The Baltimore Orioles are bad. The San Francisco Giants are also bad. Who steps up and takes control?
Entering Friday’s series opener against the San Francisco Giants, the Baltimore Orioles own a 17-39 record and sit 19.5 games behind the New York Yankees for first place in the American League East. The Birds went the entire month of May without winning a single series and find themselves with a 2-8 record over their last 10 games.
The Giants haven’t been much better this season. San Francisco is 22-33 and 15 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, kings of the National League West. The Giants are coming off a series loss to the Miami Marlins and also own a 2-8 record over their last 10 contests.
Don’t everybody rush to Camden Yards tonight! This weekend’s series doesn’t offer a lot in terms of star power or intriguing headlines. If I’m being honest, the local college summer ball league begins Friday night, so I’ll likely find myself checking out the Covington Lumberjacks, New Market Rebels, or Harrisonburg Turks instead of the Baltimore Orioles. I will still watch, but maybe on demand as I get my weekend housework done.
The pitching staff for the Orioles is the only unit in Major League Baseball with a negative collective fWAR (-0.9). The next worst staff in the majors is none other than the Giants. San Francisco pitchers sport a collective 1.7 fWAR (that’s quite the difference between the 29th and 30th ranked teams).
When both pitching staffs enter with ERAs of 4.67 (Giants) and 5.70 (Orioles), you can reasonably assume that a series of lots of offense awaits, right? That may not be the case here. San Francisco enters with a team batting average of .220 and an OBP of .285. Only the Toronto Blue Jays rank worse than the Giants in both categories.
Believe it or not, the top hitter in this San Francisco lineup has been Pablo Sandoval. Yeah, I’m just as mindblown as you are. Sandoval is hitting .288 with seven home runs and almost more doubles (11) than singles (12).
San Francisco doesn’t hit a lot of home runs, knocking in just 50 on the season. That could be good news, especially for David Hess who is scheduled to throw on Saturday. However, proceed with caution.
More from Birds Watcher
- Baltimore Orioles Sign RP Mychal Givens
- Gunnar Henderson: Destroyer of Four-Seam Fastballs
- Which Current Baltimore Orioles Pitchers Have the Best Curveballs?
- Orioles News: Should the O’s Pursue Eovaldi? + More MLB News
- Should the Baltimore Orioles Consider Signing Nathan Eovaldi?
Giants’ hitters may not be having much success in 2019, but they come to Camden Yards very familiar with the confines of Oriole Park. Evan Longoria returns to OPACY where he has played 81 games in his career. The former Tampa Bay Rays third baseman is a career .274 hitter with 21 home runs and an .862 OPS at Camden Yards.
Outfielder Kevin Pillar is hitting a lowly .213 this season, but has been more comfortable against the Orioles than any other franchise in baseball. Pillar owns a .317.349/.484 slash line against Baltimore pitching. Forget about who is pitching against him, you have to imagine that Pillar feels good going against anyone in a Baltimore Orioles uniform.
We can’t forget the number two hitter for the Giants on Friday night. Outfielder Mike Yastrzemski will finally suit up at Camden Yards, in a Giants’ uniform. After six seasons in the O’s organization, Yaz was traded for RHP Tyler Herb earlier this season, leaving a large following of loyal Yaz fans saddened, yet optimistic the move would give him an easier path to a major league roster.
Yastrzemski has played in five games for the Giants, going 4-18 (.222) in his brief time up. I fully expect him to have a breakout series against the Orioles. His emotions are sure to be high, playing against his former team. Why not show your former team what they gave up on?