clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Orioles series preview

The Cubs host a team that’s been surprisingly good this year.

Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The story of the Cubs and Orioles in 2022 is instructive. The Cubs faced them in Baltimore in June and got blown out, then the second game of the series got rained out. Then the O’s came to Wrigley for a two-game series in July, which Baltimore swept. The Cubs were outscored 20-6 in the three games.

The rainout was made up in Baltimore in August, and the Cubs got some solid pitching and won a one-run affair that ended with this slick double play [VIDEO].

So those games clearly showed how the pretty lousy first-half 2022 Cubs improved in the second half, and hopefully that can continue as this year continues.

For more on the Orioles, here’s Mark Brown, managing editor of our SB Nation Orioles site Camden Chat.

The Orioles, to the surprise of all but the most delusional/optimistic fans, have spent most of this season holding either the second- or third-best record in MLB. They have done this by winning one-run games, blowouts, day games, night games, divisional games, non-divisional games, interleague games, games started by righties, and games started by lefties. Overall, they’re winning against everyone, wherever and whenever they are asked to face them.

This success has come thanks to a number of players meeting or exceeding expectations. That includes younger players like Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson living up to hype, and more veteran players like the entire outfield of Austin Hays, Cedric Mullins, and Anthony Santander hitting well. Mullins is injured right now and has been replaced by Yankees castoff Aaron Hicks, who’s contributing to another part of the Orioles success story: Guys no one would have expected success from before this season. Hicks, former Royal Ryan O’Hearn, and reliever Yennier Cano have also all had their part to play in getting the O’s where they’ve gotten so far.

That’s not to say it’s a perfect team without flaws. I remain concerned that this is something of a house of cards and that it could yet come crashing down. The starting rotation is not fully solidified, and there is no one trustworthy in the bullpen outside of Cano and closer Félix Bautista. Help for the pitching staff does not feel like it is coming from the farm this year, which makes trade deadline activity feel inevitable, and treasured prospects might be shipped off for guys who could get hurt or suck after arriving. I have no choice but to have faith that Mike Elias will prove better than former GM Dan Duquette at acquiring pitchers at the deadline, or as free agents. All that aside, it’s been a fun first two and a half months of the season and I’m going to enjoy the fun for as long as it lasts.

Fun fact

The last time the Cubs defeated the Orioles at home, this was their batting order: Chris Coghlan LF, Javier Báez SS, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Luis Valbuena 3B, Wellington Castillo C, Arismendy Alcantara CF, Logan Watkins 2B, Matt Szczur RF, Tsuyoshi Wada P

The date was August 24, 2014.

Alcantara homered in the fifth inning for the game’s first run. Coghlan and Rizzo hit doubles in the sixth to make the score 2-0. Wada no-hit the Orioles until he surrendered a leadoff homer in the seventh. He got the next out, then departed. Neil Ramirez, Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon completed the one-hit, 2-1 victory, which completed a three-game sweep.

The teams did not meet again at Wrigley Field until July 12-13 of last year, when the Orioles won, 4-2 and 7-1, making their record 4-4 on the North Side. The eight total games are the Cubs’ fewest at home against any current team. They have played six at Wrigley against the Blue Jays.

Probable pitching matchups

Friday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (1-2, 3.09 ERA, 1.071 WHIP, 3.45 FIP) vs. Cole Irvin, LHP (1-2, 7.85 ERA, 1.745 WHIP, 4.20 FIP)

Saturday: TBD vs. Kyle Gibson, RHP (8-3, 3.90 ERA, 1.301 WHIP, 3.95 FIP)

Sunday: Jameson Taillon, RHP (2-4, 6.70 ERA, 1.510 WHIP, 4.99 FIP) vs. Dean Kremer, RHP (7-3, 4.74 ERA, 1.434 WHIP, 4.49 FIP)

NOTE: “TBD” for Saturday’s game is likely going to be Justin Steele, activated from the injured list. If for any reason Steele isn’t ready, the start will probably go to Hayden Wesneski. As always, we await developments.

Times & TV channels

Friday: 1:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Orioles market territories)

Saturday: 1:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Orioles market territories)

Sunday: 12:05 p.m. CT, Peacock (how to watch)


Since May 25, the Orioles are just 10-8, while the Cubs are 9-10. So this might not be as much of a mismatch as you think.

The pitching matchups appear slightly tilted toward the Cubs, so I’ll say they’ll take two of three.

Up next

The Cubs travel to Pittsburgh to face the Pirates in a three-game series beginning Monday evening.


How many games will the Cubs win against the Orioles?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    (23 votes)
  • 43%
    (67 votes)
  • 37%
    (57 votes)
  • 4%
    (7 votes)
154 votes total Vote Now