The Orioles are fresh off a winning opening homestand that features just as many questions as the start of the season presented.
The bad news is that their pitching has been hit hard, mainly the starting staff. Outside of Kyle Gibson being 3-0, much of the remaining staff has struggled, to say the least. Combined, the Orioles pitching holds a 5.29 ERA (27th in the league) while opponents are hitting .274 (28th in the league) against them.
The O’s have allowed 73 runs, which opens eyes when the club comes into the South Side of Chicago with a 7-6 record. The main reason for that record is the offense. Outside of batting average (.255), in which they rank 12th, they are in the top 10 in most offensive categories.
- Runs (74): ranked third
- Hits (110): ranked 10th
- On-base percentage (.339): ranked eighth
- Slugging percentage (.455): ranked third
- Home runs (20): ranked fourth
Leading the charge on offense is first baseman Ryan Mountcastle (.264 avg, six HRs, 19 RBIs), who leads league in both home runs and RBIs, and young stud catcher Adley Rutschman (.373 avg, four HRs, nine RBIs).
Both players are coming off a huge series against the Athletics. This, plus the early hot start of Austin Hays, has been crucial to the team, especially when you consider that Anthony Santander, Gunnar Henderson and Cedric Mullins have yet to catch fire.
For the series against the White Sox, the Orioles will send Tyler Wells, Kyle Gibson and rookie Grayson Rodriguez to the mound. Chicago, who ranks near the bottom of the league in most pitching categories, will send Mike Clevinger, Michael Kopech and Dylan Cease to the mound.
The Orioles took the series last season in Chicago three games to one. Both teams are struggling pitching wise, but the Baltimore bullpen, aided by a dangerous lineup, seems to have the early edge.
The White Sox are currently without Yoán Mocada, who was just placed on the 10-day IL, and Tim Anderson, who is currently out with a sprained MCL.
For the Chicago series, the BATTERY ❌-FACTOR will be the starting pitching once again. While Wells and Gibson both have sub-four ERAs, they have not been enough to anchor the remaining staff.
The White Sox are without current key offensive players, and the time to take control is while the team is down. Chicago still ranks ninth in batting average, so they do possess some danger.
In order for this series to be successful, it will start with the starting pitching. They need to pitch at least five innings and limit the damage while allowing the offense to do the work.
GAME 1 STARTING LINEUPS
Baltimore Orioles (7-6): Managed by Brandon Hyde
1. Cedric Mullins CF
2. Adley Rutschman C
3. Ryan Mountcastle 1B
4. Anthony Santander DH
5. Gunnar Henderson SS
6. Austin Hays LF
7. Adam Frazier 2B
8. Ramón Urías 3B
9. Terrin Vavra RF
SP. Tyler Wells RHP (0-1, 3.27 ERA)
Chicago White Sox (5-8): Managed by Pedro Grifol
1. Andrew Benintendi LF
2. Luis Robert Jr. CF
3. Andrew Vaughn 1B
4. Eloy Jiménez DH
5. Jake Burger 3B
6. Yasmani Grandal C
7. Lenyn Sosa 2B
8. Oscar Colás RF
9. Elvis Andrus SS
SP. Mike Clevinger RHP (2-0, 3.48 ERA)
Game one of this three-game series begins tonight at 7:10 p.m. EST, with games two and three set for 2:10 p.m. EST. You can catch each game on MASN2 or on your local Orioles Radio Network station.
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