Baltimore Orioles: Back to Waiting Again to Play Again


Oct 5, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) celebrates after hitting a two-run home run against the Detroit Tigers during the sixth inning in game three of the 2014 ALDS baseball playoff game at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles have done a lot of waiting in the last month. They clinched the American League East Division on September 16th and had to wait through two weeks to end the regular season. Then there were three days off to begin the ALDS, and now there are four days off before the ALCS commences.

But they are not the only ones waiting around. So also are the Kansas City Royals who swept the mighty Angels in three straight. Impressive? It’s OK … but did they beat three consecutive Cy Young winners? I don’t think so!

So … waiting … what to do? Well, you could go home and have a baby. That is what Zach Britton is doing. Very convenient to wait and induce at a time when it won’t mess with the playoffs schedule. That’s a good wife and a good baby boy.

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Honestly, things have unfolded nicely for the Orioles. It was nice of the Royals to eliminate the Angels, thus giving home field advantage to the O’s and preventing the likelihood of two trips to the west coast. Now there will only be one trip halfway across the country.

And it was nice of the rest of the American League All-Stars to win the midseason classic, as we pointed out at the time how they were serving the Baltimore Orioles in so doing!

Let’s take a first look at the matchup with the Kansas City Royals – looking today at the offensive side, and we’ll come back tomorrow with a pitching and defense comparison.

Comparative statistics and rankings within the American League in 2014 …

StatisticBaltimoreKansas City
Runs / Game4.35 – 6th4.02 – 9th
Batting Avg..256 – 5th.263 – 2nd
Home Runs211 – 1st95 – 15th
Stolen Bases44 – 15th153 – 1st
Base on Balls401 – 13th380 – 15th
Strike Outs1285 – 5th985 – 15th
On Base Pct..311 – 11th.314 – 9th

A quick look through these numbers reveals that the Orioles and Royals are two very different clubs, with some of this also being the fact of playing in two very different stadiums.

The Orioles are obviously a big-inning, big-blow power team. They are first in home runs, whereas KC has less than half as many and rank completely in the basement in the American League.

On the other hand, the Royals are a speed team. They led the league in stolen bases, whereas the Orioles were last by a large margin. Will this be a problem for the O’s?  Not likely, as Birds pitchers hold runners well and catchers throw out stealers. And even with 153 swipes, that is still less than one a game.

The Orioles’ home runs average to 1.3 per game, and they account immediately for four bases and a score, whereas steals only advance a runner one base.

What is interesting is that the two teams, though different, end up with relatively similar batting averages and on base percentages. You would expect the Royals to be a patient team at the plate unlike the aggressive, power-hitting Orioles who are 13th in the AL in walks. But in fact, the Royals had even fewer walks and were dead last in the league.

Overall, there is an offensive edge to the Orioles, and it is bigger than just that they hit more home runs. At the end of the day, the game, the series … it is about who can score the most runs. And the Orioles ranked three slots higher than the Royals in average runs per game.