The Orioles enter play on Monday night just 3.5 games out of a wild card spot, though they have six teams to pass in order to claim a spot. One of those teams is their opponent tonight, the Rays, who have lost four straight games.
It’s weird that the O’s postseason chances aren’t entirely extinguished even though they’re four games below .500 with a week to go until the trade deadline. For crying out loud, they have the worst starting rotation in the American League, with an ERA of nearly one full run more than the second-worst team’s!
How are they hanging in there at all? The answer lies in the banked wins of April. The Orioles started this season out 22-10 and no one can take that away from them. They’ve hurt themselves a lot since then, especially by being bad on the road, where they are 17-30 this season.
The O’s will be below .500 at the deadline unless they win five of their next six games. I mention this mostly because Kevin Gausman is pitching tonight, Wade Miley is pitching tomorrow, and Ubaldo Jimenez is pitching on Wednesday. Unless something unexpected happens, these fellows will be pitching 60% of the remaining games from here on out. So that’s... you know.
Chris Davis is out of the lineup tonight. That may be because Tampa’s starter, Blake Snell, is tough on lefties. There may be some other reason that we will discover after this writing.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||TAMPA BAY RAYS|
|Adam Jones - CF||Steven Souza - RF|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Corey Dickerson - LF|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||Evan Longoria - 3B|
|Mark Trumbo - 1B||Logan Morrison - 1B|
|Trey Mancini - LF||Wilson Ramos - C|
|Welington Castillo - DH||Brad Miller - DH|
|Caleb Joseph - C||Tim Beckham - 2B|
|Ruben Tejada - SS||Mallex Smith - CF|
|Joey Rickard - RF||Adeiny Hechavarria - SS|
|Kevin Gausman - RHP||Blake Snell - LHP|