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Wednesday night Orioles game thread: at Brewers, 7:40 pm ET

After dropping the series opener in extra innings, the Orioles will look to rebound as they face off against former Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes and the Brewers.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at San Francisco Giants Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

As Paul so eloquently detailed, last night's series opener against the Brewers was a game most fans will want to forget quickly. Outside of a pair of home runs, the bats looked woefully outmatched, Yennier Cano continued to show signs of being human and the O’s suffered a walkoff loss on a hanging Austin Voth curveball. All in all, not a great night of baseball for Birdland.

Some might then ask, what does Baltimore have to do to get their bats back on track? The right answer probably isn’t to face 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes. However, that’s the task that faces the Orioles and their inconsistent lineup tonight. The good news is that Burnes has been much closer to “good starting pitcher” than “Cy Young contender” throughout the early part of the 2023 season. His strikeout rate is at the lowest point in his career, he’s walking almost four batters per nine innings and his HR rate continues to rise after giving up a career high 23 home runs in 2022. Additionally, Burnes has been a worse pitcher at American Family Field than when the Brew Crew leave the state of Wisconsin. Opponents are hitting .242 with a .744 OPS against Burnes in Milwaukee, vs. a .183 average and .537 OPS when the he pitches on the road.

The bad new is that Burnes’ last start in front of the home fans was his best home start of the year. The righty from Bakersfield, CA, tossed seven innings of one-run ball, striking out eight and only allowing four hits. Despite it being much less effective than season past, Burnes still relies heavily on his cutter—throwing it more than half the time. The matchup could prove fruitful for young stars Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson, who have both feasted on cutters this season. Henderson—back in the lineup after missing the last two games with a back injury—is hitting .471 with a .824 slugging percentage against cutters this year. Rutschman lags just behind with a .357 average off cutters, and notably only swinging and missing on 14.3% of the cutters he sees.

Opposing Burnes for the Orioles is fellow California native Dean Kremer. Since we left the month of April behind, Kremer has been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. The Orioles are 5-1 in his last six starts, during which he’s sporting a 2.55 ERA. A key for Kremer’s resurgence has been his ability to limit the long ball. In his first six starts, he allowed a home run once every 17.3 at-bats. Over the last six, Kremer has improved that number to once every 44.7 ABs. The Brewers are right around league average when it comes to hitting home runs this season, though 57% of their homers have come at American Family Field. The Brewers home stadium has also seen the fifth-most HRs of any park in baseball, meaning Kremer will have to work to continue his success at limiting the big flies.

Orioles Lineup

  1. Adam Frazier (L) 2B
  2. Adley Rutschman (S) C
  3. Austin Hays (R) LF
  4. Anthony Santander (S) RF
  5. Aaron Hicks (S) CF
  6. Gunnar Henderson (L) 3B
  7. Ryan O’Hearn (L) 1B
  8. Josh Lester (L) DH
  9. Jorge Mateo (R) SS

Starting pitcher: Dean Kremer (6-2, 4.43 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)

Brewers Lineup

  1. Christian Yelich (L) LF
  2. Willy Adames (R) SS
  3. Rowdy Tellez (L) 1B
  4. Owen Miller (R) 3B
  5. Jon Singleton (L) DH
  6. Brian Anderson (R) RF
  7. Andruw Monasterio (R) 2B
  8. Victor Caratini (S) C
  9. Joey Wiemer (R) CF

Starting pitcher: Corbin Burnes (4-4, 3.75 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)