Sep 28, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; A baseball fan catches Baltimore Orioles right fielder Ryan Flaherty (not pictured) three run home run during the second inning as Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Ben Revere (7) leaps for it at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The Baltimore Orioles 2016 Schedule has been out for some time, but here at The Baltimore Wire we have not previously commented upon it. But while we wait for the rest of the MLB world to re-ignite now at the end of the World Series, let’s take a look at it.
The schedule is a reasonable one with a spread of home and away games, without any totally crazy road trips as in 2012 and 2013. One of the big issues for the 2016 Orioles will be to figure out how to win games on the road again. This was a feature of the revived Birds under Showalter, until this past year when they went 34-50 away from Camden Yards.
Of course there are 76 games against the four AL East teams. I continue to be of the opinion that this is not a strength for Baseball to be doing this — that there would be more interest in a wider range of teams coming to town. Almost half of the season is against four other franchises, but that is another argument for another day.
The Orioles’ games with the American League East opponents are fairly well spread out, though a bit more weighted toward the end of the season, especially with the Yankees. The O’s play the Blue Jays at home for three games in the middle of April, but don’t see them again until into June. So only three of the first 61 games are against Toronto. Perhaps this can help get Chris Tillman off to a better start!
Here is a look at how the home and away games shake out over the season …
By the end of June, the Orioles will have played 44 games at home and 35 on the road. They will need to have a good start on the season if they want to contend. The All-Star Game is on July 12, so there will be 88 games before it — 47 at home and 41 on the road.
The home opener is April 4th against the Twins — the Oriole killers of 2015, who swept the O’s in their seven games. Who knew these guys were so good? Really? Did anyone know this? Does anyone know this? This opener is on a Monday. Tuesday is off, and then there are Wednesday and Thursday games with the Twins.
The Orioles see the Twins again in Minnesota on May 9th to 11th. These three games are the only ones on the road in a stretch of 19 games from April 28—May 19. Again, the Birds need to make hay during this stretch. They can’t be figuring it out and trying to learn who can be counted upon for the final two-thirds of the season. And let’s hope there’s not too much rain in Baltimore during this stretch.
The Orioles participate in the home opener for the Red Sox a week after their own home opener. This is not one of those Patriot’s Day / Boston Marathon Mondays; that is actually a week later. The O’s do not see the Red Sox again until Memorial Day at Camden Yards.
There are three trips to the West Coast. The first game in California will be on Friday, May 20th, the day after a home game with the Mariners. It is a weekend series with the Angels, followed by a Monday travel day to DFW for three with the Rangers and then three with the Indians on the way home. So that is not too bad.
The other two West Coast trips are more difficult. The end of June features two in San Diego — a week after the Padres are in Baltimore for two games — and then four in Seattle before flying back to SoCal for thee with the Dodgers. Early August features a 10-game trip: three in Chicago (White Sox), followed by four in Oakland and three in San Francisco.
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The National League opponents include the Padres, Dodgers and Giants as mentioned above, three home games in late July against the Rockies, AND, the final three home games of the season against the Diamondbacks. Of course there is the four-game home/away series with the Nationals, but not until late August.
The final six games of the season will be on the road against the Jays and Yankees. If the Orioles can’t clinch the title against the Diamondbacks at home, doing on the road in one of these two places wouldn’t be that bad! Gotta believe!
Overall it is a reasonable schedule with lots of interesting challenges and opponents. So it won’t be the schedule that beats the Orioles. And hopefully a worthless and stupid offseason won’t do it either. And hopefully the Twins will not be the killers they were in 2015. Who knew?