The upstart Baltimore Orioles play host to your Chicago White Sox at Camden Yards to close out the month of August. If you are in the mood to watch fun and exciting baseball for a change, look no further than the South Sider’s opponent in this series! The O’s enter play today with an American League-best record of 81-49, 32 games over the .500 mark at the end of August, and two games up on the Tampa Bay Rays for best in the AL East.
Remember when the Rays got off to that white-hot 13-0 start and looked like they would run away with the division in April? When they had a six-game lead on these Orioles on April 13? For as hot as the Rays started, the O’s have been equally as good and even better in the second half.
What Have the Orioles Been Up To?
The Orioles entered play after the All-Star break at 54-35, while the Rays were 58-35, two games up in the division. The O’s 27-14 record in the second half is better than the Braves (24-15), Rangers (21-18), Rays (22-18), and Astros (23-17). Only the Mariners (29-12) and Dodgers (29-11) have been better than Baltimore.
They have been good. Really really good.
However, a deeper dive into their team stats seems to tell the story of a very good team but not an elite one. Baltimore’s run differential of +86, their 640 runs scored, and their OPS+ 105 all come in as 5th best in the AL. The O’s ERA+ 105 is only four points better than the league average, and their 554 runs allowed are good for 6th in the AL. Their FIP is 4.0, good for 4th in the AL, and their WHIP of 1.263 and BB/9 of 3.1 are both middle of the pack. They are undoubtedly a top-ten team, and they have outplayed their expected win/loss mark of 74-56. The Orioles do have the AL’s best record within their own division, which seems to be propelling them to the best record in the American League.
Baltimore paid a visit to Sox Park in mid-April. Their record sat 7-6 at that point in the early going. They were a young and exciting squad, full of young talent, but yet to really click as a team. The O’s took two of three from the Sox and won 12 of 14 to enter May at 20-9. It would seem things clicked after that series. The O’s left Chicago at 9-7 and welcome the Pale Hose to Oriole Park, sitting 81-49. That’s a cool 72-42 since mid-April. Meanwhile, the White Sox were 6-10 when Baltimore left town, and, well, needless to say, these two teams have headed in opposite directions.
What Are the Pitching Matchups? How Do We Match Up?
Monday, August 28
Michael Kopech vs. Grayson Rodriguez
Tuesday, August 29
Jesse Scholtens vs. Dean Kremer
Wednesday, August 30
Dylan Cease vs. Kyle Gibson
Kyle Gibson’s 13 pitching wins have him tied for fourth in all of baseball, and Dean Kremer’s 12 are tied for eighth. Kyle Bradish’s 1.11 WHIP is tied for 12th in baseball. Baltimore’s starters have solid numbers, but their lockdown pen is this team’s true strength. Unfortunately for the Orioles, they will be without star closer Félix Bautista for the foreseeable future as he was placed on the injured list with a UCL injury over the weekend.
We have made the following roster moves: pic.twitter.com/DHaslYiNVs— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) August 26, 2023