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Know Your Enemy: Baltimore Orioles

Last series before the All-Star Break — let’s make it a good one

Hairspray, 1988

Let’s check in with Senior Mascot Correspondent, Addy before we get started:

She’s not wrong, he is VERY orange.

Last meeting

At the end of May, the Orioles were on a downward skid. They eventually ended a 14-game losing streak May 31 against Minnesota, but not before getting tossed around by the White Sox. Dylan Cease struck out 10 during his appearance, Lucas Giolito struck out 12, and Lance Lynn threw five scoreless innings during a doubleheader sweep. There was productivity all over the board with Jake Lamb, Yermín Mercedes, Yoán Moncada, and José Abreu all homering during the series. The only downside was Dallas Keuchel, who allowed four runs on eight hits in five innings, giving up two home runs to Freddy Galvis and one to Maikel Franco. The White Sox got another look at Matt Harvey, who came over from the Royals in the offseason.

How’s it going?

The losing streak stopped, thankfully for Orioles fans. However, Baltimore is 30 games under .500 before the All-Star break (hang in there, O’s fans, we’ve been there, too). Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays was called due to weather, so the team got a bit of a break going into the series against the White Sox. They’re on pace for a 53-109 season (ouch) but the good news is they aren’t the Diamondbacks, who are actually doing worse than the Orioles. Baltimore is 9-21 in their last 30 games, and 13-27 at home. Against Central teams, they’re posting a 4-13 record, so it’s not looking to be a great weekend for the O’s.

Franco made a trip to the 10-day IL on Wednesday, Bruce Zimmermann is on the IL a little longer than expected due to his rehab being pushed back another week, and John Means is about to begin a rehab assignment with their High-A team in Aberdeen.

It’s not all bad, though. Trey Mancini is going to the Home Run Derby next week and also leading the team in RBIs (53). Cedric Mullins is hitting the ball everywhere, posting a .316 BA, .384 OBP, and leading the team in home runs (16) and hits (103). Despite being on the IL, John Means leads the team in wins (4). Not sure how much of a bright spot that is for the pitching staff, though.

Pitching matchups

Today is Dallas Keuchel vs. Jorge Lopez. Lopez is 2-11 this season, going 80 23 innings and giving up 92 hits while striking out 77 and posting an ERA of 6.02. He’s 1-5 in his last seven, going 35 23 and allowing 46 hits. Lopez relies on five pitches: sinker (35.3%), curveball (23.5%), 4-seam (23.2%), changeup (13.2%), and slider (4.7%). Against the White Sox, Lopez is 1-2 (having only faced them in 2019, three times) and has allowed 22 hits, five home runs, and striking out 17 while posting an ERA of 5.51.

Keuchel is 3-2 in his last seven starts, lasting 34 23 innings and allowing 43 hits while striking out 27. He’s 3-0 in his last five starts against Baltimore, going 27 innings and striking out 22 while allowing 27 hits.

Saturday is Lucas Giolito vs. Thomas Eshelman. Eshelman is 0-1 this season, having gone 16 13 innings while allowing 23 hits and posting a 7.16 ERA while striking out five. In his last seven starts he’s gone 1-2 over 27 innings, posting a 6.33 ERA and allowing 36 hits. Eshelman relies on four pitches: sinker (47.3%), slider (31.1%), changeup (12.9%), and curveball (8.7%). He’s never faced the White Sox.

Giolito is 2-2 during his last seven starts, going 43 innings and allowing 39 hits and posting a 4.40 ERA. He’s faced Baltimore three times, going 1-2 over 14 13 innings and allowing 17 hits while posting a 7.53 ERA.

Sunday is Dylan Cease vs. Spenser Watkins. Watkins debuted July 2, getting a win against the Angels. He’s posting a 1.50 ERA so far and struck out two while not giving up any home runs. In Triple-A this season he had a 1-2 record and 3.58 ERA in seven games, allowing 25 hits over 32 23 innings and striking out 27. Watkins relies on four pitches: 4-seam (46.4%), cutter (36.1%), curveball (16.5%), and changeup (1%).

Cease is 4-3 in the last seven games, going 35 23 while striking out 45 and allowing 37 hits and posting a 5.80 ERA. He’s faced Baltimore once (back in May), going six innings and allowing four hits while striking out 10 and posting a 1.50 ERA during the win.

Why we hate them

Mostly because Camden Yards is awesome.

No punching down today. If you traveled to Baltimore, stay safe and dry — it looks like a storm is coming!