O's vs. Cubs preview: June 24-26

The nine-game road trip started on a positive note when the Orioles scored six runs in the first two innings against the Milwaukee Brewers on their way to an 8-5 win on Friday night. Aubrey Huff led the Orioles by going 4-for-5 with two home runs and the bullpen pitched seven scoreless innings in the victory.

However, the team's momentum was halted as the Brewers took control in the final two games of the series. Despite a two-run homer by pinch hitter Oscar Salazar in the seventh inning, the Orioles lost on Saturday night, 3-2. On Sunday, the Brewers hit four home runs, including two by first baseman Prince Fielder, and beat the Orioles, 7-3.


The Orioles will now head to Wrigley Field for a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs. Things don't seem to be getting any easier for the Orioles because the Cubs have the best record in the major leagues (48-28) and they are 32-8 at home this season.

After being swept on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays last week, the Cubs returned home and beat the Chicago White Sox in all three games over the weekend.

Pitching matchups

Tuesday 6/24: Jeremy Guthrie (3-7, 3.51) vs. Sean Marshall (0-0, 4.15)

Wednesday 6/25: Brian Burres (6-5, 5.24) vs. Ted Lilly (7-5, 4.71)

Thursday 6/26: Radhames Liz (1-0, 6.27) vs. Jason Marquis (6-3, 4.43)

Who you should play from the Cubs

Mark DeRosa, UTIL – Everyone remembers the rumors about Brian Roberts heading to Chicago before the season started. The trade never happened and DeRosa has showed the Cubs that they're fine without the Orioles second baseman. He's hitting .285 with eight home runs, 37 RBIs and 42 runs scored so far this season. In 23 career games against the Orioles, DeRosa is hitting .389 with three home runs, 15 RBIs and 14 runs scored. Despite his recent struggles (2-for-22 in his past seven games), DeRosa should have a good series against the Orioles. Get him in your lineup if you can.

Who you should bench from the Cubs

Geovany Soto, C – Soto has cooled off a little bit following an excellent start. He was hitting .301 with nine home runs and 38 RBIs through the first two months, but he's only hitting .200 with three home runs and five RBIs in 17 games in June. Soto is still one of the best catchers available, but it's important to recognize his recent struggles. If you have a reliable backup on your team, it might be a good idea to deal Soto before his value drops any further.

Who you should play from the Orioles

Brian Roberts, 2B – It's time for Roberts to show the Cubs what they are missing. He's hitting .345 with 11 RBIs, seven stolen bases and 14 runs scored in June. Roberts currently has a 10-game hitting streak and he's hit safely in 18 out of 20 games this month. He has eight multi-hit games in June, including three games with three hits. Roberts is the key for the Orioles to have success at Wrigley Field. They will be able to win if he can create distractions on the bases. Your fantasy team will also have a good week if this happens.

Who you should bench from the Orioles

Aubrey Huff, 1B/3B/DH – Huff has turned into a player that shouldn't be sitting on your fantasy bench. He is 11-for-24 in with five home runs, seven RBIs and six runs scored in his past six games. So why does he fall into this category? Well, he doesn't necessarily fit here, but you should be cautious of how he'll react after receiving a day off on Sunday in the series finale against the Brewers. He's been having a lot of success lately, but a break can often mess with a hitter's timing. It might be worth benching him again if he has a bad series against the Cubs.