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Wednesday night Orioles game thread: at Phillies, 6:05pm ET

The O’s turn to ace Kyle Bradish as they look to rebound from Tuesday’s disappointing loss and take the series from the Phillies.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday night’s walk-off loss to the Phillies served as another reminder of the Orioles bullpen insecurities. While those won’t be fixed before tonight’s game against Philadelphia, there is good news for all of Birdland. For starters, Félix Bautista should be available tonight after resting the last two games to recover from his big weekend in Tampa. The other good news is that de facto ace Kyle Bradish takes the bump for the O’s, as he looks to close out his dominant July.

Bradish is sure to be in line for Pitcher of the Month recognitions if he can close this month out with a strong showing against the Phillies. Over his first four starts in July, the 26-year-old righty has piled up 25.1 innings while holding opponents to 1.07 ERA and a .202 BAA. Bradish has also racked up 25 Ks over those four outings, upping his K/9 rate from 8.4 heading into July to 8.9 over the last month. While this will be his first start against Philadelphia, Bradish has excelled throughout his young career in interleague matchups. In nine such games, the right-hander boasts a 2.70 ERA, .223 BAA and has struck out 62 batters in 50 innings.

Despite Bradish’s dominant July, the Orioles are only 2-2 in his four starts. That’s been in large part due to inconsistent run support when their newly crowned ace is on the mound. In the two wins, the O’s are averaging 9.5 runs a game—though that number is slightly skewed thanks to a 14-run outburst against the Yankees. In both losses, Baltimore was completely shut out.

The good new for the Orioles’ offense is that they’re facing a pitcher in Ranger Suárez who’s had a polar opposite July compared to Bradish. Over his last four starts, the 27-year-old lefty from Venezuela has struggled to a 6.14 ERA and a .326 BAA, and the Phillies are 1-3 this month when he starts. Suárez tends to rely on a sinker-fastball-curveball, occasionally mixing in a changeup or cutter. That curve has been his best pitch all season with opponents only hitting .154 against the breaking ball. The matchup should prove advantageous for the Orioles’ best curveball hitter in Anthony Santander. Tony Taters has actually produced the fifth highest Run Value in all the majors against curveballs, coming into the game hitting .400 with .767 SLG against the big breakers.

Orioles Lineup

  1. Austin Hays (R) LF
  2. Adley Rutschman (S) DH
  3. Anthony Santander (S) RF
  4. Ryan Mountcastle (R) 1B
  5. Jordan Westburg (R) 2B
  6. Ramón Urías (R) 3B
  7. James McCann (R) C
  8. Jorge Mateo (R) SS
  9. Ryan McKenna (R) CF

Starting pitcher: Kyle Bradish (6-5, 3.05 ERA, 1.13 WHIP)

Phillies Lineup

  1. Kyle Schwarber (L) DH
  2. Nick Castellanos (R) RF
  3. Bryce Harper (L) 1B
  4. Alec Bohm (R) 3B
  5. Bryson Stott (L) 2B
  6. J.T. Realmuto (R) C
  7. Brandon Marsh (L) CF
  8. Jake Cave (L) LF
  9. Edmundo Sosa (R) SS

Starting pitcher: Ranger Suárez (2-5, 4.07 ERA, 1.40 WHIP)