As a lackluster April comes to an end, the Baltimore Orioles finally end their road trip and head home to face AL East foes, the Boston Red Sox.
This weekend’s matchup between the BoSox and Orioles seems like a Spiderman meme. You know the one. Both teams recognizing each other in themselves and yet hope to overtake each other. As we head into the last weekend in April, let’s preview how the Orioles open up the month of May and move out of the AL East cellar.
Friday, April 29th, 7:05 p.m.
Kyle Bradish (Major League debut) vs. Rich Hill (0-1, 4.85 ERA, 7 SO)
Do you need to be reminded that the road trip ended on a rough note? Most likely not, but that all can be washed away tonight at Oriole’s #8 prospect, Kyle Bradish, takes the hill and making his Major League debut. Bradish will take on Rich Hill, who made his MLB debut when Bradish was merely 10-years-old.
Tonight’s battle between age and youth will undoubtedly take center stage, but there will be a ton of underlying stories as the weekend progresses. Hill will be the least of the O’s concerns, as they will face the heart of the Red Sox battery on Saturday and Sunday. However, for Friday, all eyes will be on Bradish and getting the Birds back into the win column.
Series Preview: The Orioles need to make Camden Yards a fortress
Saturday, April 30th, 7:05 p.m.
TBD – Spenser Watkins? (0-0, 2.77 ERA, 5 SO) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 3.32 ERA, 24 SO)
We will guess that Spenser Watkins takes the hill in game 2 or the series, but who knows since the Orioles brass never seems to announce things in a timely fashion. Watkins was the O’s feel good story last season, and has turned into their good luck story so far this season (follow along with me for a second).
In his three starts, he has given up one run, one run, and then two runs giving him his solid 2.77 ERA. The lucky side of it is that he has scattered seven walks helping to keep his ERA low. However, he will need to do better on Saturday as he takes on Nathan Eovaldi. Eovaldi dominated the O’s last season (who didn’t at times) allowing just four runs in three starts.
Sunday, May 1st, 1:05 p.m.
TBD – Jordan Lyles? (1-2, 5.40 ERA, 15 SO) vs. Nick Pivetta (0-3, 8.27 ERA, 16 SO)
Lyles’ last time out was a disaster, giving up six runs in less than five innings against the Yankees which is why, as you can see, his ERA is sky rocketing up. He was brought to Baltimore to be an innings eater, so hopefully we see that if he does pitch on Sunday afternoon. As the more “veteran” ace on staff, the O’s are going to need a lot more out of him this time out.
In the other dugout, we will see Nick Pivetta, who has pretty pedestrian so far this season. Pivetta has struggled with control walking 13 so far this season. Not something that would normally pop out as a plus for the Orioles, but this year they have been good at taking walks, just ask the Yankees. Pivetta also got slaughtered by O’s hitting last year, so more of that if you will!
Is the sweep likely? Probably not, but taking the series would close the gap between 4th and 5th and if a sweep did happen, would take the O’s up to 4th place in the AL East. If there is ever a time to get things going in the right direction, this is it and the time is now!