The O’s are coming off a series win in their first inter-league play and a 21-24 record putting them just 4 games back in the AL East. While the other teams in the division are much closer to being in first (Toronto being the 2nd furthest back at 2.5 games), the Orioles aren’t far behind and have a chance to make some ground up in the next month.
In their next 24 games, 17 of them are not divisional games and the O’s are above .500 against non-AL East teams so that’s good news. In other good news, Kansas City is only one game better at 22-24 so this should be another decent series like the one against the Nationals since both teams are on equal playing fields.
Even more good news: the series that aren’t AL East teams series are all against teams hovering around .500. The O’s face Kansas City, Oakland, Seattle, Washington and Pittsburgh. Sprinkled in with those games are a few series with Tampa Bay, who the O’s have handled quite nicely and swept both series at the Trop, and Toronto, who the Orioles have yet to face this season but they’re another team hovering around .500.
Another thing fans can look forward to is the return of Brian Matusz. He made a great second rehab start in Bowie where he threw 70 pitches giving up only 3 hits, a walk, and no runs. He will most likely throw one more rehab start before being activated but he should still be back by the end of May.
In the Kansas City series starting tomorrow, Brad Bergesen’s start is being skipped so on the mound will be Britton, Arrieta, and then Guthrie. This is also good news for us fans because he’s not major league starter material and is much better off in the bullpen, which he’ll ultimately become a member of (if he isn’t sent down) when Matusz returns.
Finally, the one piece of bad news for this post and the upcoming month that I think we’ll be hearing a lot about is Brian Roberts’ concussion-like symptoms. He isn’t going to be returning by Tuesday and I really think he’s going to be injury prone for the rest of his career here. He only played in 59 games last season and it looked like, after Spring Training, that he was going to be fine this season. But, that has quickly slipped away. I’ve begun to stop being optimistic and hoping that he’s going to go back to his old self because it’s very unlikely that that’s going to happen.
However, I am hopeful for this month with Matusz coming back and with the easier schedule coming up, the O’s should be at .500 or maybe a few games above it by the end of this 24 game series I just discussed. Let’s start it off with a series win, or even better a sweep, of the Royals.