Orioles must avenge 2023 playoff failure after breaking losing streak

Baltimore finally got back to their winning ways, but a critical series against the Rangers is up next.
Cleveland Guardians v Baltimore Orioles
Cleveland Guardians v Baltimore Orioles / Greg Fiume/GettyImages

While a lot has gone right for the Baltimore Orioles in 2024, they spent the last week post-Yankees dominance experiencing a rough patch. They lost five straight games, including an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the resurgent Astros, which meant they could not fully take advantage of the Yankees' recent struggles, remaining in second place in the AL East (tied in the loss column).

Luckily, things turned around a bit on Wednesday, as the Orioles beat the Guardians thanks to a strong start from Grayson Rodriguez and a great game from MVP candidate Gunnar Henderson. While it wasn't a perfectly played game, it was what Baltimore needed to get the stink of that losing streak off of them against a top-quality opponent.

With their 2023 playoff nemesis, the eventual champion Texas Rangers, coming to town starting Thursday, the Orioles now have the chance to exorcise yet another demon.

Orioles have a chance to redeem themselves this week against the Rangers

For Orioles fans, the pain of getting swept by Texas in the playoffs last year is still very fresh. Many thought that Baltimore was poised to make a deep playoff run and that the Rangers seemed to be very vulnerable after a hot start to the season that had petered out by October. Unfortunately, the Orioles put up little resistance in the series, and the Rangers went on to win the World Series.

Of course, the 2024 season is a much different situation. Not only is this series not a playoff series, but the Orioles are a very different roster, with Corbin Burnes at the front of their rotation and multiple new faces in the lineup these days. Last year's holdovers were also calcified by 2023's failure, and have league-wide vengeance and redemption on their mind.

Texas is also going through a bit of a rough stretch of their own, as they have been savaged by injuries this year, and Baltimore won't have to worry about Jordan Montgomery or Evan Carter causing havoc this go 'round.

While avenging the playoff loss to a certain extent would be great, the thing the Orioles need to do is just make a good showing period. Outside of Aaron Judge, the Yankees are playing like a team that could be cratering after their hot start, and a strong series against Texas could easily end up with the Orioles in their rightful place atop the division. That is easier said than done, but that quest starts with playing well against the reigning World Series champs.

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