For an Orioles fan searching around for some other team whose success you might vaguely enjoy in a year where the O's themselves are going nowhere except for further into the AL East cellar, the Braves are an awfully tempting target. They are a young team that's been good sooner than expected, they are currently ahead of the O's TV money-grubbing neighbors in the standings, and what's more, they've got the feel-good story of Nick Markakis and Ryan Flaherty, ex-Orioles reunited in Atlanta whose wives are sisters.
The 2018 Orioles don't have to do anything special to help out their former comrades. They just have to do what they're very good at doing this season: Lose. The O's can lose two out of three games, they can lose three out of three games, they just find ways to make it happen.
Maybe Chris Davis will go 0-4 with three strikeouts and in every one of those plate appearances he will strand the bases loaded. Oh yeah, he's back, baby! Whether his extended (but still in the grand scheme quite brief) absence solves any problems won't be answered permanently tonight, though if for some reason Davis cranks a home run to right field, we'd at least have a positive indicator.
Maybe Alex Cobb will pitch well and get no run support. Maybe he won't pitch well and will still get no run support. The bullpen could blow it. The defense could repeatedly let them down as it has done so many times before. The possibilities are endless!
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||ATLANTA BRAVES|
|Craig Gentry - LF||Ender Inciarte - CF|
|Adam Jones - CF||Ozzie Albies - 2B|
|Manny Machado - SS||Freddie Freeman - 1B|
|Mark Trumbo - RF||Nick Markakis - RF|
|Danny Valencia - 3B||Tyler Flowers - C|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||Charlie Culberson - LF|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Dansby Swanson - SS|
|Caleb Joseph - C||Johan Camargo - 3B|
|Alex Cobb - RHP||Sean Newcomb - LHP|