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Wednesday afternoon Orioles game thread: vs White Sox, 1:05

A sweep of Chicago would be nice, since the AL playoff race remains tight.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Chicago White Sox
Dylan Cease, who kind of looks like Freddie Mercury and hasn’t been himself this year, facing the O’s on April 16.
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Did YOU know that only 0.08 runs separate the 2023 ERA’s of Kyle Gibson and Dylan Cease? And that both Cease and Gibson have a FIP (an ERA correcting for the fielders behind them) a full run lower than their earned run average? Kyle Gibson and Dylan Cease have gotten unlucky this year, but both have been about equally good. And for Cease, “about as good as Kyle Gibson” is a strange place to be.

Last year Cease was a bona fide ace, finishing runner-up in the AL Cy Young vote after leading the AL in ERA for most of the season (with a 2.20 mark) and posting a 14-8 record with 227 strikeouts in 184 innings. For whatever reason, it’s not working this year. Cease is 5-7 with a a pedestrian 4.81 ERA in 27 starts. He will sometimes look great (he one-hit the hapless Yankees on August 7). But then he’ll put up a real clunker: he allowed seven runs to Texas on August 2 and nine runs against Oakland (?!) last week. Fatigue seems a likely factor, with August his worst month yet.

Kyle Gibson has rarely looked brilliant, but he’s also given his team 27 starts and has a solid 13-7 record. His ERA has also been on an uphill climb (5.55 in eight starts post ASG versus 4.60 in 19 before that) but he did have a very strong eight-inning outing against the Blue Jays last week. Gibson has faced the White Sox once this year: on April 15, he allowed four runs on seven hits, including a home run, over 5.1 innings in a loss. The author of that home run, Jake Burger, is now a Marlin, so maybe the result will be different this time around.

So far this series the Orioles have cleaned up, taking advantage of a weak White Sox bullpen to score thirteen runs in the seventh inning or later. They’ll try for the sweep today with a lineup that features no Adley Rutschman or Austin Hays, Adam Frazier instead manning the cavernous ground in front of Walltimore. There’s only three Chicago lefties in the lineup, so this sounds strange to me, but whatever. Let’s go O’s!

Orioles lineup

  1. Gunnar Henderson 3B
  2. Anthony Santander RF
  3. Ryan Mountcastle DH
  4. Ryan O’Hearn 1B
  5. Cedric Mullins CF
  6. Adam Frazier LF
  7. Jordan Westburg 2B
  8. James McCann C
  9. Jorge Mateo SS

White Sox lineup

  1. Tim Anderson SS
  2. Andrew Benintendi LF
  3. Luis Robert Jr. CF
  4. Eloy Jiménez DH
  5. Andrew Vaughn 1B
  6. Yasmani Grandal C
  7. Elvis Andrus 3B
  8. Oscar Colás RF
  9. Lenyn Sosa 2B