At 17-29, the Orioles are tied for the worst record in MLB. The team they’re tied with, The Minnesota Twins, are hosting the Orioles for a three-game set.
Luckily for the Orioles, John Means will kick off this series. At 4-0, Means still holds the A.L.’s best ERA at 1.70. Against a struggling Twins team, expect that ERA to get better.
The Orioles have a good chance to get back on track, as the Minnesota Twins look to do the same thing.
Following Means, Dean Kremer and Jorge López will pitch games two and three, respectively. For the Twins, Matt Shoemaker, José Berríos, and Michael Pineda will get the starts.
It seems that the Orioles need a lot to go right to get some wins; however, it is attainable! Here is how they can do just that with The Baltimore Battery’s Keys to the Series:
1. Lean on Means for game one victory
John Means is without a doubt the Orioles’ recipe to success. Four runs is the most he has given up in a start, and that came in his last start. His previous high was three on April 13, then he proceeded to allow only three runs in his next five starts. What this means for the offense, pun absolutely intended, is scoring at least three runs should be enough, although more would be better. If the Orioles’ offense can get to Matt Shoemaker just enough, game one should be a victory and a good turn around from the current six-game losing streak the team is on.
2. Starters must go the distance
The Orioles’ bullpen is in the worst spot it has been all year. Over the last week, they simply have been awful. In the middle of a long road trip with no days off, the best thing for the bullpen is to not have to be seen as much. The starters in this series simply must go longer than four innings. This isn’t as much of a worry for Means as it is for Kremer and López. The key to success for both is first pitch strikes and a lot of them, and for López specifically, handling the fifth inning like he was able to in his last start. If both pitchers can deliver at least six innings, the bullpen will be eternally thankful.
3. Just hit the ball
Sounds simple, right? Well the Orioles would have another answer. Outside of Cedric Mullins, Trey Mancini, and Anthony Santander, the offense has been horrid. Three batters cannot win you very many ball games. A couple players like Freddy Galvis, Pedro Severino, and Ryan Mountcastle have to pick it up. After the four hole, the Orioles have been no more than practice for opposing pitchers over the last two weeks. With the bullpen in the shape it is, the rest of the offense has to produce to make up for the runs that will be let up.
Here are tonight’s starting lineups for game one:
Minnesota Twins (17-29):
1. Kyle Garlick RF
2. Josh Donaldson 3B
3. Alex Kirilloff 1B
4. Mitch Garver C
5. Miguel Sanó DH
6. Rob Refsnyder CF
7. Trevor Larnach LF
8. Andrelton Simmons SS
9. Nick Gordon 2B
SP. Matt Shoemaker
Baltimore Orioles (17-29):
1. Cedric Mullins CF
2. Freddy Galvis SS
3. Trey Mancini DH
4. Anthony Santander RF
5. Ryan Mountcastle 1B
6. DJ Stewart LF
7. Maikel Franco 3B
8. Chance Sisco C
9. Stevie Wilkerson 2B
SP. John Means LHP
Game one of this series kicks off at 7:40 p.m. EST, and you can catch each game on MASN or on the flagship radio station of the Orioles, 105.7 The Fan!
The Orioles also announced today that Rio Ruiz has been claimed off waivers by the Colorado Rockies. We want to thank Rio for his contributions to the team during this rebuilding period!
How do you see this series playing out? Let us know in the comments, and make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on the web and on Facebook and Twitter!