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Next Up: A divisional battle with the first-place Baltimore Orioles

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Photo credit:© Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Georges
2 months ago
The Orioles have picked up where they left off in 2023, currently leading the AL East by a half-game thanks to a 26-13 record. Let’s dive into what we can expect to see from Baltimore this week.

Nuts and Bolts

Monday, May 13, 6:35 EST – Jose Berrios (4-3, 2.85) vs Corbin Burnes (3-2, 2.83)
Tuesday, May 13, 6:35 EST – Chris Bassitt (3-5, 5.06) vs Kyle Bradish (0-0, 1.86)
Wednesday, May 14, 12:35 EST – Yusei Kikuchi (2-3, 2.64) vs Cole Irvin (4-1, 2.90)

Starting Pitching

The Orioles currently boast the 6th-ranked starting pitcher ERA in the Majors with a 3.31 mark. Offseason trade acquisition Corbin Burnes has been as advertised, orchestrating a 2.83 ERA and 0.97 WHIP through 8 starts. He has provided the veteran leadership and top-of-the-rotation jolt that this team missed last season. Cole Irvin has also been very good, with an ERA south of 3.00 and only 8 walks on the year through 40.1 innings. The Blue Jays will also see righthander Kyle Bradish, who thrived last season but will only be making his third start of the year.

Bullpen

Craig Kimbrel got off to a great start as the team’s closer, but recent struggles have opened up the door for Yennier Cano to step in with some save chances. The latter is 2 for 3 in chances with a 1.80 ERA and 1.20 WHIP on the season. Jacob Webb has been a revelation out of the middle innings, spinning a 1.59 ERA and 0.94 WHIP through 19 total appearances. Baltimore has relied most heavily on two lefthanders, both of which have seen success this season. Danny Coulombe has a 2.40 ERA and sparkling 0.53 WHIP, thanks to walking just two batters in 15.0 innings. Keegan Akin has also been solid, with a 3.12 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 17.1 IP.

Hitting

This young Orioles team has mashed this year, ranking 5th in OPS in the Majors and leading the league in home runs with 60. Gunnar Henderson has emerged as a legitimate MVP candidate in year two, mashing 12 home runs to go along with a .915 OPS. Some other young players have really stepped up for the O’s, most notably Colton Cowser and Jordan Westburg. Cowser has an .847 OPS, with Westburg’s coming in at .885. Both players have six homers on the year. Look for this team to continue to get young reinforcements up to Baltimore as the season goes along. Prospect debuts of Coby Mayo and Connor Norby, as well as another run in the Majors from Jackson Holliday, will all be in the cards in the coming months.

Final Word

After facing the red-hot Phillies and Twins, it doesn’t get any easier for the blue birds this week. They will be put to the test against a very well-rounded Orioles team that can do just about everything at an elite level.

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