After concluding an otherwise solid ten-game home stand with a 9-1 loss to the Yankees, the Orioles will look to get back in the win column tonight in Cleveland as they prepare to embark on a ten-game, three-legged road trip.
I guess the old saying here is “easier said than done.” The white-hot Cleveland Indians are currently on a remarkable fifteen-game winning streak and do not look to be slowing down anytime soon. The Orioles have been up against it many times before, but to say that they are going into Ohio as the underdogs would be an understatement.
On the other hand, to not say that this is the Orioles’ big chance to beat the odds and gain some crucial ground in the wild card chase would be false. With just 22 games remaining on the schedule, the Orioles can ill-afford another setback away from home.
As it stands, the Orioles (71-69) are just two games back from the Minnesota Twins and the second wild card spot. Despite the setback versus New York, the Orioles have still gone an impressive 11-5 over their last sixteen contests and own a much-improved 23-15 record over their last 38 ballgames.
Alas, no club can match Cleveland’s recent stellar play at the moment. In fact, the Indians’ winning streak has been the longest in the majors since Oakland reeled off twenty straight victories in 2012.
Thanks to their incredible streak, the first-place Indians (84-56) own an eleven-game lead over the Twins for the AL Central title and the second-best record in the American League. They also boast the highest run differential (+199) in the majors. The Tribe look to be poised to make another run at the title, and with a sparkling 27-9 record over their last 36 games and a magnificent 37-16 record during the second half of the season, they look to be hot favorites – and rightfully so.
Will the Orioles bring the Tribe down to earth in their own stadium, or will the red-hot hosts strike a critical blow to the Orioles playoff hopes?
Only time will tell. Let’s take a look at the starters.
Miley was pretty sharp during his last outing versus Toronto and allowed just two runs on four hits over six innings, but ended up in the loss column. Nonetheless, Miley has been superb for the Orioles as of late and has gone 4-2 with a sparkling 2.79 ERA over his last seven starts.
Clevinger turned in a great performance during his last start versus Detroit and allowed only three hits over six shutout innings en route to his eighth victory of the season. The Tribe’s in-form righty has now won back-to-back starts while throwing twelve shutout innings in the process. The 26-year-old has been a major catalyst in the Indians’ magnificent run recently and owns a 3-1 record along with a stout 3.00 ERA over his last six contests.
Ynoa will be making his first start as an Orioles after posting a 3.68 ERA through 14 2/3 innings of work at the major league level in 2017. The 24-year-old righty has gone 6-9 with a 5.25 ERA over 21 starts at AAA Norfolk this season.
Tomlin was solid in his latest start versus Detroit and allowed just a single run on six hits over 5 2/3 innings en route to his eighth win of the 2017 campaign. Tomlin has been locked in for the Tribe as of late and owns a clean 4-0 record and an impressive 3.12 ERA over his last six starts. Over his last four starts, the veteran hurler has gone 3-0 with a sparkling 2.35 ERA.
Hellickson was roughed up by the Yankees during his last start and ended up allowing five runs (three earned) over just 2 1/3 innings. The Orioles newest member of the rotation has not found his rhythm since moving to Birdland and owns a 2-3 record and a 6.87 ERA over seven starts.
Bauer stayed red-hot during his last start versus the White Sox and allowed just two runs on three hits over 6 1/3 innings en route to his fifteenth notch in the win column. Along with super-ace Corey Kluber, Bauer has been a diamond for the Tribe down the stretch. Bauer has gone a remarkable 8-1 with an impressive 3.05 ERA over ten starts since the start of the second half of the season, and boasts a glittering 6-0 record and a 2.38 ERA over his last seven outings.
That’s it for now, Orioles fans!
Here’s to the Orioles pulling off an upset this weekend!