Orioles' insane schedule proves Baltimore's hot start deserves even more praise

This is impressive.
Baltimore Orioles manager Brandon Hyde
Baltimore Orioles manager Brandon Hyde / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

The Baltimore Orioles have their annual interleague meetup with the Washington Nationals on tap, and it's about time the O's received somewhat of a break. While the Nats are actually much improved over the 91-loss team that resided in DC last season, Washington's roster pales in comparison to the gauntlet of talented teams that the Baltimore has faced to begin the 2024 season.

The Orioles are coming off a sweep of the Cincinnati Reds on the road. While now below .500, the Reds were one of the top young teams in the National League heading into the year. With Elly De La Cruz highlights plastered across social media on a nightly basis, there was reason to believe that Cincinnati would've posed a threat to Baltimore.

But the O's pitching staff dispatched of the Reds much like they did to the New York Yankees earlier in the week. Baltimore has won six of their last seven games and are sitting atop the AL East division. But it has not been an easy road for the Orioles this season.

Orioles' insane schedule proves Baltimore's hot start deserves even more praise

The Orioles have a winning record both at home and on the road to go along with a +55 run differential. Only the Los Angeles Dodgers' +66 run differential is higher. The Orioles have also dominated winning teams. The O's are 14-5 (.737) versus teams with a record above .500. Those 14 victories lead the way among all major league ball clubs.

The Orioles handled their business against the Los Angeles Angels on Opening Day and never looked back. The O's have already taken the season series from the Halos, winning 4-of-6 against Ron Washington's ball club.

While the Reds were one of the least threatening opponents the Orioles faced this season, the other two NL Central teams gave the O's fits. Both the Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers took two of three from the Orioles, leaving Baltimore with a 5-4 record against the NL Central so far this season.

But the O's have swept some of the competition out of the way as well. In addition to the three-game sweep of the Reds, the Orioles didn't allow Boston Red Sox or the Minnesota Twins to put a game in the win column in six combined tries.

Baltimore will get a bit of a reprieve this week. After the two-game set with the Nationals, the Orioles play the Arizona Diamondbacks and Toronto Blue Jays. While those teams have talented rosters and cannot be overlooked, both the D-backs and Jays are below .500 this season.

The Orioles snuck up on everyone last season and overachieved. In 2024, every team knows they're coming, but they can't do anything about it. Baltimore's schedule has made sure that this young Orioles squad is battled-tested, and that will only help this team as the season unfolds.

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