The Orioles will close out their series against Oakland on Sunday afternoon with a chance, depending on how other results across the league go, to end up as few as 0.5 games out of a wild card spot. This requires the O’s to take the finale from the Athletics, for starters.
A win would also get them back to .500. If the Orioles win and the Angels and Twins lose, they’ll be half a game back. If the Orioles win and the Angels lose but the Twins win, they’ll be one game back. They remain in this thing, and if they close out this west coast road trip strong, they will be even more in this thing.
Let’s hope they saved some runs after Saturday’s offensive explosion. Kendall Graveman, the Oakland starter, is yet another pitcher they should really ambush. Graveman doesn’t strike out many batters and has a near-5 ERA through ten starts. There is only one acceptable outcome here. They should score so many runs that even Chris Tillman can safely pitch.
For the O’s, it’s Jeremy Hellickson taking the mound for the third time. Through two starts, he’s given reason to believe he will be acceptable. Let’s also hope that continues on today and for the rest of the season too. Sooner or later, the O’s will need a sustained hot streak to break out of this near-.500 morass. Better if it comes sooner.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||OAKLAND A'S|
|Tim Beckham - SS||Matt Joyce - RF|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Marcus Semien - SS|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||Jed Lowrie - 2B|
|Adam Jones - CF||Khris Davis - LF|
|Trey Mancini - LF||Ryon Healy - DH|
|Mark Trumbo - DH||Matt Olson - 1B|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Matt Chapman - 3B|
|Seth Smith - RF||Bruce Maxwell - C|
|Caleb Joseph - C||Boog Powell - CF|
|Jeremy Hellickson - RHP||Kendall Graveman - RHP|