Can the Baltimore Orioles steal a game or even sweep the rival Nationals in their two-game series this week? It’s not impossible.
For the first time, this season the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles will collide in the first of two 2019 beltway series Tuesday and Wednesday at Camden Yards in Baltimore.
The Orioles at 28-65 are simply looking to play spoilers to the inter-league rival Nationals who will enter play atop the National League Wild Card standings with a record of 49-43.
Early on it looked as if the Nationals were in for a long season as they fell 12 games under .500 after being swept by the New York Mets in a four-game series at the end of May. However, they’ve played as good of baseball as anyone of late as they’ve gone 30-12 since May 24th.
On paper, it would seem as if this is the worst possible time for the Orioles to run into the Nationals, however, due to issues in their starting rotation it actually may be as good a time as ever.
The Nationals scratched all-star Max Scherzer from his start Sunday and rescheduled him to face Baltimore Tuesday. Scherzer will not get the ball in Baltimore as he was later placed on the 10-day injured list with a back strain.
Instead, Austin Voth will get the nod. In just three starts this season Voth has posted a 5.52 ERA and has yet to pick up a decision. He will match-up against Orioles hurler Asher Wojciechowski who could be only used as an opener.
As for Wednesday, Washington has yet to name a starter. Skipper Dave Martinez told the Washington Post he’d go over options with general manager Mike Rizzo but it will likely either be Stephen Strasburg or a spot starter from the minors. For the Orioles, it will be the Birdland debut of Aaron Brooks who posted a 4.75 ERA in 16 outings for the A’s earlier this season.
With the Nationals rotation, a bit out of sorts the Orioles should be able to score runs and if their pitching can do just enough, they may be able to steal a game or two from the rival Nationals.