The Orioles beat the Houston Astros last night for their third straight victory. They finished the homestand with a 5-1 record. The Astros have now lost eight consecutive games and the Orioles completed their first sweep of three games or more since they beat the Seattle Mariners in four straight during the first week of the season.
The trade of shortstop Miguel Tejada during the offseason was supposed to symbolize a rebuilding process in Baltimore. It was also designed to help build a competitive team in Houston. The Orioles are currently three games above .500 (37-34) and the Astros are seven games below .500 (33-40). It seems like the two teams are heading in opposite directions than originally anticipated.
Now the Orioles will begin a nine-game road trip. Does it seem like they are playing a lot of road games this month? Well, that's because they are. The Orioles play 18 games on the road in June, but they only have nine home games this month.
After playing three games against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Orioles will head to Wrigley Field in Chicago early next week for the first time in club history. They will play three games against the Cubs before concluding the road trip with three games against the Washington Nationals.
The Brewers are currently in third place in the National League Central with a 39-33 record. They've won four straight games, including a three-game sweep over the Toronto Blue Jays. Starting pitcher Dave Bush no-hit the Blue Jays for seven innings during yesterday's game before allowing one run on two hits in the eighth. The Blue Jays scored six times in the ninth inning, but the Brewers were able to hold on for the 8-7 victory.
Friday 6/20: Radhames Liz (1-0, 4.32) vs. Jeff Suppan (4-4, 3.68)
Saturday 6/21: Daniel Cabrera (5-2, 4.45) vs. Seth McClung (4-3, 3.94)
Sunday 6/22: Garrett Olson (5-2, 4.80) vs. Manny Parra (6-2, 4.22)
Who you should play from the Brewers
Ryan Braun, LF – Braun hit .324 with 34 home runs and 97 RBIs as a rookie third baseman last season, but the Brewers shifted him to left field in 2008. Braun wasn't hitting for power during the first month of the season – only three home runs in April – but he's been making up for it since then. The 2007 NL Rookie of the Year slammed 11 home runs in May and currently has six homers so far this month. He's currently tied for third in the major leagues in home runs. In 20 career interleague games, Braun is hitting .294 with eight home runs and 18 RBIs. If Braun is on your fantasy team, you should expect him to put up good numbers against the Orioles this weekend.
Who you should bench from the Brewers
Mike Cameron, CF – Cameron is one of the only Milwaukee players with experience against the Orioles. In 56 career games against Baltimore, Cameron is hitting .262 with three home runs, 23 RBIs and nine stolen bases. Although his batting average is mediocre, Cameron is valuable to fantasy owners for home runs and stolen bases. However, it might be a good idea for fantasy owners to sit Cameron during this weekend's series since he hasn't hit a lot of home runs against the Orioles in his career.
Who you should play from the Orioles
Aubrey Huff, DH – Huff is likely available in most fantasy leagues. He'll provide a solid offensive lift for any fantasy owner willing to pick him up. Huff is hitting .333 with three home runs and nine RBIs in June and he currently has a five-game hitting streak. Huff has three home runs and four RBIs in his past four games. In his career, Huff is 7-for-16 with a home run and two RBIs against Brewers starting pitcher Jeff Suppan.
Who you should bench from the Orioles
Adam Jones, CF – The Orioles begin a nine-game road trip this weekend in Milwaukee, which means it's time for Jones to find the bench in your fantasy dugout. Jones is hitting .305 at Camden Yards this season, but he's only hitting .220 on the road. He is doing well recently – .306 batting average, two home runs and nine RBIs in June – but he'll need to show that he's capable of hitting on the road before he becomes a solid fantasy option. Jones will likely progress as the season continues, so keep an eye on him. He could become a legitimate fantasy outfielder in deep leagues if he starts hitting on the road, but he'll also need to increase his power or speed eventually.