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Orioles Game #100 Game Thread: at Phillies, 6:40

Fresh off winning their series against the Rays, the Orioles must keep the good times rolling in Philadelphia

MLB: JUL 19 Dodgers at Orioles Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The best team in the American League is right back in action on Monday night. It’s fun to say that about the Orioles! Their record speaks for itself, even if not every site that puts out power rankings (cough, FanGraphs) agrees unanimously. You really have to ignore what has actually happened to reach any different conclusion.

This does not guarantee that the Orioles will be the best team the rest of the way, of course. But they are where they are right now and it’s not an accident. If they can keep putting their best foot forward while overcoming the injuries and ineffectiveness that can plague any team, there’s no reason they can’t stay up top.

Tonight starts three games against the Phillies. For some broader thoughts on this team, and the matchups that are coming up in the rest of the series, check out my series preview.

I’m looking for a good outing from Dean Kremer. I don’t know if I will get one. He had good starts against the Yankees and Marlins to start off his month, then got blasted pretty good by the Dodgers. The Phillies are not, overall, as tough of a lineup as the Dodgers are, so maybe that will go better for Kremer.

Orioles lineup

  1. Austin Hays - LF
  2. Anthony Santander - RF
  3. Ryan Mountcastle - 1B
  4. Gunnar Henderson - DH
  5. Jordan Westburg - 2B
  6. Aaron Hicks - CF
  7. Ramón Urías - 3B
  8. James McCann - C
  9. Jorge Mateo - SS

No Adley Rutschman stands out right away. He could probably use a rest, although he’s not exactly mired in a slump. The big slumper of the lineup is Hays, OPSing .557 over the last 28 days. He’s leading off against the lefty anyway.

This is another challenge that the team needs to overcome for the time being. They’ve been winning in July, so it’s good so far! I am never convinced it will last, but that’s more about me and my inability to believe in sustained good things for the team than it is about how the Orioles have been playing.

Phillies lineup

  1. Kyle Schwarber - LF
  2. Trea Turner - SS
  3. Bryce Harper - DH
  4. Nick Castellanos - RF
  5. Bryson Stott - 2B
  6. Josh Harrison - 3B
  7. Jake Cave - 1B
  8. Garrett Stubbs - C
  9. Johan Rojas - CF

The Phillies starter for this series opener is 26-year-old lefty Cristopher Sánchez. He’s been a hard luck loser this year, with an 0-3 record even though his ERA is 3.06 over his seven starts.

The 6-9 batters of the Phillies lineup are probably not what a starting pitcher who hasn’t been getting run support would be happy to see. That is a group that is on the struggle bus, so, you know, hopefully Dean Kremer can pitch against this bottom of the lineup like he should.