To end this home stand, the Orioles get a chance to see the most controversial team in all of sports. The Houston Astros that were once helped built by the Orioles’ current GM, Mike Elias, come to town, and fans should expect a flurry of boo’s.
On the mound for the Orioles will be Keegan Akin, Jorge López, and Thomas Eshelman. Opposite of them will be Jake Odorizzi, TBD for game two, and José Urquidy in game three.
With that being said, the Astros are a very good baseball team, and they have been red hot lately. With that Astros team comes a lot of power, a few great arms, and a chip on their shoulder. The Orioles have a tall task; however, if they hit the ball like they did over the last weekend, things should be okay.
Here is how the Orioles can manage to come away with a series victory!
Keys to the Series 🔑
1. Keep mashing
Offensively, this past series against the Blue Jays might have been one of the best for the Orioles. There were 11 home runs hit by the O’s, and they were spread out across five players, showing more well-rounded success, as opposed to just one player having a great series by himself. If the Orioles can manage to do that again, the production created by the Astros certainly can be matched.
2. Keep the quality starts coming
There is nothing better than seeing quality starts from pitchers who aren’t expected to do so. In this last series, it was only winnable because of the two gems thrown by Thomas Eshelman and Dean Kremer. In this series, Keegan Akin, Jorge López, and Eshelman look to repeat that. If these starters can manage five to six innings and keep the Astros lineup in check, the Orioles and their bats will have opportunities to pick up the pitching staff. In a battle against an offense like Houston’s, a ton of it will come down to our starting arms.
The Orioles are not losing badly at all this year. They are in nearly every game this year, and a lot of the losses have come down to blown leads and heartbreak. What the Orioles desperately need to do is finish. With two outs in an inning, the bullpen, especially, needs to find that put away pitch. Six runs were allowed to the Blue Jays with two outs in game two, and that is unacceptable. The Astros will pounce on any opportunity to break these games open, so being able to get that last out is very important.
Transactions: The Orioles have placed RHP César Valdez on the 10-day Injured List (lower back strain) and recalled RHP Travis Lakins, Sr. from Triple-A Norfolk.
Here are your starting lineups for game one:
Houston Astros (43-28):
1. Jose Altuve 2B
2. Chas McCormick RF
3. Michael Brantley DH
4. Yuli Gurriel 1B
5. Yordan Alvarez LF
6. Carlos Correa SS
7. Abraham Toro 3B
8. Myles Straw CF
9. Jason Castro C
SP. Jake Odorizzi RHP
Baltimore Orioles (23-48):
1. Cedric Mullins CF
2. Freddy Galvis SS
3. Trey Mancini 1B
4. Ryan Mountcastle DH
5. DJ Stewart RF
6. Austin Hays LF
7. Maikel Franco 3B
8. Stevie Wilkerson 2B
9. Pedro Severino C
SP. Keegan Akin LHP
Each game of this series starts at 7:05 p.m. ET, and you can catch each game on MASN or on the Orioles’ flagship radio station, 105.7 The Fan! Don’t forget to bang your trashcans! 🗑🗑🗑
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