Series Preview: Orioles begin last homestand of season with tangle against Red Sox

BALTIMORE — No need to sugarcoat it, the Orioles’ chances of making the playoffs seem dead. Over their last 10 games, the O’s played 2-8 baseball, and are 5-11 in the month of September.

Over the weekend, the Orioles lost three of four to the Yankees, who seem destined to take the first Wild Card spot in the American League. The Yankees outscored the Orioles 34-16 over the weekend. They did not mathematically eliminate the O’s from playoff contention, but now the Orioles almost need to win out and hope that the other teams in the hunt slip.

The Red Sox, on the other hand, come into Monday’s series hoping to claim the #3 seed in the AL. Over the weekend, Boston took two of three from Tampa at the Trop. The Red Sox are in a nine-game road trip that will conclude with a weekend Cincinnati after this meeting with the Orioles.

Last Meeting: From Aug. 25-27 at Fenway Park, the Orioles swept the Red Sox, limiting them to four runs. That sweep included a shutout for Baltimore, and got them back to .500. The sweep turned into a seven-game win streak for the Orioles that also included a sweep of the Mariners at Camden Yards.

Season Series: The Orioles already won the season series against the Red Sox, as they currently hold a 10-6 record against Boston. Even if Boston swept Baltimore in this series, that would put it at a 10-9 mark in Baltimore’s favor. At Camden Yards this season against Boston, the Orioles possess a record of 4-3.

Standings Update: AL East Standings (as of Sept. 17)

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Playoff Picture: If the season ended today, the Cleveland Indians (93-57) would own the #1 seed in the AL, with the Houston Astros (91-58) at #2 and the Red Sox at #3. In the Wild Card matchup, the Minnesota Twins (78-71) would travel to New York for a one-game playoff with the Yankees. The Angels (76-73) represent the only team in the AL hunt that holds a record above .500. 5.5 games now separate the Orioles from a Wild Card spot.

Game Times and Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Monday, Sept. 18, 7:05 pm – Doug Fister (5-8, 4.40 ERA) vs. Dylan Bundy (13-9, 4.09 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2: Tuesday, Sept. 19, 7:05 pm – Drew Pomeranz (16-5, 3.28 ERA) vs. Kevin Gausman (11-10, 4.83 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Game 3: Wednesday, Sept. 20, 7:05 pm – Chris Sale (16-7, 2.86 ERA) vs. Wade Miley (8-13, 5.32 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on the Red Sox:

  • Sale’s ERA at Camden Yards this season clocks in at 4.50, his third-highest ERA in any MLB ballpark this season.
  • Sale leads MLB in strikeouts with 287. Cory Kluber ranks second with 252.
  • After hitting eight home runs in Baltimore last season, Mookie Betts only did it once so far in 2017. His average at Camden Yards this season is .179.

Notes on the Orioles:

  • Jonathan Schoop‘s 104 RBI puts him at second place in the AL behind Nelson Cruz‘s 110 RBI. In the MLB rankings, Schoop’s mark puts him in seventh place. Nolan Arenado of the Rockies leads the majors with 125.
  • Miley leads all of MLB with 84 earned runs to his credit. Derek Holland rings in second at that department with 75.
  • In 16 September games so far this month, opponents limited Baltimore to three runs or less 11 times.

Up Next: The Orioles remain at Camden Yards for their final home series of the season, a four-game weekend matchup wth the Rays. The night games Thursday through Saturday begin at 7:05 pm, and the game on Sunday afternoon starts at 1:35 pm.

Image Credit: Camden Chat

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