Jun 24, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles pinch hitter Delmon Young (27) hits a one-run rbi single in the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The White Sox defeated the Orioles 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Orioles – Hard to Win in the Yard

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The Baltimore Orioles, like many teams in this strange season of parody and surprises, have had the unusual experience of not consistently winning at Camden Yards. Who would have expected this?

With the loss to the White Sox last night, the Orioles are now 17-18 at home and 23-18 on the road. Stated as relative to playing .500 baseball, they are home/road -1 / +4.  In 2013, it would be +11 / -3.  In 2012, it was +13 / +11.  And in 2011, the last of the horrible seasons, the Orioles were only three games under .500 at home.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards should really favor a power team like the O’s. So this is a weird statistic that defies easy explanation. Yes, the pitching has too frequently not been the best, but honestly, the Orioles have not hit and scored well at home either.

The Baltimore Orioles have the second highest team batting average in the American League at .265. But this is about the only category where they are at the top. Even though they have had decent numbers with runners in scoring position, that has to be skewed by having many of those hits come in non-critical situations.

When one studies and looks more deeply into the many metrics of offensive production (such as these advanced statistics), the Orioles are very much a middle of the pack team in most categories. For example, the O’s are eighth in the AL in average runs scored per game – an admittedly important statistic, since that is what determines who wins or loses!

Last night’s game (Tuesday 6/24, 4-2 loss to the White Sox) illustrates some of the frustration in one small sample. They were 9-for-32 (.281) with four walks (OPB of .361), but were then 1-for-9 with RISP and hit into four double plays.

This evening’s contest would at first glance look to be a hitters’ game, featuring a pair of pitchers with somewhat ugly statistics.

Ubaldo Jimenez will try to improve upon 2-8, 4.63.  We know he is capable of being a difficult pitcher to hit. He has kept the Orioles in four of his past five games – giving them a shot at winning, but sadly the Birds have only won three of his starts this entire season.

The current White Sox lineup is a combined 44-ofr-160 (.275) against Jimenez, who is seeking his first win at Camden Yards. In nine career starts against Chicago he is 2-3 with a 4.92 ERA.

Hector Noesi (2-5, 5.34) will pitch for the White Sox. He is 0-2 against the Orioles who have totally clobbered him in just 6.1 innings with 15 hits. However, current Orioles are only 8-for-30 against him. Adam Jones and Nelson Cruz have each hit a home run.

Here is the Baltimore Orioles lineup, which has Ryan Flaherty and Nick Hundley starting …

Nick Markakis – RF
Steve Pearce – LF
Adam Jones – CF
Chris Davis – 1B
Nelson Cruz – DH
J.J. Hardy – SS
Manny Machado – 3B
Ryan Flaherty – 2B
Nick Hundley – C

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