Baltimore Orioles: Previewing the series with the Oakland Athletics
The Baltimore Orioles and the Oakland Athletics open up a three-game series at Camden Yards Monday at 7:05 PM.
In the last meeting just a six days ago, the Baltimore Orioles split a four-game series with the Green and Gold.
Despite the split, the Orioles outscored the A’s 26 runs to 21. The biggest run differential happened in the O’s win on August 12 when they defeated the A’s 12 to 5 and was credited to Dylan Bundy who pitched against Sean Manaea. Those two pitchers will meet again at Camden Yards on Wednesday, August 23.
In the August 12 game, the Orioles scored seven runs in the first inning. In that inning, the team batted around with Manny Machado earning the first RBI on a double that scored Tim Beckham. Then, Machado earned the third out of the inning. It would certainly be nice to see an inning like that in the Wednesday game when the pitchers show up to duel again.
The other two pitching matchups are repeats from the previous series in Oakland. The first game will see Wade Miley pitching against Chris Smith. The Tuesday game will feature Ubaldo Jimenez toeing the slab against Paul Blackburn. Miley got the win on August 10 against Smith with a score of 7-2. In the game that Jimenez pitched, the A’s won 5-4, but the loss did not belong to Jimenez. Instead, Brad Brach was credited with the loss when the Athletics scored two runs in the eighth inning.
Like all the upcoming series, this one could make a big difference in the Wild Card standings. It would have been beneficial for the Orioles to get a few more wins against the Los Angeles Angels who are tied with the Minnesota Twins for the second AL Wild Card. The A’s are 10 games back, but getting wins would move the Orioles closer to that coveted spot.
Players to watch
After the series a few days ago, the Athletics showed their skills and not much has changed in the six days since the last time these two teams met. Rajai Davis is still a base-stealing threat at lead-off – he has 26 stolen bases. The A’s DH, Khris Davis, is still outperforming the O’s O’s Chris Davis. The A’s Khrush has 33 home runs and a slash of .236/.325/.512 with an OPS of .837. While, the O’s Crush has 19 home runs and a slash of .224/.318/.436 with an OPS of .755. Khrush is striking out 36% of the time and Crush is doing it more often at 42% of the time.
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The Orioles are hitting significantly more extra base hits – especially home runs – than the Athletics. Four O’s have 20 or more home runs and two more are sitting with 19 each. The A’s have three players with 20 or more and only one with 18.
Jed Lowrie has more doubles than anyone on the Orioles roster and three A’s have more than 20 doubles. Three Orioles have 20 or more doubles and three players have 19 of them. Tim Beckham, Trey Mancini, Rajai Davis, and Jed Lowrie each have two triples – which are the most on both teams.
Better starting pitching in Oakland
Pitching statistics are in the Athletics’ favor as they have more players with lower ERAs in the starting rotation. Manaea, Smith, and Blackburn have ERAs of 4.58, 5.26, and 3.46. Manaea has the most starts with the team with 23. The other two pitchers both have fewer than 10.
Next: Orioles have best hitting catchers in the AL
The Athletics are a beatable team, but they can sneak up and become dangerous if given the opportunity. With their 54-70 record, they are 22 games back from the AL-West-leading Houston Astros. The Orioles enter the series with a record of 60-64.