Orioles on deck: What to watch Friday vs. Astros, plus series matchups

Orioles (46-49) vs. Astros (63-32)

Where: Camden Yards


First pitch: 7:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: MASN/105.7 FM

Starting pitchers: Orioles RHP Ubaldo Jiménez (4-5, 7.01 ERA) vs. Astros RHP Mike Fiers (6-4, 3.75 ERA)

Series matchup

Offense (MLB rank)

Runs per game: Orioles (4.60, 19th); Astros (5.87, first)

Average: Orioles (.257, 15th); Astros (.289, first)

Home runs: Orioles (136, ninth); Astros (155, first)

OPS: Orioles (.743, 18th); Astros (.853, first)

Pitching (MLB rank)

Team ERA: Orioles (5.09, 29th); Astros (3.94, seventh)

Starters' ERA: Orioles (5.88, 29th); Astros (3.89, fifth)

Bullpen ERA: Orioles (3.98, 10th); Astros (4.01, 11th)

Fielding (MLB rank)


Fielding percentage: Orioles (.985, 12th); Astros (.983, 18th)

Errors: Orioles (53, 11th fewest); Astros (58, t-11th most)

UZR/150: Orioles (-4.6, 26th); Astros (-5.8, 29th)

Defensive runs saved: Orioles (-17, t-24th); Astros (-11, t-20th)

What to watch

1. Best of the best. The Astros come to town as the American League's best team, with the major leagues' best offense and one of the best pitching staffs. The Orioles might be getting them at a good moment though, as the Astros have gone 5-5 over their past 10 games.

2. Surging Birds. The Orioles get to find out this weekend if they're a team on the rise or were the benefactors of a suddenly struggling Texas Rangers team. The Orioles have won four straight, all over the Rangers, and have scored at least nine runs in each of their past three games. If the bats stay hot, perhaps one thing that might get in their way is ...

3. Ubaldo Jiménez. Jiménez has returned to pitching his way out of the rotation — if there are any alternatives to replace him, that is. He has a 9.88 ERA in three starts before tonight, since his eight scoreless innings on June 29.

Orioles lineup

CF Adam Jones

3B Manny Machado

2B Jonathan Schoop

1B Chris Davis

DH Mark Trumbo

LF Trey Mancini

C Caleb Joseph

​​​​​​​SS Rubén Tejada

RF Joey Rickard