The O’s open a 3 game series against the Texas Rangers tonight at Camden Yards. It is a matchup of the top two teams recordwise at this point in the season. The Rangers (6-0) lead the AL West after sweeps of the Red Sox (on a side note, BoSox still haven’t recovered and got swept by the Indians to start season 0-6) and the Mariners. The Orioles are coming off a road sweep of the Rays and took 2 of 3 to open the homestand against the Tigers. These two teams are the tops at this point in runs allowed in the AL with the Orioles at 16 and the Rangers at 20. Let’s examine the pitching matchups for the weekend series.
Friday (7 PM)- Colby Lewis (1-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. Zach Britton (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
Saturday (7 PM)- Matt Harrison (1-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. Jake Arrieta (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
Sunday (1:30 PM)- Derek Holland (1-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Both teams have young arms to throw at the other that have been pretty solid. I’d give a slight edge to the Rangers with their post season experience for Lewis and Harrison but Guthrie is truly a stud number 1 pitcher.
As for the infield, Texas has Napoli, Moreland, Kinsler, Andrus, and Beltre. The Orioles have Wieters, Lee, Roberts, Hardy, and Reynolds. Both infields are pretty solid but I would give a slight advantage to the Orioles with Wieters ability to call a game and the hot streak of Brian Roberts right now.
In the outfield and DH roles, the Rangers have Cruz, Hamilton, and Murphy with Michael Young. For the Orioles, they have Scott, Jones, and Markakis with Vlad in the DH. In this area, I am going with the Cruz-Hamilton connection as both are phenomenal players and could win the MVP this year for the league.
So all of this to say, it should be a good early season competitive series to test where the young pitchers of the Orioles are in the AL pecking order and where the team falls as the season is starting out.