Before heading into New York for a big series with the Yankees, the Baltimore Orioles have business to finish in Philadelphia as they can pick up their third series win of the second half with a victory tonight. We’ll preview the game before going over which side I’ll be backing for my play.
The Baltimore Orioles bullpen has been so good this season that it is almost shocking to see them blow a game. Last night was one of those rare occurrences, with the Orioles entering the 9th inning with a 3-2 lead and with All-Star closer Yennier Cano on the mound. Cano would allow an RBI double by Bryson Stott to tie the game and an Alec Bohm RBI single that gave the Phillies a 4-3 win.
While the loss snapped a three-game win streak, the Orioles are still in a good spot with pitching to bounce back tonight. Baltimore will have young right-hander Kyle Bradish on the mound, and as of late, he has been pitching at an incredibly high level. Over his last ten starts, Bradish has allowed two or fewer earned runs in eight of them, and over his last five starts, he has thrown at least six innings and recorded at least five strikeouts.
Bradish will take on a Phillies lineup tonight that used a nice mix of veterans and young guys to come away with the win yesterday. We already touched on the late heroics of Stott and Bohm, but Philadelphia also got a big hit from Bryce Harper in the 6th inning as he was able to knot the game at two with his fifth home run of the season.
On the mound tonight for Philadelphia will be left-hander Ranger Suarez, a starter who went from a stellar month of June to a rough July. Suarez was one of the better starters in the game last month, but in his four starts in July, he allowed at least three earned runs in each of them. Command issues have contributed to his recent struggles as he went from issuing eight walks across five starts in June to already issuing 12 walks in his four starts this month.
As we enter the rubber game of this series, the Orioles are priced at (-105) on the moneyline, and I’ll be backing them for my play. Baltimore has been phenomenal since the break, and although Philadelphia has not been too shabby themselves, the Orioles hold the advantage in the pitching department, and they have seen lefties well on the road over the past month.
After last night’s loss, the Phillies find themselves ranked 18th in wRC+, 17th in wOBA, and 15th in OPS against right-handed pitching at home over the last month. They will now have to take on a starter in Bradish, with a FIP of 3.28 on the road this season and a batting average against of .202 in July. Additionally, I can feel confident in saying I don’t see the Orioles' bullpen struggling on consecutive nights.
Meanwhile, Ranger Suarez is now sporting a 5.64 ERA at home with a .261 batting average against due to his rough month of July. The lefty has flat-out struggled this month, with an 11.4% walk percentage and 5.74 FIP, so he is an excellent matchup for an Orioles team that is 12th in wOBA, 11th in OPS, and 10th in wRC+ against lefties on the road over the last month.
Baltimore Orioles (-105)