Must win series…or something like that. Listen, yes this is a big series starting today but let’s not go crazy here. The Orioles are starting Wade Miley tonight, and will face Porcello in the 3rd game of this series. It’s pretty reasonable to think they may only take one game here and that’s ok.
Most projection models have the 2nd WC spot coming in at 88 wins; which means the O’s simply need to go 10-10 the rest of the way. With 7 of the 20 games against the Red Sox though, they are going to have to beat them at some point over the next few weeks.
The series has been an entertaining one to say the least with 112 runs crossing the plate in the 12 games so far this year. The Red Sox have hit Baltimore well this year, which isn’t all that surprising given the state of the pitching staff. Their OPS is almost .050 higher against the Birds (.878) than it is against all other teams. The power numbers have also been off (or rather over) the wall in this series with 40 home runs in the 12 games, this should lead to some exciting games.
Bundy should provide the Orioles with their best chance at a win, barring an outing like the last one in Tampa. Since moving to the rotation in mid-July Bundy hasn’t had back to back poor outings, his ERA as a starter is subpar at 4.31 but discounting the last start against Tampa, he put together a 3.49 ERA over 7 starts since the beginning of August while facing some decent clubs in Texas, Boston, the Nationals, and the Yankees twice during their surge.
Miley has obviously been the problem child of the rotation. Since coming to Baltimore at the beginning of August he’s put out a 7.14 ERA, a 1.72 WHIP and 8.69/3.10 K/BB per 9. Miley is yet to start a game against the Red Sox this year so maybe he’ll be able to surprise them.
As usual the bullpen is going to play a major factor here. Miley and Bundy both on the mound are averaging less than 5 2/3 per start since the beginning of August. Miley has no excuse (other than his poor performance) for not getting through 6. Bundy may have a pitch count or Buck may be a little worried about the wear and tear as he’s well over the number of innings projected for this year so it may not be all his fault. His velocity has been dropping as the season wears on.
Gausman goes up against Porcello on Wednesday in what could be the best matchup of the series. This will be a game to sit back and watch, enjoy, and probably burn a whole in the floor as you pace back and forth for 3 hours. Well that might be a statement for the next 3 weeks. Enjoy the ride.