Series Preview: Orioles (10-4) vs. Red Sox (10-6)

After wrapping up an excellent showing in their first road trip of the season, the Orioles will now fly back to Camden to take on the reigning AL East Champion Boston Red Sox for a three-game set at home.

The Orioles (10-4) come back to Baltimore on a serious high after posting an impressive 6-3 record over their latest nine-game road stretch, while the Red Sox (10-6) will also be feeling pretty good after taking two of three in Toronto earlier this week and seem to have found their stride as we approach the month of May.

Both squads have been impressive in the early stages of 2017. The Orioles’ current 10-4 record is a league-best in terms of winning percentage (71.4%), while the ‘Sox have posted a 6-2 mark over their last eight contests after going 4-4 out of the box.

Will the Orioles remain in first, or will we see an early-season change in the standings?

 

Probables

Dylan Bundy (2-1, 1.86 EERA) will take on Drew Pomeranz (1-0, 5.23 ERA) in tonight’s series opener.

Bundy has been simply sensational over his first three starts of the season. Not only does the budding star own an outstanding line consisting of a 2-1 record, 1.86 ERA and 0.98 WHIP, he’s recorded 6+ innings pitched in all three outings and allowed one run or less and five hits or less in two of three. Not to mention the fact that he’s posted a superb 3:17 walk-to-strikeout clip over 19 1/3 innings. Whether his sparkling form continues or not is another question, but for now, Bundy isn’t going anywhere.

Pomeranz will be making his second start of the season against the Birds after allowing just a single run on four hits over six innings against them in an 8-1 win on April 11th.

Jayson Aquino will be making his season debut and first career start against Steven Wright (1-1, 8.36 ERA) on Saturday.

The Orioles are high on Aquino, 24, but one must wonder why Alec Asher isn’t getting the nod here. Asher put in an excellent performance during his Orioles debut last week against the Blue Jays and allowed just one run on three hits over 6 1/3 innings to go along with one walk and five K’s. Hopefully, he’ll be taking the mound again soon.

Wright will be looking to erase the memory of his last start on April 12th against the O’s in which he allowed eight runs and four dingers over 1 1/3 innings in a 12-5 loss at Fenway. He’s already bounced back actually, having allowed just a single run over six innings en route to picking up his first win of the season against the Rays last week.

Kevin Gausman (1-1, 7.23 ERA) will take the mound against Eduardo Rodriguez (0-1, 4.76 ERA) in the series finale on Sunday.

Gausman will be looking to recover from a disastrous outing in Cincy which saw his ERA jump from 3.94 to 7.23, but the main concern with Gausman through his first four starts of the campaign is his control. The O’s fireballer has allowed an AL-high 12 walks over his first 18 2/3 innings of the season.

Rodriguez seems to have the same problem early on this year, as he’s allowed seven walks over his first 11 1/3 innings despite notching 15 K’s. The former Orioles top prospect was pretty sharp his last time out versus Pittsburgh and allowed just two runs over 5 1/3 innings while racking up eight K’s.

 

Notes

– Last year, the Orioles went 2-8 versus the Red Sox at Camden Yards….How many games out of first were we again? Let’s hope this trend doesn’t repeat itself.

– Boston’s three hottest hitters, Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Mitch Moreland all have crushed the O’s in the past. Betts owns a career .292 average to go with 10 homers and 24 RBI versus Baltimore, while Benintendi owns a .292 average with one homer and six RBI and Moreland has posted a .269 average with seven homers and 21 RBI lifetime against the Birds….Brilliant.

– The same can’t be said for the Orioles two hottest hitters, Jonathan Schoop and J.J. Hardy. Schoop comes into the series with a career .222 average versus Boston, while Hardy clocks in a tick above Schoop at .223.

Mark Trumbo may still be homerless since opening day, but at least he’s gone 7-for-16 with two doubles over his current four-game hit streak. Here’s to a fireworks display from MLB’s reigning home run champion.

– Schoop has been tearing the cover off the ball lately, going 12-for-31 (.387) with six runs, three doubles, three home runs and eight RBI over the course of his current eight-game hitting streak.

– Hardy has been almost as hot as of late, going 10-for-28 (.357) with three doubles, one home run and five RBI over his last seven contests.

That’s it for now, Orioles fans! Enjoy the series!

This entry was posted in Bird Feed, Blog View, Featured by Logan Quick. Bookmark the permalink.

About Logan Quick

Logan Quick
Logan Quick is a 23-year-old journalist from Harford County, Maryland. Loves hockey so much, there's ice in his veins, not blood. Breathes soccer. Kind of wishes he lived in Barcelona. Oh yeah, and his love for music, especially 1960's and 70's rock and roll, is unwavering. Also a lover of...more

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