Baltimore Orioles vs Boston Red Sox: 5 players to watch

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Baltimore Orioles
(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Orioles are playing better of late, but they’ll need their A-game to have a chance against the Boston Red Sox.

With a 5-3 record over their recent home stand, the Baltimore Orioles did well to pick up some momentum at Camden Yards. Their next opponent is one of the best, most complete teams in the majors: the Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox rocketed out of the gate this season, posting a 17-2 record through April 20. They’ve basically been a .500 team since then, going 12-12, but that’s still much better than the Orioles, who remain near the bottom of the American League.

Yes, the Birds have experienced some incredible highs over the past week — did you already forget about Sunday’s 17-run performance? — but they were back to their old tricks against the Phillies on Wednesday, losing 4-1. They managed just four hits, including an Adam Jones home run that provided their only offense of the game.

Even with their recent uptick, an Orioles rebuild doesn’t appear to be any less inevitable than it was three weeks ago. Manny Machado and Adam Jones are playing on expiring contracts, while Chris Davis ranks ahead of just three AL hitters in adjusted OPS: Jackie Bradley, Jason Kipnis and Kole Calhoun. Consider the trade stock of the Birds’ halfway decent players to be an ongoing storyline for the rest of the season.

Until the sell-off begins, all we can do is appreciate their better moments. The Orioles and Red Sox will get underway on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Here are five players who could tilt the balance of the series.