Following an exciting series victory over the New York Yankees, Brandon Hyde and his squad travel out to face the only team that spends less than the Orioles, the lack of Moneyball Oakland Athletics.
The O’s and A’s face off in a four-game series that begins at 9:40 p.m. EST Monday. Spenser Watkins starts the series for the Birds and is followed by Jordan Lyles in game three and Tyler Wells in game four. Game two’s starter is TBD, although it could potentially be a bullpen start depending on how the pen is used in game one.
Speaking of the starting pitching, this series sort of rests on whether they can continue to preserve this third best bullpen in the A.L. So far, the starters have been able to go long enough to allow the combination of Dillon Tate, Bryan Baker, Cionel Pérez, Jorge López and others to be effective.
Starting tonight, the O’s play seven games in seven days, which makes preserving the bullpen all the more needed.
Hopefully playing in Oakland will help jumpstart the Oriole offense. Oakland means nothing special to them, but it can’t be worse than how they’ve been hitting in any other place so far.
With a measly 3.33 runs allowed by Oriole pitching so far this year, the offense should be doing everything they can to provide just enough. On the back of Cedric Mullins, this offense needs to be a little more patient in finding better pitches to hit, especially with RISP. The aggressiveness is just too much.
In game one, the Orioles will see Frankie Montas, with to be determined pitchers for the rest of the series. Montas has always been and continues to be a very effective junk ball pitcher, and coming into game one with a patient approach will be very necessary for the Orioles.
The Baltimore Battery’s ❌-Factor for this series is going to be the starting pitching. Besides Spenser Watkins, the rest of the scheduled starters have been good enough to help this bullpen shine.
If they can continue that trend against the A’s offense, which may be the lowest they’ve seen so far, these games should stay winnable. Also, because of this loaded schedule over the next seven days, the starters will be a very important factor in preserving the bullpen.
Here are tonight’s game one starting lineups:
Baltimore Orioles (3-6):
1. Cedric Mullins CF
2. Ryan Mountcastle 1B
3. Anthony Santander LF
4. Trey Mancini DH
5. Rougned Odor 2B
6. Ramón Urías 3B
7. Austin Hays RF
8. Anthony Bemboom C
9. Jorge Mateo SS
SP. Spenser Watkins RHP
Oakland Athletics (5-5):
1. Tony Kemp LF
2. Elvis Andrus SS
3. Sean Murphy C
4. Billy McKinney 1B
5. Christian Bethancourt C
6. Seth Brown RF
7. Sheldon Neuse 2B
8. Kevin Smith 3B
9. Christian Pache CF
SP. Frankie Montas RHP
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