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Orioles-Marlins series preview: A battle between wild card leaders

The Orioles will start the second half with three games against the Marlins at Camden Yards.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Minnesota Twins Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore entered the All-Star break tied in the loss column with the Rays atop the AL East. The Orioles hold a 54-35 record and a five game advantage in the first wild card spot. Not bad, huh?

The O’s will start the second half against their NL counterpart. The Marlins sit in second place in the NL East and currently hold a three-game advantage in the NL wild card standings.

There are plenty of story lines for Baltimore’s second half. When will Grayson Rodriguez return? Will any additional prospects debut? Will John Means rejoin the rotation? How does Ryan Mountcastle fit into the lineup with Ryan O’Hearn maxing out exit velocities on a daily basis?

Brandon Hyde and the gang will start with Miami and take it from there.

Game 1: Friday, July 14, 7:05 pm — MASN 2

RHP Dean Kremer (9-4, 4.78 ERA) vs. RHP Sandy Alcantara (3-7, 4.72 ERA)

The Orioles restructured the rotation to provide Tyler Wells some extra rest. Kremer will take the ball against a Marlins offense that ranks 21st in the league with 386 runs scored. Kremer will aim for consistency after an up-and-down first half. The former Dodger prospect posted a 6.67 ERA in his first six starts, but bounced back with a 2.45 ERA over five outings in May. Kremer stumbled in June, but tossed seven innings of one run ball his last time out.

The reigning Cy Young winner turned in a mostly pedestrian first half. Alcantara has allowed at least one long ball in over half his starts, and his 4.72 ERA would represent a career worst. Alcantara’s strikeouts have been down this season, so the Birds should have an opportunity to put it in play against Miami’s staff ace.

Game 2: Saturday, July 15, 7:05 pm — MASN 2

RHP Kyle Gibson (9-6. 4.60 ERA) vs. LHP Braxton Garrett (5-2, 3.70 ERA)

Kyle Gibson delivered Baltimore all it could ask for in the first half. The veteran shined early in the year before stumbling a bit in June. Still, the Orioles will look to the 35-year-old for stability down the stretch. Gibson limited Minnesota to only three hits over seven innings in his final start before the break.

While Alcantara has struggled, Garrett has provided Miami a boost in the rotation. The 25-year-old’s FIP (3.43) sits below his ERA (3.70), and his 1.137 WHIP is nothing to sneeze at. Garrett pounds the zone with an impressive 101/15 K/BB ratio, so the free passes could be hard to come by.

Game 3: Sunday, July 16, 1:35 pm — MASN 2

RHP Kyle Bradish (5-4, 3.32 ERA) vs. TBD

Kyle Bradish experienced plenty of success in the first half. He limited opponents to three runs or less in all but two starts, and completed at least six innings in four of his last five starts.

Bradish utilized his breaking pitches to great success in the first half. Opponents hit just .182 off his slider and .156 against the curve. Bradish limited the free passes and demonstrated swing-and-miss stuff over his last six outings.

The Marlins have yet to name a starter for Sunday. Miami’s bullpen ranks in the middle of the pack with a 4.11 ERA.


How many games with the Orioles win in this series against the Marlins?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Three (Orioles sweep)
    (43 votes)
  • 77%
    (268 votes)
  • 8%
    (29 votes)
  • 1%
    None (Orioles get swept)
    (5 votes)
345 votes total Vote Now