After the longest road trip of the year, the Baltimore Orioles are coming home today. That is a good thing, right?
Historically, that would be very true, as the Orioles have always played well at OPACY. But for some odd reason, this has not been true this season where the Birds have an 11-12 home record while being 19-16 on the road. Strangely enough, other teams with a similar story include none less than the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers.
But really, getting back home has to be better than what the Orioles have experienced with their terribly strange travel schedule in the first half of the season. Their 23 games at home are the fewest by far of any other team in the American League.
On the other hand, being on the road so much and playing at least marginally well as the visiting team has the Orioles with 19 road victories. Only the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s have more wins away from home with 20 each. And yes, the A’s are the opponent tonight – it never gets easier; even the good news is bad news.
It would stand to reason that, as the schedule evens out over the course of the season, the Orioles will get an extra benefit by not travelling as much later in the year, particularly in the heat and drag of summer. And baseball is predictable if it’s anything, right? Yeah sure, any year but 2014 – where the Jays and Rays are upside-down in the standings. But it is true that the Cubs have the worst record in baseball, so there is that!
As I write this about 8:30 in the morning, the Orioles are just now likely getting to their homes from the overnight travel and getting some sleep. The A’s have been in town and are well-rested. It is such a strange storyline that has repeated over and over this year.
The Orioles will open a 10-game set with three against the A’s, followed by three against the Red Sox and four with the Blue Jays. After a quick trip with three each against the Rays and Yanks, the Birds will have another 10-game homestand with the White Sox, Rays, and Rangers. So, after 20 home games in the next 26, we’ll be to the Fourth of July weekend, and hopefully the Orioles will be many more games over .500 and closer to the top of the division.
Wei-Yin Chen takes to the mound with the task of needing to go deep into a game this evening to help the pitching staff. No pressure, just don’t mess up!
Chen brings a team-best 6-2 record to the game, along with a 4.26 ERA. Yes, he has had great run support. And he has needed it, turning in a quality start only three times in his 11 outings.
Over his career, Chen is 3-0 in three starts against Oakland! His ERA is .44 in those starts cover 20.2 innings – allowing only 11 hits.
The Orioles will be facing left-hander Tommy Milone who is 3-3 on the season with a 3.60 ERA. His three wins are in his last five starts which have been very good.
Against the Orioles he is 1-1 in two starts, though this will be a first at Camden Yards. Chris Davis has a homer off him in five at-bats, and so does Nelson Cruz with a 3-for-13. Manny Machado is 3-for-5 with a double.