5 Baltimore Orioles key to team’s second-half success

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 02: Kevin Gausman
BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 02: Kevin Gausman /
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Chris Davis
BALTIMORE, MD – MAY 05: Chris Davis /

4. Chris Davis, 1B

Number four on the list is Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis.

Before being sidelined with a strained oblique, Davis led the American League in strikeouts with 95. He was on pace to break the record for the most strikeouts in a season.

That shouldn’t come as a shock.

Davis is still 7th in strikeouts, but let’s look at who he trails. Miguel Sano leads at 120, and he was an All-Star and finished second in the Home Run Derby. First in the Home Run Derby, and star of the All-Star Break and first half, Aaron Judge, is fourth on the list. Khris Davis, who is having a good season is second.

So, you can have a productive season and have a lot of strikeouts.

Davis knows his way around the strikeout leaderboard. He led in 2016 and 2015 in the American League.

He was third in 2014, second in 2014, fourth in 2012 and seventh in 2009.

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In 2016, Davis led in strikeouts and hit .221 with 38 home runs. In 2015, he hit .262 with 47 HRs, which also led the American League.

He is currently hitting .226 with 14 home runs and a paltry 26 RBIs. This from a guy who is either batting cleanup or fifth is just terrible. He only has seven doubles, and 49 hits in total.

The Orioles know they will get Davis’ stellar defense at first base, even if the metrics don’t show it (-0.5 dWAR). But, they also need offense. Sure, the average might be low. Davis unlikely to smash at least 40 home runs, but they need Davis to be driving in runs and getting hits.

When it comes to needed help to get to the playoffs, they need Davis healthy, focused and ready to contribute not just at first base, but more importantly, at the plate.