Baltimore Orioles vs Oakland Athletics: 5 players to watch

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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Baltimore Orioles
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Manny Machado, SS

While the Orioles faltered, it was no surprise to see Machado continue his strong play in Anaheim. His successes included a pair of doubles and five RBIs across the three games, bringing him to a superb slash line of .358/.435/.658.

Take a look at his eighth-inning double on Thursday night:

It was just another day at the office for the three-time All-Star. Machado is posting the best numbers of his career, and with his .483 lifetime slugging percentage, that’s no small feat.

Unfortunately, that production hasn’t done much for the hapless Orioles, who are an AL-worst 8-23 and rank dead last in runs scored. Machado is enjoying a terrific walk year, collecting multiple hits in 14 of his 31 starts, but he can’t do it all in four at bats per game.

The Birds’ lack of direction makes it all the more important that they trade their star shortstop, preferably sooner rather than later. With the MLB rumor mill buzzing about potential landing spots, Machado’s stock will fluctuate with every game he plays. GM Dan Duquette should strike while the iron is hot.

The A’s probables for this weekend have little to no experience with Machado, but you can bet he’ll figure heavily into their respective game plans. The longtime gem of the Orioles franchise has been on fire all season, and it’s time to start enjoying it while we still can.