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Saturday night Orioles game thread: at Guardians, 6:10pm ET

John Means makes his third start back in the majors as he looks to guide the O’s to breaking their three-game losing streak,

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s be honest, none of us saw those first two games against the Guardians going the way they did. From the bats falling silent in Game 1 to the comeback that was all for not in Game 2, it’s been a frustrating last two days in Cleveland for the Orioles. However, there are a couple of things working in the O’s favor that points toward tonight’s game being a nice rebound effort against the Guardians. First, the O’s have been incredible all season at avoiding long losing streaks. Last night’s loss marked only the sixth time all year that the O’s have lost three games in a row. Only two of those times did the losing streak stretch to four games and Baltimore is yet to have a losing streak of five games or longer.

The second factor going in the Orioles favor is former ace John Means takes the bump in the city where he made his lone All-Star appearance. While Means hasn’t quite been back to All-Star form since his return to injury, his first two starts back in the black and orange were encouraging. The lefty did allow three runs over five innings in his 2023 debut vs. St Louis, but bounced back with a strong five innings against the Astros—where he allowed only one run on four hits.

Means gets a favorable matchup tonight against the Guardians, who are one of the worst teams in the league at hitting left-handed pitching. While the MLB average against lefties is a .254 averag and .741 OPS, Cleveland have only been able to muster a .233 average and .663 OPS against southpaws. Means should present an especially difficult challenge for the Guardians because of his heavy changeup usage. Of the batters in tonight’s Guardians lineup, only leadoff hitter Steve Kwan has a positive Run Value against changeups.

The Orioles bats should also be looking forward to facing Cleveland starter Cal Quantrill tonight. Quantrill missed most of the last two months due to right shoulder inflammation and only returned to the Guardians rotation at the beginning of September. In four starts since his return Quantrill has shown promise—posting a 1.90 ERA and limiting batters to a .181 average. However, three of those four starts were on the road and Quantrill has been much less effective in Progressive Field. In seven home starts this year, Quantrill has a 6.06 ERA and the Guardians are 3-4 in those games.

Orioles Lineup

  1. Gunnar Henderson (L) SS
  2. Adley Rutschman (S) DH
  3. Anthony Santander (S) RF
  4. Ryan O’Hearn (L) 1B
  5. Cedric Mullins (L) CF
  6. Aaron Hicks (S) LF
  7. Ramón Urías (R) 3B
  8. Adam Frazier (L) 2B
  9. James McCann (R) C

Starting pitcher: John Means (0-1, 3.60 ERA, 2 Ks, 1.20 WHIP)

Guardians Lineup

  1. Steven Kwan (L) LF
  2. José Ramírez (S) DH
  3. Josh Naylor (L) 1B
  4. Ramón Laureano (R) RF
  5. Andrés Giménez (L) 2B
  6. Tyler Freeman (R) 3B
  7. Gabriel Arias (R) SS
  8. Myles Straw (R) CF
  9. Cam Gallagher (R) C

Starting pitcher: Cal Quantrill (3-6, 5.26 ERA, 51 Ks, 1.41 WHIP)