The last time the Orioles played the Indians, the offense looked like they could beat the 1970 Orioles starting rotation with four 20-game winners. In the five games since that series, the Oriole offense has only put up 18 runs combined.
After just being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk, Dean Kremer will start game one of this series. Behind him, we will see Matt Harvey, Keegan Akin, and Jorge López.
Like in the last series against Cleveland, the Orioles will face Jean Carlos Mejía, Cal Quantrill, and Aaron Civale. In game four, the starter for the Indians is TBD, and it will not be last year’s Cy Young winner, Shane Bieber. Phew!
The Orioles have a chance to bounce back and end their current four-game losing streak in Cleveland. These Baltimore Battery Keys to the Series are how they can do it!
Keys to the Series 🔑:
1. Revitalize the offense
As mentioned earlier, the Oriole offense has fallen flat since their last meeting with the Indians. In the three games against the Rays, the O’s could only muster up seven total runs. However, that was against the Rays and their fantastic pitching staff. What the Orioles did so well against the Indians last time, and what will need to be done again, is working the pitchers. Both Mejía and Quantrill are two young pitchers, who struggled against this offense mainly because of the hitters’ plate discipline and working the counts. Austin Hays returned to the team in Tampa, and his production will be a lot of help, even though he’s not in the lineup for the series opener. Also, Cedric Mullins will be back in the lineup following his well deserved off day in the final game against the Rays.
2. Continue to stay afloat without John Means
Unfortunately for the Orioles, this will be another series without their ace, John Means. Without Means, you lose one quality start, where a lot of innings will be pitched. This means other arms will have to step up. Dean Kremer was recalled and looks to improve on his 6.87 ERA and hopefully pick up his first win. What we’re looking for in this series is quality starts by Kremer and López, which would seriously help pick up the slack of losing Means to the I.L., while also conserving the bullpen. If those two can deliver quality starts in games one and four, that will set the O’s up for what should be no less than a series split.
3. Starters need to go deep and conserve the bullpen
Including Monday when this series starts, the O’s play another 17 games in 17 days to complete this 20-day stretch of games. What a long stretch like this will do to a team is kill their bullpen, especially when the starters struggle and the pen needs to be called on in the fourth inning. For the Orioles to have some success in this series, the starters have to be able to go five to six innings minimum. The Orioles bullpen only has a few arms you can surely trust on the mound, and it will be important to have them when we need them in regards to helping win a game, as opposed to having to throw them in because we’ve already used everyone else.
This will be a task for Matt Harvey, who has been abysmal in his last six starts. Kremer and Akin have also struggled some; however, Kremer’s recent stint in Norfolk may show some improvement. For López, he is bouncing back from a pretty bad start in his last game, which was preceded by three great outings, where he was able to go six innings in all three, including his quality start against the Indians.
Here are today’s starting lineups for tonight’s series opener:
Cleveland Indians (34-28):
1. Cesar Hernandez 2B
2. Ahmed Rosario SS
3. José Ramírez 3B
4. Eddie Rosario DH
5. Bobby Bradley 1B
6. Harold Ramirez LF
7. Josh Naylor RF
8. René Rivera C
9. Bradley Zimmer CF
SP. Jean Carlos Mejía RHP
Baltimore Orioles (22-42):
1. Cedric Mullins CF
2. Trey Mancini DH
3. Anthony Santander RF
4. DJ Stewart LF
5. Freddy Galvis SS
6. Ryan Mountcastle 1B
7. Pedro Severino C
8. Stevie Wilkerson 2B
9. Pat Valaika 3B
SP. Dean Kremer 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 7:10 p.m. ET.
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