O's vs. Royals preview: June 30-July 3

The highest point so far this season for the Orioles could have been winning two out of three games against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field last week.

It's also possible that the lowest point of the season occurred when Ronnie Belliard crushed the 1-2 pitch by Orioles closer George Sherrill into the seats in left field and gave the Washington Nationals a 3-2 victory in the finale of this weekend's three-game series between the two teams.


The Orioles will now return to Camden Yards for a seven-game homestand against the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers. They'll play four games against the Royals and then face the Rangers for three games over the holiday weekend.

The Orioles are 22-12 at home this season, so the best way to forget about the ending to their series against the Nationals is to continue playing well at Camden Yards.

Kansas City has been playing well lately despite losing the final two games of their series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Before the two losses, the Royals had won six straight games. They finished with a 13-5 record in interleague play this season.

The Royals are currently tied with the Cleveland Indians for last place in the American League Central with a 37-45 record.

Probable pitching matchups

Monday 6/30: Brian Burres (6-5, 5.29) vs. Zack Greinke (7-4, 3.40)

Tuesday 7/1: Radhames Liz (2-0, 5.70) vs. Luke Hochevar (5-5, 4.60)

Wednesday 7/2: Daniel Cabrera (5-4, 4.53) vs. Gil Meche (6-8, 4.66)

Thursday 7/3: Garrett Olson (6-3, 4.76) vs. Kyle Davies (3-1, 3.34)

Who you should play from the Royals

Mike Aviles, SS – It would be a good idea to grab Aviles and start him during the four-game series at Camden Yards if you're looking for a shortstop that's potentially available in your league. Since being recalled from Triple-A Omaha in late May, Aviles has performed well enough to become the everyday shortstop for the Royals. He is hitting .321 with three home runs, 14 RBIs and 16 runs scored in 23 games this season. Although he is only 3-for-17 in his past four games, Aviles could provide a spark for your fantasy team if he has a good series against the Orioles. Royals center fielder David DeJesus is Kansas City's hottest hitter – .361 batting average, four home runs, 19 RBIs and 18 runs scored in June – but he left the series finale against the Cardinals in the second inning after bruising his ribs in a collision at home plate. He's listed as day-to-day, but he should be in your lineup if he's able to play.

Who you should bench from the Royals

Miguel Olivo, C/DH – Olivo has really struggled this month after hitting .333 with three home runs, 14 RBIs and nine runs scored in May. He's hitting .188 with two home runs, five RBIs and three runs scored in 16 games in June. Olivo hasn't played much recently, which also cuts into his fantasy value. It's difficult to find valuable catchers in fantasy baseball, but you shouldn't force Olivo into your lineup at this point in the season. Orioles catcher Ramon Hernandez could be available in your league. He's hitting well recently, so pick him up and use him in place of Olivo.

Who you should play from the Orioles


Adam Jones, CF – The Orioles have been very patient with the 22-year-old center fielder so far this season. Although he struggled at times earlier in the year, Jones looks like he has finally learned what he needs to do to succeed in the major leagues. He is hitting .330 with two home runs, 12 RBIs, three stolen bases and 12 runs scored in June. Jones doesn't have the power numbers to be able to support your fantasy team, but he'll be a solid addition as long as you have other players to hit home runs.

Who you should bench from the Orioles

Daniel Cabrera, RHP – Cabrera has proven that it's impossible to tell how he will pitch in each game and it's really frustrating for fantasy owners. After pitching well for the first two months of the season, Cabrera struggled in June. He was 0-3 with a 7.06 ERA in five starts during the month. The best news for Cabrera is that his next start will be in July. Look to start Cabrera on Wednesday if you think he simply had a bad month. However, it might be a good idea to play conservatively with Cabrera and wait until he puts together a couple solid starts in a row before you insert him back into your rotation.