Orioles on deck: What to watch Tuesday vs. Pirates, plus series matchups

Josh Land
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

Orioles (29-26) vs. Pirates (26-31)

Where: Camden Yards

First pitch: 7:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: MASN/105.7 FM

Starting pitchers: Orioles RHP Kevin Gausman (3-4, 5.92 ERA) vs. Pirates RHP Ivan Nova (5-4, 2.92 ERA)

Series matchup

Offense (MLB rank)

Runs per game: Orioles (4.44, 21st); Pirates (4.16, 25th)

Average: Orioles (.254, 11th); Pirates (.242, 23rd)

Home runs: Orioles (76, t-ninth); Pirates (55, t-27th)

OPS: Orioles (.732, 18th); Pirates (.704, 26th)

Pitching (MLB rank)

Team ERA: Orioles (4.34, 19th); Pirates (4.18, 15th)

Starters' ERA: Orioles (4.59, 22nd); Pirates (4.54, 19th)

Bullpen ERA: Orioles (3.96, 15th); Pirates (3.65, ninth)

Fielding (MLB rank)

Fielding percentage: Orioles (.985, 11th); Pirates (.983, 14th)

Errors: Orioles (32, 11th fewest); Pirates (36, t-15th most)

UZR/150: Orioles (-3.5, 22nd); Pirates (-7.4, 27th)

Defensive runs saved: Orioles (0, t-17th); Pirates (-15, t-25th)

What to watch

1. Least of outside the East. Starting with the good, the Orioles lead the American League East with a 21-13 record in the division. Now the bad -- the Orioles are 8-13 against everyone else. Tonight begins a run of five series out of the division in the next six sets, including the one-game makeup at the Washington Nationals on Thursday. The Orioles need to perform better outside the division, and they have an opportunity with their first series against a sub-.500 team since May 19-21 against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Pirates are in last place in the National League Central, but are playing a little better of late, going 12-9 since a 14-22 start with double-digit runs in each of their past two wins. 

2. Macho. Manny Machado has begun appearing here a bunch over the past several days, because he keeps showing more signs of a real breakout. He's hitting .400/.438/.933 with two doubles and two homers during a four-game hitting streak. His average is still just .215, but has been going up a little every day.

3. Real Gaus. Kevin Gausman has now allowed two earned runs in each of his past three starts for a 3.00 ERA during that stretch. It has easily been his best series of starts this season, even though he has permitted 26 hits in 18 innings. His last start didn't qualify as quality, as he lasted only 5 1/3 innings. But it still marked his third straight game where he dropped his ERA.

Orioles lineup

RF Seth Smith
CF Adam Jones
3B Manny Machado
DH Mark Trumbo
1B Chris Davis
2B Jonathan Schoop
LF Trey Mancini
SS J.J. Hardy
C Caleb Joseph

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