There are now 32 Orioles games remaining in the regular season. Most of those, like tonight's, will be against teams who are in the playoff chase. The O's AL East-laden schedule gives them the opportunity to still win the division, if they play well, and yet, with three of their four opponents being in the playoff chase, it also leaves them with the opportunity to sink out of the postseason entirely if they don't play well.
Of course it's not a very good sign that the first game of this make-or-break series - they'll all be make-or-break until the Orioles break - will see the Orioles without Adam Jones atop the lineup. He's still out with his hamstring problem.
It's also not good that the Orioles will have Wade Miley pitching, because honestly, that guy! Maybe he's due to have a good game or three, though. The Orioles surely did not expect Cy Young caliber pitching from him but neither could they have predicted 8.18 ERA-level pitching either. At least they aren't playing against a lefty pitcher tonight.
Out-of-town scoreboard watch: Root for the Rays against Boston, the White Sox against the Tigers, the Rangers against the Mariners, and the Athletics against the Astros. The Royals and Yankees play one another and are half a game apart in the standings right now, so that series is OK as long as neither team sweeps. And in any case, the best thing for the Orioles is if they win their own game. That way, they have the potential to gain ground on anyone who loses - not to mention, since they're playing Toronto, they'd be guaranteed to gain ground in the East.
|TORONTO BLUE JAYS||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Jose Bautista - RF||Jonathan Schoop - 2B|
|Josh Donaldson - 3B||Hyun Soo Kim - LF|
|Edwin Encarnacion - DH||Manny Machado - 3B|
|Russell Martin - C||Chris Davis - 1B|
|Troy Tulowitzki - SS||Mark Trumbo - RF|
|Melvin Upton Jr. - LF||Matt Wieters - C|
|Kevin Pillar - CF||Pedro Alvarez - DH|
|Justin Smoak - 1B||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Devon Travis - 2B||Nolan Reimold - CF|
|Marco Estrada - RHP||Wade Miley - LHP|