Baltimore Orioles: Four Things To Pay Attention To Against Texas Rangers
There are plenty of things to watch for as the Baltimore Orioles prepare for a four-game set against the Texas Rangers. Here are four we are watching for.
With Hurricane Dorian threatening the east coast of the United States from Florida to Virginia this week, the Baltimore Orioles are back in Baltimore for a four-game set against the Texas Rangers, coming off an unscheduled off-day.
Despite dropping two of three to the Tampa Bay Rays, it took a 10th-inning walk-off hit off rookie reliever Dillon Tate and poor baserunning from the Orioles for the Rays to take the series and not hurt their Wild Card standings. Not that any Rays fans would have noticed if Tampa did end up losing the series.
Just 23 games remain on the Orioles schedule, 13 of them to be played at Camden Yards. Currently sitting at 46-93, another 100-loss season is imminent, as is a top draft pick in the 2020 draft. The number one overall pick will be stretch (Orioles sit 4.5 behind Detroit for the first pick), but a top two or three pick is all but a guarantee as the Orioles look to add another elite prospect to a growing pool of talent down on the farm.
If you’re still hanging in there and watching Orioles baseball, there are a few things to pay close attention to in this series against Texas. Let’s take a quick look at four things we’re going to be watching for over the next four days.
Can Hanser Alberto gain any ground in his batting title race?
The odds of Hanser Alberto winning the American League batting title are low, but it’s truly unbelievable that we’re sitting here talking about this. A utility man who bounced from team to team this offseason and didn’t appear to have a spot on the 25-man roster for one of the worst teams in baseball now owns the third-highest batting average in the American League.
New York’s DJ LeMahieu sits in first with a .331 average, with Houston’s Michael Brantley in second at .324, followed by Alberto and his .323 mark. Over the past week, Alberto is 10-23 (.435) with a home run, two doubles, and six runs scored.
He’s pretty comfortable against Texas pitching, going 8-15 (all singles) in three games against the Rangers earlier this season. Kolby Allard throws Thursday night, Brock Burke goes Friday, and Mike Minor on Sunday (TBD for Saturday). All three are left-handed pitchers. In case you need a reminder, Alberto is hitting .418 vs lefties this season.
We could be in for quite a show from Alberto this weekend.