Orioles vs Angels Opening Day series preview: Baseball is back!

The Baltimore Orioles welcome the Los Angeles Angels to begin the 2024 season

Opening Day: Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Opening Day: Oriole Park at Camden Yards / Rob Carr/GettyImages

The wait is finally over, baseball season is here. The Baltimore Orioles are ready to kickoff another year and will welcome the Los Angeles Angels to Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The first game of the season is scheduled for March 28 at 3:05 p.m. EST and Orioles fans are chomping at the bit to get things underway.

Coming off of an AL East division title, the Birds made several additions during the offseason, highlighted by the acquisition of Corbin Burnes, to make the roster even better. And if that wasn't enough to get fans fired up, the sale of the Orioles was just unanimously approved and the organization will begin the season under a new ownership that includes Cal Ripken Jr.

Orioles vs Angels Opening Day series preview

Game 1

Getting the start for the Orioles on Opening Day will be the newly acquired Burnes, who is the ace pitcher that the O's needed and is considered one of the best pitchers in the game. He's coming off of another strong season in Milwaukee that saw him reach the 200-strikeout plateau for the third consecutive year. Burnes is making his third consecutive Opening Day start. He has not fared well in the last two, so hopefully his third time is the charm.

The Orioles will be facing Patrick Sandoval of the Angels. Sandoval had a marginal season in 2023 and pitched poorly in spring training. He finished the spring with a 7.15 ERA in four appearances but did average almost a strikeout per inning. As a left handed pitcher, Sandoval will face a gauntlet of Orioles hitters that put up big numbers in the spring. We do not yet know what the Orioles Opening Day lineup will look like but it could resemble this:

Gunnar Henderson - SS
Adley Rutschman - C
Anthony Santander - DH
Ryan Mountcastle - 1B
Austin Hays - LF
Ramon Urias - 3B
Cedric Mullins - CF
Colton Cowser - RF
Jordan Westburg - 2B

Game 2

The Orioles are projected to turn to Grayson Rodriguez in Game 2 of the series. Rodriguez is entering his first full season in the majors and is looking to build off of a strong finish in 2023. He got off to a good start with a strong spring training, pitching to a 3.07 ERA over five appearances. The young future ace is a breakout candidate and will look to hit the ground running against the Angels.

Tyler Anderson is forcasted to pitch for the Angels. Another lefty, Anderson had a good spring training that saw him log 20 strikeouts in just 16.2 innings and he's looking for a bounce-back season. After a great 2022 season with the Los Angels Dodgers, Anderson moved across town in 2023 and signed with the Angels, but he was not able to duplicate his success. Anderson had a 5.43 ERA and his lowest strikeout total for a full season in his career. He'll have a tough first outing this season.

Game 3

Closing out the series for the Orioles will be Tyler Wells, who was arguably the Orioles best pitcher in the first half last season, and he looks to have returned to that form. The big righty had a sparkling 1.26 ERA this spring allowing just two runs, both on solo homers, in 14.1 innings. Wells is fighting for a chance to stay in the starting rotation even after Kyle Bradish and John Means return from injuries. All signs indicate he has the talent, but the true test will be his ability to pitch later in the season.

Reid Detmers is projected to get the ball for the Halos in Game 3 and will be the third consecutive lefty to face the Orioles. After a standout rookie season in 2022, Detmers struggled last season. Even though Detmers is a lefty, it may be a chance for Ryan O'Hearn to make his season debut, or the newest Oriole, Tony Kemp, to make his debut. Detmers got hit hard by lefties last season, surrendering a .294 average to them.

The Orioles appear to have a pitching advantage in each of these games and should be favored all the way through, but the Angels should not be overlooked. They lost Shohei Ohtani but they still have Mike Trout and a host of talent around him. One of the players joining Trout with the Angels this season is former Oriole Aaron Hicks, who should get a warm welcome back to Baltimore.

Now that opening day is finally here, there's only one thing left to say: PLAY BALL.