at CLEVELAND INDIANS
First pitch: Sunday, 8:00 p.m. ET
Line: N/A, Total: N/A
The Orioles will be hoping to end this road series against the Indians with a win on Sunday.
The Orioles are still lurking in the American League playoff picture, as they are in a good position to earn themselves the second spot in the wild card game. Baltimore was just a few games back heading into the weekend and has played some good baseball since the All-Star break. The team does, however, have to now beat an Indians team that has been one of the best in baseball this year. Cleveland is absolutely scorching right now and will want to end this series with a convincing victory on national television. The edge on the mound on paper here goes to the Indians, who have RHP Trevor Bauer (15-8, 4.39 ERA, 170 K) looking to outduel RHP Jeremy Hellickson (8-8, 5.26 ERA, 88 K). Bauer has really turned it on as of late for Cleveland, but Hellickson has been a disaster for Baltimore since being traded there. He could, however, make a lot of people forget about his recent struggles by turning in a good start here.
The Orioles are going to be desperate for a victory on Sunday, but they’ll need a solid outing out of Jeremy Hellickson here. The righty has been awful as of late, as he only lasted 2.1 innings against the Yankees on Sep. 5 and had allowed six or more earned runs in three of his previous four starts. The one thing Hellickson has going for him is the fact that he has been a bit better on the road this year. He is 5-5 with a 4.60 ERA on the road, which is a lot better than the 5.91 ERA he has when pitching in front of his own fans. On offense, one guy that could be ready to produce for Baltimore is 3B Manny Machado. After a nightmarish start to the regular season, Machado has looked like his old self as of late. He now faces Trevor Bauer, who he is 6-for-9 with three homers and four RBI against in his career. It’s hard to imagine him not doing something in this one. OF Mark Trumbo could also come through, as he is 3-for-8 with a homer and three RBI against Bauer.
Trevor Bauer is coming off of two very good starts in a row, as he has now allowed just three earned runs in his past 12.1 innings of work. Bauer’s most recent start was particularly impressive, as he allowed only two earned runs and struck out nine batters in a 5-3 victory over the White Sox in Chicago. If he can give the Indians another six or so solid innings then that would be big. Bauer has had his ups and downs this year, but he is a talented pitcher and has had plenty of success in this league. As for Bauer’s run support, DH Edwin Encarnacion is a name to watch out for here. The slugger is 10-for-37 with two homers and four RBI against Hellickson in his career and could easily come through at the plate in this one.