The stumbling Orioles are in desperate need of a win. They'll face off against an Athletics starter who has yet to pitch in the major leagues in 2015; in fact, over the last six major league seasons Brad Mills has only appeared in 20 games at the MLB level. In those games he has pitched 74 innings and has an 8.15 ERA. He has won a total of four games... but three of them have somehow come against the Orioles. He is left-handed. They are screwed.
They don't have to be screwed, of course. Mills is bad and the Orioles hitters, no-hitter in their last game notwithstanding, are not bad. Even if they have to DFA someone nearly on a daily basis, they're still not all that bad as a unit. They're just not good at hitting enough to overcome the all-too-frequently poor starting pitching outings that have afflicted them in the second half of the season.
This offense is not the Toronto offense, able to power the sucky Drew Hutchison to an 11-2 record despite a 5+ ERA. Seriously, though - the Blue Jays have an .833 OPS at home and a .716 OPS on the road. The spiritual successor to the man in white, whether it is an actual man or some other shenanigans, still lives. The Orioles do not have such an easy answer to their problems, and as we well know they were unable to trade for two of the game's best players at the trade deadline, so... what they've got is what they've got.
On this night, it should be better than the Athletics. That should be true for the whole weekend, as they might duck Sonny Gray this entire series. Meanwhile, the Angels, who they are chasing in the wild card standings, play the Satan-fueled Royals. Opportunity knocks; hopefully it doesn't knock like Walter White.
|OAKLAND A'S||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Billy Burns - CF||Manny Machado - 3B|
|Mark Canha - 1B||Gerardo Parra - RF|
|Josh Reddick - RF||Adam Jones - CF|
|Danny Valencia - 3B||Chris Davis - 1B|
|Stephen Vogt - C||Jonathan Schoop - 2B|
|Brett Lawrie - 2B||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Billy Butler - DH||Nolan Reimold - DH|
|Coco Crisp - LF||Junior Lake - LF|
|Marcus Semien - SS||Caleb Joseph - C|
|Brad Mills - LHP||Ubaldo Jimenez - RHP|