Manny Machado, SS
The Orioles delivered some terrific offensive performances over their home stand, but they may need to dig a little deeper against the Red Sox. Boston’s rotation is underachieving this year, but even so, no lineup wants to go up against the likes of David Price and Rick Porcello.
That’s where Machado comes in. While the Birds are slashing .234/.299/.403 as a unit — 14th in the AL after adjusting for park effects — the 25-year-old shortstop has a .342/.422/.652 line and leads the AL in both home runs and RBIs. If the Orioles are to have a good showing at Fenway, they’ll need their superstar to rise to the occasion.
Fortunately, Machado is no stranger to success against quality pitching. He has homered off several star pitchers this year, including reigning Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, whom he took deep on two occasions.
Take a look:
There’s also the matter of Machado’s trade stock, which has remained high as ever over the past few weeks. The Orioles front office is likely loathe to break up the band, but at 13-29, the team is going nowhere. In a recent post, I argued that the Birds should look to get a higher price for Machado by trading him earlier in the season — and if they do take that route, it’s all the more reason to admire his incredible play while we still can.