully Kremer will bounce back tonight.

Game 2: Wednesday, 7:05 ET, MASN

José Berríos (6-4, 77.1 IP, 3.61 ERA, 70 K) v. Kyle Bradish (2-2, 53 IP, 4.25 ERA, 51 K)

Jose Berríos has been another bright spot in the Toronto rotation. His last time out, he went six innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits in a quality start over the Astros. Berríos has a 1.23 WHIP through 14 starts, plus a solid 2.92 strikeout-to-walk ratio and an 8.1 K/9. He’s 3-0 with two no decisions in his last five outings againt Baltimore dating back to 2021. Aaron Hicks likes hitting off him, though: the lefty is .333 in 12 career at-bats. AL All-Star front-runner in votes Adley Rutschman has a .700 average off of Berríos in 10 AB’s. I’ll take that matchup.

Kyle Bradish has been boom-and-bust this season, and last time out was kind of a mix: he allowed three runs in the first inning, but then struck out 10 batters over five innings pitched. He walked just one, which was an improvement. Bradish has a nice 8.7 K/9 rate and a 1.36 WHIP. He’s struggled against left-handed hitters, although fortunately, the Blue Jays are righty-heavy.

Game 3: Thursday, 1:05 ET, MASN 2

Yusei Kikuchi (6-2, 66.1 IP, 4.34 ERA, 64 K) v. Tyler Wells (5-2, 75 IP, 3.24 ERA, 74 K)

Kikuchi is the only Blue Jays starter the Orioles will be facing again in this series. On May 19, he allowed three runs in 4.2 innings, all on a Ryan Mountcastle bomb. Kikuchi has been extremely homer-prone, especially against righties: he’s giving up 2.44 per game, which is almost as many walks as he allows (2.88). All this is to say, this would be a great time for a triumphant return for Mountcastle: the righty slugger is 5-for-10 against Kikuchi with four long balls.

Tyler Wells has quietly become the Orioles’ best starter. On Friday, he tossed 6.2 innings and allowed two runs on five hits and one walk in a 3-2 win. He now has a 0.85 WHIP through 13 games started this season, with a 4.93 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He’s also been able to limit opposing batters to a .189 BABIP, which has helped sustain him on this path.


A month ago, this team swept the Blue Jays in Toronto. Do you think they’re up to a repeat performance?


How many games will the Orioles win against the Blue Jays this week?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Three (the O’s sweep)
    (47 votes)
  • 70%
    (329 votes)
  • 19%
    (90 votes)
  • 0%
    Zero (get swept)
    (4 votes)
470 votes total Vote Now