The Orioles enjoyed a solid first half and are right in the thick of things for a wildcard spot. The MLB odds may not have been in their favor very often, but they’ve been a pleasant surprise up until this point.
At this moment in time the Orioles are in second place in the stacked AL East, six games behind the New York Yankees but ahead of Tampa Bay, Toronto and Boston.
A big part of Baltimore’s success has been their road play. They’re 28-22 away from Baltimore, the best road record of any team in the American League. That definitely counts for something.
When you break it down though, there’s not very much the Orioles are doing exceptionally well. They’re in the bottom half in practically every category in terms of both offense and pitching, including runs scored, batting average and on base percentage and team ERA and quality starts.
Somehow Baltimore has still managed a 51-44 record through July 23.
There’s a few individuals we must praise for their first-half play. Adam Jones leads the team with 22 HR, 50 RBI and 203 total bases and is batting .290. Chris Davis, Wilson Betemit, Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy have all hit at least 11 homers as well so far.
Though injuries have stood in their way, the Orioles can thank a reliable bullpen that ranks sixth in ERA at 3.09. Jim Johnson already has 30 saves this season and is rocking a 2.55 ERA.
Starting pitching is still a concern however, without question. Jason Hammel, currently on the DL, and Wei-Yin Chen have been the most reliable starters, but neither has an earned run average below 3.50. After those two, things really go down hill. Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter and Brian Matusz each have an ERA above 5.42.
But hey, as long as they keep winning games, the fine details aren’t that important, right?