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What’s on Tap: Previewing Wednesday action

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Dylan Bundy will start for the Orioles on Wednesday night, opposing David Price in a 7:05 PM EDT start at Camden Yards. Bundy is on a roll, putting up a 2.76 ERA with a 36/8 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings over six starts since moving from the bullpen into the starting rotation.

Bundy was the Orioles’ first-round — fourth overall — selection in the 2011 draft. He made his major league debut in 2012, but he didn’t have staying power as he suffered from elbow and shoulder troubles. The right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery in late June of 2013 and wouldn’t return until June 2014. In late July 2015, the Orioles shut Bundy down due to calcification in the back area of his shoulder.

Those injuries gave people pause when projecting him as a future ace, but so too did the Orioles’ history of developing pitchers. In April, O’s closer Zach Britton explained why top pitching prospects such as himself, Jake Arrieta, Chris Tillman, and Brian Matusz failed to develop into aces in Baltimore’s system. The lefty said, “[The Orioles’ took away the individual approach to everything.” A lot of the blame seemed to lie with former pitching coach Rick Adair, who took a personal leave of absence in August 2013. The O’s shortly thereafter hired Dave Wallace and he’s been the pitching coach ever since, seemingly with much better results.

If he continues to pitch the way he has been, Bundy could become the ace the Orioles have been hoping to develop over the last decade.

The rest of Wednesday’s action…

Los Angeles Dodgers (Scott Kazmir) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Jake Thompson), 7:05 PM EDT

Chicago White Sox (Anthony Ranaudo) @ Cleveland Indians (Carlos Carrasco), 7:10 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals (Yordano Ventura) @ Detroit Tigers (Anibal Sanchez), 7:10 PM EDT

Miami Marlins (Andrew Cashner) @ Cincinnati Reds (Homer Bailey), 7:10 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Kyle Gibson) @ Atlanta Braves (Mike Foltynewicz), 7:10 PM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers (Jimmy Nelson) @ Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester), 8:05 PM EDT

Oakland Athletics (Sean Manaea) @ Texas Rangers (Yu Darvish), 8:05 PM EDT

New York Mets (Jonathon Niese) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Zack Godley), 9:40 PM EDT

Seattle Mariners (Cody Martin) @ Los Angeles Angels (Tyler Skaggs), 10:05 PM EDT

Ronald Acuña Jr. reaches a rare home run milestone

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Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. hit his 40th home run in today’s 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. In so doing he become only the third player to hit 40 homers at age 21 or younger, joining Hall of Famers Mel Ott and Eddie Matthews, who hit 42 and 47, respectively, before turning 22. Ott was only 20 in fact.

Home run marks are a dime a dozen this year, of course, so maybe you want to discount Acuña’s accomplishment. Even if you do, though, you can’t discount his wheels. He didn’t have a stolen base this afternoon but he does have 37 on the year and has over a week to swipe three more. If he does he’ll become a member of the exclusive 40/40 club. It’s only current members: Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano.

The Braves win clinches at least a tie for the NL East title. They’ll clinch the division outright if either they win or the Nationals lose tomorrow.