Currently on an eight game winning streak following sweeps of the Minnesota Twins to close out the first half and the Miami Marlins to open the second half, the Baltimore Orioles wrap up a six game homestand with a series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team the Orioles haven't played often.
Baltimore Orioles take on NL West leading Los Angeles Dodgers at home for three game series
KNOW YOUR OPPONENT
The Dodgers enter this game leading the NL West with a 53-39 record, going 7-3 in their last 10 games with series wins over the New York Mets, Los Angeles Angels, and Pittsburgh Pirates. Despite a rotation decimated with injuries, the Dodgers are playing some of their best baseball right now, entering with a +85 run differential compared to Baltimore's +53 mark.
In the regular season, the Orioles and Dodgers have only played each other a total of 15 times, with the Dodgers sporting a 9-6 record in the regular season against the Orioles. In the postseason, Baltimore is 4-0 against the Dodgers lifetime, having swept them in the 1966 World Series.
The last time the two squared off was in September 2019, with the Dodgers ending that season 106-56. The Dodgers won the three game series, winning the first game 7-3 and the final game 4-2. The Orioles won the middle game of the series by a 7-3 score.
Monday, 7/17: Emmet Sheehan vs Grayson Rodriguez
The Dodgers give the rookie Sheehan the start in the series opener. Through four major league starts, Sheehan has a 4.35 ERA, 4.78 FIP, and 1.065 WHIP, averaging 7 strikeouts per nine and 3.5 walks per nine over 20 2/3 innings pitched.
Meanwhile, the Orioles are calling up Rodriguez to make the start as he begins his second stint in the majors. Cole Irvin will go to the bullpen with Eduard Bazardo to be sent down to Norfolk. Rodriguez has a 7.35 ERA, 5.93 FIP, and 1.743 WHIP in 45 1/3 innings and 10 starts in the majors.
Rodriguez's most recent major league start was a 12-2 loss to the Texas Rangers, allowing nine runs while lasting just 3 1/3 innings. His most recent start for Norfolk was on July 9 against Durham, pitching three shutout innings, allowing one hit and walking three. He has a 1.96 ERA in Triple A.
Tuesday, 7/18: Michael Grove vs Tyler Wells
Grove gets the start for the Dodgers in the midst of his second big league season. He's made eight starts and three relief appearances, authoring a 6.89 ERA, 5.03 FIP, and 1.553 WHIP over 47 innings, averaging 2.9 walks per nine and 8.2 strikeouts per nine.
Wells has been one of the best Orioles starters this season, entering with a 3.18 ERA and league leading 0.927 WHIP through 17 starts and 18 games. He allowed two runs on six hits and two walks, striking out four hitters against the Twins in his last start, getting credited with the win.
Wednesday, 7/19: Julio Urías vs Dean Kremer
Urías, a native of Mexico, starts the series finale for the Dodgers. Urías has a 4.35 ERA through 13 starts this season, also with a 1.109 WHIP and 4.65 FIP to go with 1.9 walks per nine and 9 strikeouts per nine. Urías has 70 1/3 innings under his belt in his eighth big league season.
Will the real Dean Kremer please stand up? It's been a Jekyll and Hyde season for the righty starter. His April was poor, his May was good, the start of June was sub-optimal, but the end of June and start of July has been good to Kremer.
As such, he enters this start with a 4.59 ERA, 4.78 FIP, and 1.327 WHIP to go with 2.3 walks per nine and 8.7 strikeouts per nine. He allowed one run on two hits and two walks in his last start, striking out eight Marlins hitters in a win, his 10th of the year.
Facing a division leader in the Dodgers, the Orioles probably won't extend their series sweep streak to three. However, this is a winnable series thanks to Sheehan and Grove starting the first two, giving the Orioles a chance to jump on the Dodgers early. Let's play ball!