Nothing quite like playing the Nationals to create a little momentum. For once, the Orioles came out of a weekend series against the Nats with a winning streak intact; though they lost the first game, they avoided the standard Sunday display of managerial incompetence causing a loss. Now they turn to the Royals, who took two out of three from the O's earlier in the month.
If momentum's only as good as your next day's starter, the O's are in pretty good shape today: it's Zach Britton Day. Britton's coming off a game where he held the New York lineup to no earned runs (one unearned) over seven innings, although the Orioles ultimately lost in extra frames. Let's not think about it.
Kansas City's starter is Danny Duffy, who's left-handed and will be making his second-ever major league start. There's a good chance this means no-hitter. Duffy's replacing an injured Kyle Davies, who I personally would much rather have seen. Maybe he was "injured". Either way, it'll be up to the O's bats to score some runs against an unfamiliar lefty.
On the other end, the Royals will also be facing Britton for the first time. He is also a tough, unfamiliar lefty. They may be expected to have somewhat better luck given that their four best regulars all have better batting numbers than anyone on the Orioles, and that's not even counting the promising Eric Hosmer, who inspires the kind of hyperbole in Kansas City that Matt Wieters did in Baltimore. Hosmer will be in the lineup tonight and also has better numbers than anyone on the Orioles; I just didn't list him due to small sample size (66 PA).
The Royals offense is seemingly playing over its head, which kind of sucks for them when considering their record is still 22-24 even considering that. Perhaps it'll be the O's who administer a cruel dose of reality. Then again, I wrote something like this before the last Royals series and we all saw how that went. Life makes no sense.
|Royals (D. Duffy - L) @ Orioles (Z. Britton - L)|