What seems so long ago is actually closer than it feels. It’s been less than a month since the Baltimore Orioles faced the Boston Red Sox to open the season, and many things have changed.
The Orioles were opening a season full of expectations and were in position to win the series when a botched fly ball and a two-run home run turned the tide. The offense was clicking, the bullpen was questionable and the starting pitching and defense was difficult to watch.
Fast forward to today, the Orioles are winners of their last six, the pitching (starters and bullpen) has allowed just three earned runs in their last five games and the Birds are tied for the second best record in the American League.
Boston comes into this three-game series winners of four of their last five and just stomped on the Milwaukee Brewers as they closed their series victory.
The Orioles will send Dean Kremer, Kyle Bradish and Tyler Wells to the mound for the series. The Red Sox will counter with Chris Sale, Corey Kluber and a TBD pitcher for the series finale.
In six career starts against Boston, Kremer is 0-4 with a 7.78 ERA. On the other side, Sale is 10-3 with a 3.21 ERA in 24 appearances (18 starts) against the Orioles.
With two Hall of Fame caliber pitchers taking the mound against the O’s up-and-coming right-handers, it will be a tall task.
The last time these two teams met, both offenses had no issue scoring runs, as the Red Sox scored nine runs in each game. It’s for this reason that our BATTERY ❌-FACTOR for this series is the Orioles’ starting pitching.
The O’s starters in the first matchup (Kyle Gibson, Dean Kremer and Cole Irvin) combined to pitch 12 innings, allowing 14 earned runs (10.50 ERA) in the opening season series.
With the starting pitching covering 36 innings while allowing only five earned runs (1.25 ERA) during the six-game winning streak, the focus will be on them to continue that trend to win this series.
Kremer, Bradish and Wells will be tasked with doing what Gibson, Kremer and Irvin couldn’t do to start the season, stopping Boston’s offensive attack, one that’s been showing off as of late.
GAME 1 STARTING LINEUPS
Boston Red Sox (12-11): Managed by Alex Cora
1. Alex Verdugo RF
2. Rafael Devers 3B
3. Justin Turner DH
4. Masataka Yoshida LF
5. Kiké Hernández 2B
6. Triston Casas 1B
7. Jarren Duran CF
8. Connor Wong C
9. Yu Chang SS
SP. Chris Sale LHP (1-1, 8.00 ERA)
Baltimore Orioles (14-7): Managed by Brandon Hyde
1. Austin Hays LF
2. Adley Rutschman DH
3. Ryan Mountcastle 1B
4. Anthony Santander RF
5. Ramón Urías 3B
6. James McCann C
7. Cedric Mullins CF
8. Jorge Mateo SS
9. Adam Frazier 2B
SP. Dean Kremer RHP (1-0, 6.16 ERA)
It all starts tonight at 6:35 p.m. EST, with games two and three at 6:35 p.m. EST and 1:05 p.m. EST. The game will be televised on MASN and MLB Network for out of market viewers. You can also listen to the game via your local Orioles Radio Network station.
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