If there was one game this series you thought the Orioles would win, it was probably this one. So even if they lose today, they've met your expectations for the series: avoiding the sweep. But now that they've beaten Verlander and have a chance to go for the series win, it will be a disappointment if they fail to do so.
Then again, Tigers starter Rick Porcello hasn't pitched awfully this season, and Chris Tillman is, like so many Orioles pitchers seem to be, prone to giving up home runs. The Tigers have some hitters who will easily hit home runs, so, who knows, really. As always, the trends are meaningless and what happens today is all that matters today.
Here is a random and probably useless stat for you: the Orioles are 11-4 in road day games. That's pretty good. That means they are 4-9 in home day games, which is not so good. How does that even happen? Why would they be worse at home than on the road in the day? Perhaps it's just a fluke. Or maybe they tend to focus more on the road. Not what you would expect.
Today, that focus will need to come against Porcello, who has a very low walk rate. This is encouraging for the O's because they swing a lot, so if they're going to be swinging today it may well be at a lot of strikes. Maybe they will be the right strikes. Porcello also gives up a few homers - eight in 70 innings - but gets over 50% ground balls. On the other hand, his infield features Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder at the corners, which may go a long way towards explaining the bad - hang on, his BABIP is .294 which is its lowest since 2008. So never mind about that.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||DETROIT TIGERS|
|Nate McLouth - LF||Austin Jackson - CF|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Andy Dirks - LF|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Miguel Cabrera - 3B|
|Adam Jones - CF||Prince Fielder - 1B|
|Chris Davis - DH||Victor Martinez - DH|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Jhonny Peralta - SS|
|Travis Ishikawa - 1B||Don Kelly - RF|
|Ryan Flaherty - 2B||Omar Infante - 2B|
|Taylor Teagarden - C||Bryan Holaday - C|