After a four game series with the Los Angeles Angels, the Baltimore Orioles found themselves with a series split against the likes of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. Now, they head north to Canada to square off with the Toronto Blue Jays for three games over the weekend.
Baltimore Orioles series preview vs the Toronto Blue Jays
KNOW YOUR OPPONENT
The Blue Jays enter the series having dropped three of four against the New York Yankees, with Toronto's only win coming on Wednesday night with a Danny Jansen walk off home run. Overall, they are 25-19 and 5-5 in their last 10 games, having been swept by the Philadelphia Phillies but in turn sweeping the Atlanta Braves prior to the Yankees series.
In 2022, the 19 game series went right down to the final day of the regular season, with Toronto ultimately prevailing 10-9 in the season series, taking two of three from the Orioles at Camden Yards to end 2022. This will be the first meeting between the teams this season, and they'll be meeting less thanks to the balanced schedule from MLB.
Friday, 5/19: Kyle Gibson vs Yusei Kikuchi
The series opener pits a pair of veteran pitchers. Gibson has thrown 52 innings over nine starts for the Orioles, recording a 4.67 ERA and 4.40 FIP. His last start came in the series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates, allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks over five innings, taking the loss as Mitch Keller threw a gem.
Kikuchi is in his second season with the Blue Jays, looking better than his inaugural campaign in Toronto last season. Kikuchi has a 3.89 ERA but a concerning 5.46 FIP over eight starts, throwing 41 2/3 innings with a 1.296 WHIP. He has not been charged with a loss this season, but the Orioles could very well be the first to give him one.
Saturday, 5/20: Grayson Rodriguez vs Alek Manoah
The middle game pits the Orioles top prospect against Toronto's opening day starter. Rodriguez is coming off the shortest outing of his career, allowing eight runs on nine hits and three walks in the series opener against the Angels. He has a 6.57 ERA and 1.730 WHIP in 37 innings, making eight starts so far this season.
Manoah has also struggled at the top of the Toronto rotation this season. He's stumbled to a 5.40 ERA, 1.800 WHIP, and 6.46 FIP this season, throwing 45 innings in nine starts for the Blue Jays. He's another pitcher that the Orioles offense can make an example of in this series.
Sunday, 5/21: Dean Kremer vs Kevin Gausman
The series finale pits Kremer against Gausman. Kremer has had a rocky start to the season through nine starts but seems to have turned a corner. His last start came against the Angels, allowing three runs over 5 2/3 innings, striking out four hitters in a 7-3 Orioles win.
Former Oriole Gausman starts the finale, with a very real chance that this game decides the series. He's had another strong season with the Blue Jays, having a 3.27 ERA, 2.41 FIP, and 1.091 WHIP over 55 innings, having made nine starts.
After a series split snapped another series win streak, the Orioles will look to bounce back right away against a divisional foe in the Blue Jays. This should be a fun series against the team right behind Baltimore in the standings. Let's play ball!