For the first time, the Baltimore Orioles are making a trip to Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX. This will be a three-game series that will feature Jorge López on the mound in game one, undecided for game two, and John Means in game three.
The Orioles are coming off a frustrating four-game series against the Mariners, where the three losses in that series all came by two runs or less.
In this series, The Orioles hope to kick off the road trip on a good note, maybe with some offense.
Throughout the last series, the killer was a lack of offense to support what were three good starts by Matt Harvey, John Means, and Bruce Zimmermann. Along with that, the bullpen didn’t help out too much.
For this next series against the Rangers, these are your Baltimore Battery Keys to the Series!
1. Run Support… PLEASE!
Any good start by a pitcher can be thrown to the wayside when his offense doesn’t produce runs. We saw this in three games against the Mariners. The Orioles will see Mike Foltynewicz, Dane Dunning, and Kyle Gibson. All three are serviceable arms, while all three are arms the offense should be able to get to. A big part of needing run support is getting these starters out of the game early. So far, the Orioles’ offense has not been very successful in running a team’s starter out of the game.
2. Bullpen needs to support the rotation.
Jorge López so far this year has not fared well. Assuming he lasts about four innings in game one, the bullpen is going to need to work. When facing a lackluster offense in the Rangers, the Orioles bullpen must throw strikes and keep the offense in the game. Giving up late leads and blowing starters’ quality outings, like as of late, will not prove to be successful. Limit the base runners, and get those third outs.
3. Focus on getting on base.
There is no hiding the fact that the Orioles’ offense is going to strike out a lot; they already have. Also, a chunk of the Orioles’ lineup simply aren’t taking pitches or forcing walks. Being aggressive is great, but the offense must really see more pitches, especially from the starters. This will put more pressure on the opposing team’s arms. With the hitting abilities of a few players like Cedric Mullins, Trey Mancini, and Anthony Santander, we need base runners to improve the offensive production.
Here are your game one starting lineups:
Texas Rangers (6-7):
1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa SS
2. Nate Lowe 1B
3. Joey Gallo RF
4. Adolis García LF
5. David Dahl DH
6. Nick Solak 2B
7. Jose Trevino C
8. Anderson Tejada 3B
9. Leody Taveras CF
SP. Mike Foltynewicz RHP
Baltimore Orioles (5-8):
1. Cedric Mullins CF
2. Anthony Santander RF
3. DJ Stewart LF
4. Trey Mancini 1B
5. Maikel Franco 3B
6. Ryan Mountcastle DH
7. Rio Ruiz 2B
8. Pedro Severino C
9. Freddy Galvis SS
SP. Jorge López RHP
Tonight’s game is available on MASN2 and on the flagship station of the O’s, 105.7 The Fan. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. EST.
What are your thoughts and predictions for this series? Let us know in the comments, and follow The Baltimore Battery on the web and on Facebook and Twitter!