There is an argument to be made that this is the most consequential series that the Orioles will play all month. The visiting Blue Jays come to Camden Yards 10 games back in the race for the AL East crown. A sweep this week could be something of a deathblow to their chances in the division, and it would be kinda neat if the Orioles were the ones to deliver that.
The inverse would also be a big deal. The O’s have a four-game cushion between their second-place position in the East, and the Yankees down in third. But that would nearly evaporate if the Jays take care of their business this week. We do not want that!
Dean Kremer heads to the bump looking to improve on his last outing, when he allowed six runs in five innings. The only other time he’s faced the Blue Jays this year was a good one: 5.1 innings, one earned run. But he also served up nine hits and a home run. The righty is contact-oriented, but it needs to be within reason. This Blue Jays offense is still top 10 in the league in runs scored. He’ll have to be careful.
Ryan Mountcastle remains on the bench with his lengthy illness. The recent breakout of Ryan O’Hearn gives the O’s plenty of cushion to absorb the absence of their slugger. O’Hearn went 5-for-5 with a home run, a double, two walks, and four runs scored over the weekend against his former team, the Royals, and he boasts a 1.340 OPS since May 31.
Orioles Starting Lineup
- Gunnar Henderson, DH
- Adley Rutchman, C
- Anthony Santander, RF
- Ryan O’Hearn, 1B
- Austin Hays, LF
- Aaron Hicks, CF
- Adam Frazier, 2B
- Ramón Urías, 3B
- Jorge Mateo, SS
Dean Kremer, RHP (6-3, 4.89 ERA)