Baltimore Orioles vs Boston Red Sox series preview
It's that time again everyone, baseball season is finally here. After a long offseason, the Baltimore Orioles open up play on March 31 against the Boston Red Sox for a three game series at Fenway Park. The Orioles are in a position to improve upon a strong 2022, and they'll look to get off to a hot start against a Red Sox squad that also has plenty to prove.
Baltimore Orioles open up season against Boston Red Sox on Thursday
The Red Sox entered the offseason with a lot of questions surrounding the team. They lost big pieces such as JD Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, Nathan Eovaldi, Matt Strahm, and Michael Wacha, while trading Matt Barnes to the Marlins.
With so much talent gone, there has been quite a lot of overhaul on the roster. Masataka Yoshida, Justin Turner, Kenley Jansen, Richard Bleier, Adalberto Mondesi, Chris Martin, Joely Rodriguez, and Corey Kluber are the new faces in town, while Chris Sale is back from injury and Rafael Devers received a hefty contract extension.
Since this is opening day, there are no stats from a season series in 2023. In 2022, Boston took the season series against the Orioles, winning 10 games to Baltimore's nine. The Red Sox won the season series after taking three of four games from the Orioles at Fenway Park in late September.
Thursday, 3/30: Kyle Gibson vs Corey Kluber
The season opener pits veteran vs veteran and new addition vs new addition. Gibson was named the opening day starter for the Orioles, the second time in his career he has earned that distinction. Gibson had a 5.05 ERA and 4.28 FIP in 167 2/3 innings last season, making 31 starts for the Philadelphia Phillies.
On the other hand, Kluber is on his third AL East team is as many years, playing for the New York Yankees in 2021 and the Tampa Bay Rays last season. Like Gibson, Kluber made 31 starts last year. He recorded a 4.34 ERA and 3.57 FIP over 164 innings, striking out 139 hitters and walking 21.
Saturday, 4/1: Dean Kremer vs Chris Sale
After a day off on Friday, the series resumes on Saturday. Kremer gets the nod for the Orioles, slotted right behind Gibson in the order. Kremer is coming off a strong 2022, posting a 3.23 ERA and 3.80 FIP in 125 1/3 innings, adding a complete game shutout in 21 starts last season.
Sale on the other hand, is just looking to stay healthy and pitch for the Red Sox. He played in the second half of 2021 after recovering from Tommy John Surgery, only for injuries to strike him down again in 2022. He missed extended time due to a stress fracture in his rib. Then, he came back and didn't make it through six innings pitched before taking a comebacker off a finger. He was then shut down for the season when he fell off his bike after a bullpen session.
Sunday, 4/2: Cole Irvin vs Tanner Houck
The series finale on Sunday pits new addition Irvin against the young fireballer Houck. Irvin spent last year with the Oakland Athletics, recording a 3.98 ERA and 4.21 FIP in 181 innings, striking out 128 hitters and walking 36 over 30 starts.
Houck started last season in the rotation for the Red Sox before being moved to the bullpen after just four starts. With rotation injuries, he's back in the starting role for at least one game. Last season, Houck had a 3.15 ERA and 3.30 FIP, picking up eight saves while briefly assuming the closer's job in the bullpen. He threw 60 innings in total over 32 appearances before being shut down with a back injury.
So, at long last, let's play some ball! Here's to hoping for a great season in Baltimore in 2023.