The Orioles are off on Thursday night. This is a fortunate thing after watching that Arizona series. However, several of the teams that we are hoping will start (or in the case of the Rays, continue) losing games at some point are in action. The Orioles can't lose tonight, but maybe one of these other teams actually will.
Boston Red Sox @ Toronto Blue Jays, 7:07pm
Jake Peavy (9-4, 4.50 ERA) vs. Mark Buehrle (8-7, 4.43 ERA)
Boston has a 72-50 record and is six games ahead in the American League East. They will never lose, ever again. Every team below the Orioles in the standings is useless for beating the teams ahead of them. This was the case last year and it will again be the case this year.
Kansas City Royals @ Detroit Tigers, 7:08pm
Jeremy Guthrie (12-8, 4.10 ERA) vs. Anibal Sanchez (10-7, 2.58 ERA)
Our old friend Guthrie is in action against the Tigers, but I have to root against him tonight, because the Royals are chasing the Orioles in the wild card race. They are two games back of the Orioles, who themselves are three games back of Oakland and Tampa Bay. The O's biggest concern is passing one of those two teams, but they need to stay ahead of the likes of Cleveland and Kansas City in the process as well.
Seattle Mariners @ Tampa Bay Rays, 7:10pm
Joe Saunders (10-11, 4.69 ERA) vs. Alex Cobb (6-2, 3.01 ERA)
The Rays have lost seven of their past ten games, but the O's have lost six of their last ten, so they've only gained one game in that time. Talk about failing to capitalize. Maybe the Rays will suddenly develop Orioleitis in the sense that they will get totally shut down by a soft-tossing lefty like Saunders? A Rays loss would have the Orioles 2.5 games back of the second wild card spot.