West Coast trip could define Baltimore Orioles’ season

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 06: Trey Mancini
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 06: Trey Mancini /
2 of 3

The Baltimore Orioles will then head up the coast a little ways to Oakland, where they will start a four-game series against one of the worst teams in the American League, the Oakland Athletics. The Orioles typically struggle at Oakland Coliseum, something they cannot do in 2017.

The Athletics are a team that just traded All-Star Yonder Alonso to the Mariners, so the Birds will not face Manny Machado‘s brother-in-law (at least for a few games).

Their rotation appears to line up as Paul Blackburn, Sean Manaea, Daniel Gossett and Kendell Graverman. Again, not exactly a lineup of Cy Youngs. The Orioles will hurl Wade Miley, Ubaldo Jimenez, Dylan Bundy and Jeremy Hellickson against those four. While the Orioles’ pitching isn’t fantastic, Manaea is likely the only pitcher for the Athletics who is a better matchup, but that actually requires the Orioles to pitch the way they have been lately.

In the field, the Athletics feature catcher Bruce Maxwell, who has played in a total of 75 games in his career. Around the horn goes Ryon Healy, who takes over at first base, Jed Lowrie, Marcus Semien and Matt Chapman at third base. And, that is if Lowrie doesn’t get traded, which is possible.

In the outfield, the Athletics have Khris Davis, Rajai Davis and Matt Joyce. So, while it appears the Baltimore Orioles again should be able to have their way, the outfield gives me pause. Rajai’s speed has been a headache in the past for the Orioles from his time in Toronto. The other Khris Davis is known for his power, and Joyce has had success against Baltimore as well.

The Athletics bullpen is anchored by Blake Treinen (acquired in the trade with Washington for Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle), Santiago Casilla, Liam Hendricks, Ryan Dull and a number of relative unknowns.

Again, a series the Orioles should and must win as they will be near the middle of August at this point.