Back at home: Cardinals-Orioles series preview

The Orioles homestand starts against the St. Louis Cardinals
Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox
Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

After a long and successful road trip (7-2), the Orioles (90-52) are back to Oriole Park for seven games at home. The highly important series against Tampa Bay will start on Thursday. Before that, the Orioles a three-game series against the underachieving St. Louis Cardinals (63-80).

Baltimore Orioles take on St. Louis Cardinals for 3 games

If not for the Padres, Mets or Angels, the Cardinals would be the most disappointing team in the majors this year. The supposed NL Central powerhouse is in the last place on their division, 3.0 games behind Pittsburgh and 11.5 games behind the leaders in Milwaukee.

The offense is middle of the pack, 12th in majors on batting average and 16th in runs. Their problem is on pitching staff. Once a strength of the team, this year they are the 24th in collective ERA and 27th in WHIP. Not good for a team with playoff and title aspirations.

Meanwhile, we'll see some familiar faces in both sides. John Means will make his season debut and Drew Rom will pitch against his former organization. He was one of three prospects included in the Jack Flaherty trade.

All games will start at 6:35 PM Eastern Time.

Game 1: Dakota Hudson (6-1, 4.43 ERA) vs Dean Kremer (12-5, 4.07 ERA)

The second half Dean Kremer is great (3-1, 56.2 IP, 21 BB, 47 K, 2.86 ERA). In his ten starts since July 14th, Baltimore won nine games. In his last game, he threw only 4.2 innings allowing three walks and four hits, striking out four. Before that, Kremer threw 6+ innings in four consecutive appearances.

In the Cardinals' rotation since August, Hudson has had mixed results. He allowed two or more runs in all but one game, with an OPS of .741 against him. But somehow, the Cardinals lost only two out of seven of those games. Baseball, am I right?

Game 2: Adam Wainwright (3-11, 8.19 ERA) vs John Means (2023 debut)

An icon from St. Louis, the 42-year-old Wainwright hasn't looked like the great pitcher from previous years. His 2021 was good, but after that, he's regressed hard. His last win was on June 17th. His last start came against Atlanta: 6 earned runs and four dingers allowed in 5.2 innings.

After a 17-month absence because of a Tommy John surgery and a setback, John Means is back. A long recovery for the best SP of the dark years. His last game in Norfolk: 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. A welcome addition for a rotation who needs fresh arms down the stretch and in the playoffs.

Game 3: Drew Rom (0-2, 7.79 ERA) vs TBD

The Orioles haven't announced the pitcher for series finale. They haven't confirmed if the six-man rotation will continue. For St. Louis, the lefty Drew Rom will start against Baltimore. He debuted on August 21st and brought his good breaking stuff, but the opposing teams had success against the lefty. If he saw the Ty Blach game, maybe he'll have a chance for his first MLB win. For Baltimore, that win could be in his next game.

Birdland, will the Orioles start this homestand with another series victory?