This August has been arguably the worst month in Orioles history. With two games left on the calendar this month, the Birds are currently 3-23. To make matters worse, the Orioles now travel to Rogers Centre, a stadium where they have been historically bad in recent years.
This series kicks off a September for the Orioles that is full of games against playoff-hopeful opponents. With the exception of one set against the Rangers, every team played is a playoff-caliber squad. And that begins with this three-game set against Vlad Guerrero Jr. and the Blue Jays.
After a decent outing in his Oriole debut by Chris Ellis last week, he as earned another start. He will be on the mound in game one, with Keegan Akin in game two and Matt Harvey in game three.
Akin is coming off his best career start, one in which he tossed seven innings and allowed just three hits and one run. Although this Blue Jays lineup is better than that of the Angels, that same control and mix up of pitches that Akin nailed in that last start will go a long way in this one as well.
Overall, the offense was quiet in the last series against the Rays. However, Ryan Mountcastle reached his 24th home run, while Cedric Mullins got back on stride with two multi-hit games. Those bats will need to be present again in this series, with help from players like Austin Hays and Trey Mancini.
For some reason, Hays has been getting benched in place of DJ Stewart in the outfield, which is asinine. Despite not getting the starts, Hays has been red hot. He has notched three pinch hits in the last week, and all have been for extra-bases. Come this series, Hays could be a game changer with his bat.
To get some wins up in Canada, the Orioles must rely on these Baltimore Battery ❌-Factors!
The first ❌-Factor is Jorge Mateo. The last time these two teams met, Mateo was not an Oriole. Now, the Blue Jays have a new player to worry about. Mateo has been scorching hot since his debut in Baltimore, both with his bat and on the base paths. Mateo certainly has the ability to change a game for the Orioles, and relying on him can do some good, as grouping up a bunch of base runners and runs against arms like Robbie Ray and Hyun-Jin Ryu is not an easy task. However, someone like Mateo with his bat and speed become even more valuable.
The next ❌-Factor is actually two players. These two are Mountcastle and Hays. First off, the Blue Jays are throwing out three pitchers, who are all left-handed. Mountcastle and Hays will be big players this series due to their ability to annihilate lefties. With Hays’ hot bat and Mountcastle’s power, these two players could really make these games winnable for the Orioles. With these two using their strengths to lead this lineup, names like Mullins and Mancini will have a lot of help generating runs, which is something the Blue Jays will be able to do.
The O’s have recalled RHP Zack Burdi and OF Ryan McKenna from Triple-A Norfolk prior to the series. The team also optioned LHP Paul Fry and RHP Spenser Watkins to Norfolk after the conclusion of yesterday’s game.
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