Guardians (74-81) vs. Orioles (95-59) Game Preview | 9/23 6:10 PM EST

September 23, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 3 Against the Baltimore Orioles

3 Things Preview For Today’s Game:

1 – Race is Over

With the Twins winning on Friday night, Minnesota has officially clinched the AL Central division crown and sadly eliminated our Guardians.

2 – Cal

Cal Quantrill is back on the bump Saturday and has been tremendous since coming back pitching to an ERA of 1.90 in his four starts.

3 – Bo 

On Friday night, Bo Naylor left the game in the 5th inning with a right thumb contusion.  No update as of yet if Bo will be missing any games. 

Guardians Notes

The Guardians have designated right-hander Cal Quantrill as their starting pitcher for the third game of this series. In his previous outing last Monday against the Royals, Quantrill did not factor into the decision despite a solid performance. He allowed only two runs on five hits while issuing no walks over 5.2 innings, striking out three batters in another impressive display. Notably, Quantrill has been in exceptional form, having now recorded four consecutive starts where he allowed two runs or fewer dating back to September 1st. During this stretch, he has pitched for a total of 23.2 innings with an outstanding 1.90 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP, and a 13:8 K: BB ratio. In his previous start, he earned a win against the Giants by conceding just one run on five hits and three walks while striking out two in six innings.

Cleveland has faced significant challenges since the trade deadline, finding themselves trailing the Minnesota Twins by nine games in the race for the top spot in the American League Central. Their current record doesn’t put them in contention for a wild card spot either, and with only three weeks left in the regular season, it’s increasingly likely that they will miss the postseason. While their pitching staff has been a bright spot, boasting the seventh-best ERA in MLB, the team has struggled once again offensively, ranking 27th in runs per game.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • Quantrill makes the start for the Guardians, his 18th of the season. He is 3-6 with a 5.26 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 90 2/3 innings pitched.
  • His last time out was on Monday against the Kansas City Royals, when the righty went 5 2/3 innings, surrendering two earned runs while allowing five hits.
  • Quantrill is trying for his fifth straight outing lasting five or more innings. He averages 5.3 innings per start.
  • He has had three appearances this season in which he kept his opponents to zero earned runs.
  • The Guardians have a 6-4 record in Quantrill’s 10 starts this season when they were the moneyline underdog.
  • Quantrill’s team has an 8-9 record over his 17 starts.
  • Quantrill’s starts with a set total this season and has hit the over in five of 17 contests.


  • They’ve hit two or more homers in 29 games this season and are 21-8 in those matchups.
  • Cleveland has gone 21-7 this season when collecting five or more extra-base hits as a team.
  • They have won 51 of the 97 games in which they’ve collected eight or more hits this season.
  • In 59 games this season with five or more runs scored, it has posted a record of 44-15.
  • In 39 games this season with five or more walks drawn, they’ve posted a record of 21-18

Orioles Notes

John Means is set to make his third start of the season during the upcoming third game of this road series. In his previous outing last Monday, he didn’t factor into the decision, allowing just one run on four hits and three walks over five innings in an 8-7 victory against Houston, while striking out only one batter. Despite surrendering a run in the first inning, Means managed to bounce back and keep the Astros scoreless for the remaining four innings, ultimately resulting in a no-decision. It’s worth noting that the left-hander has only recorded two strikeouts across his two starts, spanning a total of 10 innings, since his return from Tommy John surgery. However, he has effectively minimized the damage by permitting just four runs.

In this upcoming game, Means will be aiming for his first win since 2021. The Orioles have their sights set on utilizing Means for the playoffs, so they won’t overwork him. Achieving six innings would be an encouraging sign. Baltimore has exhibited dominance throughout the year, particularly on the road. As we enter the second game of this series, they boast an impressive 50-27 record away from Camden Yards, which is the best mark in all of MLB. Additionally, they currently hold a 2.5-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the AL East.

Orioles Stats and Insights


  • Means has a record of 1-1-0 ATS in two starts with a spread this season.
  • The left-hander last pitched on Tuesday, when he threw five innings against the Houston Astros, giving up one earned run.
  • Means will look to finish five or more innings for the third start in a row.
  • Means’ team lost his only start as a favorite this season.
  • Means’ team is 1-1 when he starts this season.
  • In the two games with a total started by Means this season, the teams hit the over once.


  • The Orioles have hit at least two long balls in 57 games this season, and are 43-14 in those contests.
  • Baltimore is 37-3 in games this season when it has had at least five extra-base hits.
  • The club has put up eight or more hits 100 times this season and has a 72-28 record in those games.
  • Baltimore is 75-12 in games this season when it put up five or more runs.
  • The Orioles are 28-9 in games this season when they have drawn five or more walks.

Final Thoughts/Pick

Cleveland’s performance has stumbled as the season nears its conclusion, with the team now trailing the Minnesota Twins by a significant nine-game margin for the top spot in the AL Central. In the upcoming third game of this series, they will rely on right-hander Cal Quantrill as their starting pitcher. Quantrill showcased his skills last Monday against the Royals, surrendering just two runs on five hits with no walks over an impressive 5.2 innings. He also recorded three strikeouts in what can be described as another stellar performance. Notably, Quantrill has maintained a remarkable streak, extending back to September 1st, where he has consistently allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last four consecutive starts. During this stretch, he has pitched 23.2 innings, boasting an impressive 1.90 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP, and a 13:8 K: BB ratio.

Meanwhile, the Orioles have secured a coveted playoff spot, but I believe that the Guardians have a good chance to eke out a victory, thereby keeping their exceedingly slim hopes of reaching the postseason alive.

Our Pick: Take Orioles and the Money Line

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