So begins the ultimate series of ultimate destiny, at least for the moment. The Orioles and Yankees kick off three weekend games beginning on Friday night. If the O's are swept in this series, the Yankees will be ahead of them in the standings. If the Orioles lose the series, they will probably fall out of the second wild card spot, for which they are currently tied with the Tigers.
Speaking of that wild card race, here's who to root for tonight: Rangers (against the Astros), Royals, ugh (against the Tigers), Athletics (against the Red Sox), and Angels (against the Mariners). And even though the AL East door is probably closed to the Orioles, go ahead and root for the Rays against the Blue Jays all the same.
It won't matter so much who wins or loses those various games if the Orioles themselves do not win. As has been discussed recently, if 88 wins is the magic number, then the Orioles must now go 16-13. If they can't hold up that end of the bargain it doesn't really matter what other teams do.
Can they do it? Sure, if they start hitting, and if their pitching isn't horrible. If you're nervous about their facing the relatively anonymous Chad Green tonight, that is understandable, although the Orioles DID hit him for four runs in only 4.2 innings last time they saw him, just last week. Not that it mattered since Dylan Bundy ended up giving five runs in four innings and the Orioles went on to lose the game, 13-5.
I am mighty nervous about the Orioles tonight and for the rest of the month. How are you feeling?
|NEW YORK YANKEES||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Brett Gardner - LF||Adam Jones - CF|
|Jacoby Ellsbury - CF||Pedro Alvarez - DH|
|Gary Sanchez - C||Manny Machado - 3B|
|Mark Teixeira - 1B||Chris Davis - 1B|
|Didi Gregorius - SS||Mark Trumbo - RF|
|Starlin Castro - 2B||Jonathan Schoop - 2B|
|Brian McCann - DH||Matt Wieters - C|
|Chase Headley - 3B||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Aaron Judge - RF||Hyun Soo Kim - LF|
|Chad Green - RHP||Dylan Bundy - RHP|