The Cleveland Guardians (23-29) take their lightest-hitting offense in the league on the road to face the Baltimore Orioles (34-19) at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Monday to open a three-game series.
The Guardians are embarking on a seven-game road trip after wrapping up a six-game homestand (3-3). They won two out of three in their last series against the Cardinals, taking the finale 4-3 on Sunday at Progressive Field. Steven Kwan was 2 for 4 with a double, two runs, and one RBI.
The Orioles are in the midst of a six-game homestand. They lost two of three against the Rangers in their last series, taking the finale 3-2 on Sunday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Austin Hays went 3 for 4 with a triple and two RBIs.
The teams are meeting for the first time this season. Last season, the teams split their six games (3-3), although the Orioles won two out of three in their most recent meeting at Progressive Field at the end of August.
ON THE MOUND
Logan Allen (1-2, 3.31 ERA) is in line to start for Cleveland. The left-hander allowed four runs (three earned) over six innings in his last start, a 4-2 road defeat against the White Sox on Tuesday. He was charged with the loss, scattering seven hits while striking out four and walking one.
For Baltimore, RHP Tyler Wells (3-1, 3.47 ERA) will toe the rubber. Wells made one start against the Guardians in 2022, throwing four innings in a 5-4 home win on June 4. He gave up two hits and walked two, while striking out one in the no-decision.
In his last start on Wednesday, Wells took a no-decision on the road against the Yankees. He threw five innings and gave up five runs on five hits, striking out eight and walking two in the 9-6 victory.
AT THE PLATE
The Cleveland offense is averaging 3.4 runs per game for the season, lowest in MLB, with a slash line of .225/.296/.338. Jose Ramirez leads the team in OPS at .804.
The third baseman is slashing .269/.348/.456 with six home runs, 28 RBIs, and 25 runs over 49 games. Over the last five games, however, Cleveland has averaged only 2.2 runs a game partially thanks to diminished slugging (.319).
Against righties like Wells this season, the Guardians have a .634 OPS, second lowest in the league. Ramirez also is the team’s most potent producer against right-handers with a .904 OPS in 123 at-bats. Baltimore is slashing .251/.327/.423 for the season and averaging 5.0 runs per game.
Four Orioles hitters have an OPS of .800 or better, led by Hays (.861). The center fielder has six home runs, 22 RBIs, and 27 runs scored with a slash line of .312/.355/.506.
The O’s have a .785 OPS against lefties in 2023. With a 1.085 OPS over 69 at-bats, Ryan Mountcastle has been their best hitter against left-handers.
HOME AND AWAY
Cleveland is on a three-game losing streak on the road, bringing their record to 11-14 in 2023. The Guardians have scored 4.1 runs per game away from home, while allowing 4.5 runs.
Baltimore has gone 16-10 at home this season, averaging 4.2 runs per game while surrendering 4.1. The teams have split their last 10 meetings at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, though Baltimore has the scoring advantage with an average final margin of 6.2-3.3.
The Guardians are third in the AL Central, four games behind the division-leading Twins. The Orioles are second in the AL East, four games behind the Rays.
SportsTips’ MLB Pick:
Cleveland Guardians (+115)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.