Results and Standings
The Orioles had a very good week both in the standings and on the field itself. They went 5-2 against the Rays, Braves, and Tigers. But they scored 30 runs and allowed 19, indicating they got unlucky with the timing of some of their offense. A +11 run differential for a week could've easily led to a seven-game winning streak.
As it is, the team is 51-50, six games back in the AL East and tied for second place with the Blue Jays. They are two games back in the wild card hunt, also tied with Toronto. Their predicted final record went up a smidge to 82-80.
Best Hitter / Worst Hitter
Chris Davis has taken a back seat to others on the team this season, but this week he stepped out in front. He blasted out a .280/.400/.800 line with four home runs, good for a wRC+ of 214. Almost as impressive as the dingers is the fact that he walked 16.7% of the time. Ryan Flaherty struggled though, hitting just .043/.043/.043 with no walks for a -95 wRC+.
Best Start / Worst Start
The starting pitching was pretty good this week. Chris Tillman had a pair of good games, but this week's award goes to Kevin Gausman in his July 27th start against the Braves. In 7.2 innings Goose struck out five and walked only one. He gave up six hits that didn't lead to any earned runs (thanks also to zero dingers).
However, there were a few clunkers. While Miguel Gonzalez didn't make it out of the third inning against the Tigers, it's Wei-Yin Chen who deservers this week's worst start award. Chen lasted 5.1 innings against the Rays but gave up two home runs in the process. In comparison, Gonzalez gave up a lot more hits but no home runs.
Have a Game, Why Don't Ya!
Matt Wieters set a 2015 record for Win Probability Added with his offensive performance against the Braves on July 27th. He struck out and grounded out in his first two plate appearances. But in the bottom of the 7th with the score tied 0-0, he singled on a line drive to right field. Nothing came of that hit, but in the bottom of the 9th, down 0-1, he singled off Jim Johnson to move Adam Jones to third base. Jones eventually scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly.
That kept the game alive, but in the bottom of the 11th, Wieters sent everyone home with a walkoff jack against lefty Luis Avilan. For his role in helping to tie, and then win, the game, Wieters increased the Orioles' win probability by 70%, easily the highest increase this year for any one Orioles player.
Clutchiest Relief Performance
As you might expect in such a close game, a few relievers had high-leverage opportunities. Darren O'Day pitched a tense 10th inning but didn't allow anyone to score. However it was Brad Brach who got both this award and the W as he allowed only a single baserunner in the 11th inning, despite the fact that pinch-runner Pedro Ciriaco stole second base.
The Orioles finish their home stand with three games against the Tigers then head on a West Coast road trip beginning in Oakland and continuing in Los Angeles.