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
OAKLAND, CA – APRIL 18: Jed Lowrie #8 of the Oakland Athletics bats against the Chicago White Sox at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on April 18, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Jed Lowrie, 2B

This veteran wasn’t supposed to be anything special for the A’s this year. Lowrie had a solid 4-win season in 2017, but in December, FanGraphs projected only 1.2 WAR for the versatile infielder, putting him just ahead of Joey Wendle and Bruce Maxwell.

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Through one month of the season, that figure appears to be a major misfire. After going 5-for-12 with a pair of home runs against the Mariners earlier this week, Lowrie is sporting a menacing .346/.399/.614 slash line, making him more similar to Bryce Harper than Billy Hamilton. He ranks first in the AL in both hits and RBIs, as well as third in batting average.

It’s true that Lowrie has benefited from some good luck this year. His BABIP is a sky-high .387, nearly a hundred points higher than his career mark. Still, it’s hard to argue with his 17 extra-base hits, which tie him for fifth in the league. The A’s have demonstrated their trust by placing him third in the batting order — not bad for a player who entered the year with a .408 slugging percentage.

Lowrie’s career line against the Orioles is a weak .218/.296/.400, but he’s a much better hitter now than he was during his salad days with the Red Sox. Look for him to improve those numbers this weekend.

Next: The top 5 home run hitters in Orioles history

Which players are you going to keep an eye on this weekend? Let us know on social media, and keep it here at Birds Watcher for more updates on the Baltimore Orioles.