The Baltimore Orioles will visit the Texas Rangers for a three-game set that could be a possible postseason preview. If the playoffs were to start today, the Rangers would enter as the American League West division winner while the Orioles would be the AL’s second wild card.
But experts making their MLB picks know not to write-in the Orioles in stone. Although they’ve won 11 of their last 15 games, they’re still just a half-game up on the Oakland Athletics for the final playoff spot.
The good news is that Baltimore is fresh off of a playoff-like atmosphere where they won two of three from the Tigers, who are now two games behind Baltimore for a playoff spot. The O’s did a great job muffling the Tigers big bats in their two wins as Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder combined for zero RBI’s in those games.
The Orioles will have to do more of the same as they were pounded by the Rangers when the two teams met for four games in Baltimore back in early May. The Rangers scored 36 runs in those contests.
The good news for Baltimore is that Texas’ offense has been hit or miss recently. In their last 11 games, they have scored eight or more runs four times and two or less in every other game. Part of the problem is that star outfielder Josh Hamilton is batting just .240 after the All-Star break with seven home runs (compared to .308 and 27 home runs before the break) and second baseman Ian Kinsler has just two hits in his last 30 at-bats. The Orioles will be hoping that Kinsler’s struggles continue as he is the table-setter for the Rangers.
The Orioles will also catch a break as they won’t have to face Matt Harrison and Yu Darvish in this three game series. That duo of starters has combined for 26 wins this season while no other starter is better than one game over .500.