The Orioles shocked the baseball world on Saturday afternoon by actually winning a game, beating the host Red Sox 7-2 thanks in large part to a dominant performance from a healthy Alex Cobb. Incredible!
Of course, I’m only partly kidding. These Orioles have been talked about as if they are the worst group of baseball players ever assembled. And while you won’t hear me argue that they are about to make a playoff run (even with the expanded 16-team field), the win did serve as a reminder that these guys are professionals capable of doing some impressive things on a baseball field from time to time.
Now that the first win is out of the way, the focus shifts to winning this series. The O’s have a shot at a winning record for the first time since last April. You could even make the argument that they are favored to do so today.
Ryan Weber heads to the mound for the Red Sox. The 29-year-old owns a career 5.04 ERA over just 42 total appearances. Meanwhile, the O’s turn to 35-year-old Wade LeBlanc, who may have learned a thing or two by watching fellow soft-tossing lefty Tommy Milone struggle during his second trip through the Boston lineup on Friday.
It will be interesting to see how Chance Sisco performs in his season debut. The former top prospect took a step forward with the bat in 2019 (.210/.333/.395), but his defense regressed (-0.3 dWAR). If he can simply be average with the glove, Sisco has enough offensive upside to be a valuable player behind the plate. It won’t be enough to prevent Adley Rutschman from usurping him at some point in 2021 or ‘22, but it could earn him a starting spot somewhere in the league.
- CF Austin Hays
- RF Anthony Santander
- SS Jose Iglesias
- 3B Rio Ruiz
- 2B Hanser Alberto
- 1B Chris Davis
- DH Renato Nunez
- C Chance Sisco
- LF DJ Stewart
LHP Wade LeBlanc