The Royals will go for their seventh straight win this postseason and a 3-0 lead in the American League Championship Series when they host the Orioles in Game 3. Baltimore has lost the battle of the bullpens in the first two games and they need to make some history in order to win this series, as no team has come back from a 2-0 deficit in the American League Championship Series after losing the first two at home.
Nelson Cruz has recorded multiple hits in each of the first five games of the postseason and Adam Jones hit his first postseason home run in the Orioles’ 6-4 loss in Game 2 but Nick Markakis and J.J. Hardy were a combined 0-for-8 in that contest. If the Orioles want to get back in this series they need to get setup man Darren O’Day and closer Zach Britton back on track, as they have combined to allow four runs on four hits and three walks in the first two games.
Wei-Yin Chen (0-0, 12.27 ERA) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Wei-Yin Chen was bailed out by the offense in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Tigers after allowing five runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings. Chen surrendered two or fewer earned runs in each of his final five regular season starts and he held the Royals to three runs over 12 1/3 innings in two starts earlier in the season. He gave up a pair of home runs in his start against the Tigers and he was reached for 29 home runs in 32 regular season outings. Chen has to be very careful with Lorenzo Cain, who is 6-for-8 with four runs scored and an RBI in the first two games of the series.
Jeremy Guthrie will take the hill against his former team as he makes his first postseason appearance in his career. Guthrie pitched for the Orioles for five seasons without making the postseason before leaving via free agency in 2012. Guthrie finished the regular season strong, allowing one earned run in 20 1/3 innings over his last three starts, but he has not pitched since September 26.