Due to the early game on Wednesday and the off day on Thursday, it feels like the Indians haven’t played in forever, but they’ll finally be back in action tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in beautiful Baltimore, Maryland.
The Indians, of course, are in first place in the AL Central (and just took two out of three from Kansas City), while the Orioles have slipped into second place in the AL East behind Boston Red Sox (who I can’t stand). In a vacuum, I’d be rooting for the Orioles this weekend, but with the City of Champions Indians coming to town, we are hardly in a vacuum. Coming into this series, the Indians have the best road record in the American League at 30-22, while the Orioles have the best home record in the AL at 33-14. Something, as they say in the land of cliches, has to give.
Tonight, the Indians will send Trevor Bauer to the mound – Bauer has rounded into one of the best middle-of-the-rotation arms in the game behind Kluber, Cookie, and Salazar, and will look to keep throwing strikes and being efficient with his pitches. Jordan Bastian of MLB.com and Indians.com has a great piece out today about the bond Bauer and catcher Chris Gimenez have formed since the latter rejoined the Indians earlier this season, so definitely go and check that out.
The Orioles will counter with Dylan Bundy, the former 4th overall pick in 2011, who has spent this entire season coming out of the bullpen. He made his first start last Sunday and picked up the loss. It will be interesting to see how the Indians fare against the rookie, and definitely something to watch for.
The Indians have three over the weekend in Baltimore, then return home Tuesday for a series against the Washington Natinals.