After a series that started with excitement but ended in disappointment against the Cincinnati Reds, the Orioles wrap up their longest homestand of the season so far as they welcome the Minnesota Twins to town for three games.
Orioles conclude long homestand with matchup vs Minnesota Twins
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Despite being under or at .500 for the greater part of the year so far, the Twins have been leading the AL Central for quite some time thanks to the strength of the division. They were leapfrogged on Wednesday by Cleveland, who is also under .500.
The Twins have lost three games in a row after being swept by the Atlanta Braves and are 4-6 in their last 10 games overall. They are two games under .500 despite a +24 run differential. For reference, the Orioles are 17 games above .500 and have a +27 run differential.
This will be the first meeting between the squads in 2023. They first met at the start of May in 2022 at Camden Yards for a four game series. The Twins won the first two games before Baltimore took the final two for a split. They met again in Minnesota to start July, where the Twins won two of three to take the season series.
Friday, 6/30: Pablo López vs Dean Kremer
López and Kremer draw the start in the series opener. López enters his 17th start of the season with a 4.41 ERA, 3.29 FIP, and 1.156 WHIP in 96 innings. His 11.3 strikeouts per nine average shows that he has no problem missing bats, so runs will come at a premium for the Orioles.
Kremer has a similar ERA to López at 4.50, but his FIP suggests he should be even worse at 4.88. Combine that with a 1.364 WHIP and 7.9 strikeouts per nine on average and you get a pitcher that is being hit around. His last start was solid, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk in seven innings in a win against the Mariners.
Saturday, 7/1: Bailey Ober vs Kyle Bradish
Both Ober and Bradish are faring well for their teams this season. Ober has thrown 69 2/3 innings, recording a 2.69 ERA, 1.019 WHIP, and 3.60 FIP through 12 starts in his third big league season. He averages less than two walks per nine innings, so Ober isn't someone to nibble the corners, he'll go right at Orioles hitters.
Bradish enters what would be his 15th start with a 3.75 ERA, 3.67 FIP, and 1.194 WHIP through 72 innings pitched. He allowed two runs on two hits and two walks, striking out seven hitters over seven innings in his last start, getting credited with the win against the Mariners.
Sunday, 7/2: Sonny Gray vs Cole Irvin
Gray is enjoying a successful second year in Minnesota, having a 2.67 ERA, 2.81 FIP, and 1.289 WHIP through 16 starts and 87 2/3 innings. He does a great job of limiting the long ball thanks to 0.3 home runs allowed per nine but averages 3.4 walks per nine. He does miss bats thanks to 9.1 strikeouts per nine.
Irvin has had his struggles in the major leagues with a 7.18 ERA in eight games, but he has a 4.94 FIP to point to that suggests bad luck. Irvin was limited to three innings in his last start in part due to a rain delay, allowing one run on three hits while striking out three hitters in the Reds lineup.
Against a Twins team that is struggling as of late, this is a good series for the Orioles to redeem themselves and win their final series at Camden Yards before the All Star Break begins. Let's play ball!