After a disappointing series loss to the New York Yankees, the Orioles now host the Oakland Athletics for four games to wrap up their first home stand of the year.
The Birds come into this series sitting at 4-5 with a chance to get back on their feet. The offense has seemed to simmer down from their red hot start, and the pitching isn’t far behind.
In the last series against the Yankees, the O’s offense was an abysmal 5-for-28 with runners in scoring position. Even against a team like the Athletics, that number will not bring much success.
It will be big for the bottom of the order to produce in this series. Having quality at-bats and getting on base for Cedric Mullins, Adley Rutschman and Ryan Mountcastle will be the only way to fix that RISP average.
Rutschman had himself another monster series against the Yankees, going 6-for-9 with one home run, two RBIs and seven total bases. While this is all well and good, when these great at-bats are happening while Rutschman has no runners on base, it doesn’t cause much damage.
On the mound for the Orioles will be the top of the rotation. Games one through four will feature Kyle Gibson, Grayson Rodriguez, Dean Kremer and Cole Irvin. The A’s will counter with JP Sears, Kyle Muller, Ken Waldichuk and a TBA starter for game four.
Gibson has proved himself the ace of this staff so far. He is currently 2-0 and is the only O’s starter thus far to reach seven innings.
Rodriguez will be making his first start in Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Tuesday. Make sure you fill the stadium and support our young gunslinger.
That leads us into the BATTERY ❌️-FACTOR for this series, the four Orioles starting pitchers.
The Oriole bullpen simply has not been reliable to begin the 2023 season, and the team’s biggest shot at success comes from these four starters.
Being able to go deep in these games and having the bullpen pitch as little as possible is imperative, especially considering the team will be playing seven more games before another off day. If the bullpen gets used too much too early in this series, it will be a long week for the Birds.
GAME 1 STARTING LINEUPS
Oakland Athletics (2-7): Managed by Mark Kotsay
1. Tony Kemp 2B
2. Ryan Noda 1B
3. Aledmys Díaz DH
4. Ramón Laureano RF
5. Jace Peterson 3B
6. Kevin Smith SS
7. Conner Capel LF
8. Shea Langeliers C
9. Esteury Ruiz CF
SP. JP Sears LHP (0-0, 5.79 ERA)
Baltimore Orioles (4-5): Managed by Brandon Hyde
1. Cedric Mullins CF
2. Adley Rutschman C
3. Ryan Mountcastle 1B
4. Anthony Santander DH
5. Austin Hays LF
6. Ramón Urías 3B
7. Adam Frazier 2B
8. Jorge Mateo SS
9. Ryan McKenna RF
SP. Kyle Gibson RHP (2-0, 4.50 ERA)
Game one of this series kicks off Monday night at 6:35 p.m. EST. You can catch each game on MASN or on your local Orioles Radio Network station.
How do you see this series playing out? Let us know in the comments below! Make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!
Like Justin’s content? Follow him on Twitter – @orioles4life96