After winning the series against the New York Yankees at home for the final time of 2023, the Orioles head north to Canada. There, they'll continue their schedule with another series against an AL East foe in the Toronto Blue Jays for four games.
Baltimore Orioles face AL East foe Toronto for four game series
KNOW YOUR OPPONENT
The Blue Jays enter this series after taking two of three from the Los Angeles Angels, having won six of their last 10 games as they start to play good baseball again. Their closer, Jordan Romano, was just placed on the 15 Day IL, so the Blue Jays acted fast and traded for flamethrower Jordan Hicks from the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Orioles and Blue Jays have met twice this season, with Baltimore holding a 5-1 advantage. Their first meeting came in Toronto in May, with the Orioles sweeping the three game series. They met again in Baltimore in June, with the Orioles taking two of three from the Jays.
With this series and one more coming up at the end of August, two more wins in seven remaining games will guarantee Baltimore the season series win and the tiebreaker that comes with it.
Monday, 7/31: Kyle Gibson vs Chris Bassitt
The veteran Gibson gets the start for the Orioles to open the series. He had a solid enough start on the road against the Phillies, allowing two runs on four hits and five strikeouts, walking no one in six innings in a game the Orioles went on to lose. Gibson needs just two wins to reach 100 in his career.
When he pitches outside of Camden Yards this season, Gibson has a 4.14 ERA and 1.162 WHIP, throwing 78 1/3 innings with 62 strikeouts to 22 walks. He's faced the Blue Jays once this season, allowing one run in seven innings in a game the Orioles won.
Bassitt is having a solid season for the Blue Jays. He has made 22 starts and has one complete game shutout. He's entering his 23rd start with a 3.91 ERA, 4.60 FIP, and 1.224 WHIP over 126 2/3 innings, averaging 1.4 home runs per nine, 2.9 walks per nine, and 8.4 strikeouts per nine.
Tuesday, 8/1: Kyle Bradish vs Hyun-Jin Ryu
Double Kyle action in Toronto as Bradish gets the start. He had a rocky start his last time out, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings against the Phillies, which brings his ERA to 3.29, his FIP to 3.63, and his WHIP to 1.144 over 19 starts.
Bradish has made one start against the Blue Jays, being a tough luck loser with one run allowed in seven innings, which was a home run. He has a 2.25 ERA and 1.031 WHIP over five starts in the month of July this year.
Ryu will make his return to the Toronto rotation after undergoing Tommy John Surgery in 2022. Before going down, he made six starts in 2022, posting a 5.67 ERA, 4.68 FIP, and 1.333 WHIP in 27 innings pitched.
Wednesday, 8/2: Grayson Rodriguez vs Yusei Kikuchi
Rodriguez starts the third game in the midst of a bit of an impressive stretch. His last start came against the Yankees, throwing 6 1/3 shutout innings with four strikeouts, lowering his season ERA to 6.21 and his FIP to 5.05 through 13 starts.
On the season, Rodriguez has a 4.91 ERA and 1.227 WHIP away from Camden Yards, allowing 16 runs in 29 1/3 innings. He allowed two runs on five hits with one walk and six strikeouts in five innings in his one start against the Blue Jays. In the month of July, Rodriguez has a 3.18 ERA to go with a 1.118 WHIP in three starts and 17 innings.
Kikuchi is having a fine season for the Blue Jays through 21 starts. His ERA is 3.79, but his FIP is a full run higher at 4.79. He has a 1.280 WHIP, 1.8 home runs per nine, and 2.7 walks per nine over those 21 starts, throwing 109 1/3 innings.
Thursday, 8/3: TBD vs Kevin Gausman
The last game leaves a bit of mystery for the O's starter. After a series of tough and short starts, Tyler Wells was optioned to Double A Bowie, opening a spot in the rotation. It's after the trade deadline, so we'll find out whether a new acquisition will make this start, or if Cole Irvin will rejoin the rotation after a brief stint in the bullpen once again.
Gausman, a former Oriole, starts the finale for the Blue Jays. He made one start against the Orioles this season, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks, completing eight innings in a no decision for the ace of the Blue Jays rotation.
On the season, Gausman has a 3.10 ERA and an AL-leading 2.83 FIP, adding a 1.128 WHIP on top of that. He leads the AL with 12.1 strikeouts per nine and is also averaging 2.3 walks per nine over 21 starts and 127 2/3 innings. A 200 inning season for Gausman is within reach, and it would be the first of his career.
This series is a great opportunity for the Orioles to continue their dominance of the Blue Jays this season, as well as to keep fending off the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. It also falls during the trade deadline, so maybe they'll be welcoming some new additions. Let's play ball!