Exiting the weekend, the Baltimore Orioles had seven of their first 10 August games and 10 of their last 14 overall. They had also moved into playoff position but it still seems there’s an air of skepticism regarding this squad.
It’s really just the pedigree. The Orioles are still young and this current core hasn’t done it before so until they finish the job and qualify for the postseason, there will be some question marks.
This week, the Orioles will have a chance to lay some more naysayers to rest while also boosting their place in the standing when host the Boston Red Sox for three games. The Orioles are expected to start Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman in the three-game set and they’ll only have to face one starting pitcher from the Red Sox who has a winning record (Clay Buchholz.
The Orioles are gaining steam these days – especially with the boost that 20-year-old call-up Manny Machado has given the team. Maybe the team was a little quieter than expected at the trade deadline but the rookie third baseman has mashed three home runs in four games since making his MLB debut. It’s the team of adrenaline push that the Orioles could use to propel them down the stretch of the season.
The MLB odds should list the Orioles as favorites in their three-game series with Boston. The Red Sox have been tumultuous all season long and nothing changed in the month of August. Manager Bobby Valentine continues to be positive as the team is 5.5 games out of a playoff spot but at the same time, they’ve registered just four wins in August while losing 12 times.
Even so, the Orioles will take this series quite seriously. A sweep by Baltimore likely puts the Red Sox season to rest but a sweep by Boston will trim the gap and get them right back in the swing of things.