The Baltimore Orioles are still clinging to playoff hopes, while the Kansas City Royals are the ones controlling their playoff destiny.
The Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals are set to meet up in a three-game series at the lovely Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
The Royals currently lead the second wild-card slot, only a half game behind the Boston Red Sox for the first American League Wild Card spot.
The Royals are currently only two games behind the Cleveland Indians for first in the AL Central, after going 16-9 so far in the month of July.
More from Baltimore Orioles
- What other Baltimore Orioles Offseason Storylines will you be interested in seeing?
- Baltimore Orioles to Face Numerous Playoff Contenders Down the Stretch
- Baltimore Orioles Showing Encouraging Signs During Recent Wins
- The Baltimore Orioles and the Expanded September Roster
- Orioles Josh Rogers Expectations in his Major League Debut
This is a team that was written off as dead, much like the Toronto Blue Jays, after a rough start. Well, here they are.
The Orioles have also made a few trades, most notably for Jeremy Hellickson. All other deals have been minor, sending away international slot money for minor leaguers. A terrible decision, but a topic for another time.
The last time these teams faced off, the Royals swept the Orioles out of Kauffman Stadium. Can the Orioles return the favor to kick off the month of August? It sure would go a long way to helping their playoff push.
A few factors as to how they can make that happen.
Continue to hit the ball
Playing the Texas Rangers tends to bring out the best in the Orioles’ bats. But, if this team is going to contend, they need to get solid contributions from the offense on a consistent basis.
Jonathan Schoop is almost to his career-best statistics and is having a great year. Manny Machado is up to .243 and is doing a much better job at the plate.
Trey Mancini is still hovering around .300 (.299). Caleb Joseph, who should be the starting catcher, is also hitting right around .300. The home runs continue to come from the team, but they need also to piece together at-bats.
So, why is keeping the offense going so important?
Duffy is 7-6 with a 3.56 ERA. That’s good. He also is a guy who historically has done quite well against the Orioles.
Kennedy has struggled a bit, at 4-6 with a 4.43 ERA. Newsflash – that ERA is still better than any of the Orioles’ starters.
Vargas is 13-4 with a 3.00 ERA. He may not be the Cy Young leader, but he has to be in the consideration.
The Orioles are going to need to hit the ball, and not just against the starters. The Royals’ bullpen has been buoyed by the addition of Buchter and Maurer, who has not allowed a run since being acquired. Pair them with Neftali Feliz, Joakim Soria and Kelvin Herrera and the Royals have a pretty good bullpen.