The Baltimore Orioles are set to welcome the Boston Red Sox to Camden Yards for a four-game series that runs through Monday. So how can the Orioles take this series before heading back on the road?
Boston comes into this series fresh off a series win against Detroit, winning the rubber game 12-9 on Thursday. The Red Sox lead the league in batting average (.267), runs batted in (150), hits (290) and runs scored (166), so the Orioles’ pitching will be in for a tough four games.
However, the Orioles can take advantage of several aspects of Boston’s game, beginning with the pitching. Both teams come into Friday’s matchup with a 3.98 ERA for the entire pitching staff, so neither team has that advantage over another.
One thing that the Orioles will have going into the series is a rested bullpen. With the combination of John Means’ no-hitter on Wednesday and an off-day on Thursday, the bullpen has enjoyed at least two days off, whereas Boston’s bullpen has been heavily used over the past few days. This will be something to watch for.
If the Orioles want to take this series, there are two big things they will have to do. First, they need their starters to give them quality innings and keep the games close if the Orioles’ offense does not provide the runs. Boston’s offense has not cooled down yet, so the Orioles will need to be aware of this.
Second, the best thing for the Orioles’ offense to do is to force Boston to get to the bullpen as early as possible, especially on Friday. Continuing to wear out the bullpen will not only make the Boston starters have more pressure to have quality starts, but it will put a strain on the bullpen and give them fewer options as the series goes on.
Matt Harvey is scheduled to take the mound on Friday night against Eduardo Rodriguez. The game is set for a 7:05 p.m. EST first pitch from Camden Yards in Baltimore, Md.