How Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis could impact playoff push

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 07: Chris Davis
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 07: Chris Davis /

The Baltimore Orioles are two games out of the final playoff spot in the AL Wild Card standings and have scored more than ten runs three times this month.

When it comes to predicting whether the Baltimore Orioles can make a push for the postseason, the focus is on the starting pitching. And it should be.

But, let’s say the pitching has found its mark.

Dylan Bundy has looked much better with rest. Kevin Gausman has done a great job in the second half. Ubaldo Jimenez seems to be in his second-half surge. Jeremy Hellickson is an innings eater who will, in most cases, keep the Orioles in games. Wade Miley has also shown signs of improvement lately.

The bullpen is expected to be stout.

So, that brings us to the position players. The Orioles are committing more errors than normal in 2017, but not to a point where it is hurting the team.

Offensively, Jonathan Schoop is having a career year. Trey Mancini is doing a great job as a rookie. Adam Jones is Adam Jones.

The two-headed catchers of Welington Castillo and Caleb Joseph have done a fantastic job beside the plate.

Tim Beckham has been a surprising addition. He is hitting the cover off the ball, and energizing the lineup from the leadoff spot.

Seth Smith has been as advertised, a guy who is hitting .273 against right-handers primarily, with 12 homers.

Manny Machado is turning his season around, up to .260/.317/.475 with 23 home runs and 27 doubles.

So, who haven’t we mentioned? That would be the Baltimore Orioles two sluggers, Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo.

Both are sitting with 18 home runs, which is tied for fifth-best on the team. That in and of itself is pretty remarkable.

It hasn’t been a great year for either one.

They both have a WAR of just .1, which is just bad considering how much money the team has invested in them.

There is good news though. Trumbo has played six games since coming off the disabled list. He is 6-for-23 with a home run, an RBI, three doubles, and four runs. No, those power numbers aren’t great. But, the average of .261 is much better than the .240 he is hitting for the year. The slugging percentage is 100 points above his season number. While he isn’t, historically, a better hitter in August and September, there is a reason for hope here.

Davis, meanwhile, is hitting .300/.364/.350 in the last seven days, covering five games. He has one double, five RBIs and two runs.

Sure, there aren’t any home runs in those numbers. But, the fact Davis is hitting .300 is notable. This is a guy who is hitting .220 for the season.

Davis is in a list of some of the streakiest hitters in baseball. He recently had a day off in the hope of getting himself on a hot streak. Oriole fans have watched Davis carry this team when he gets hot.

Some of those hot streaks have occurred near the end of the season. And, his statistics reflect that.

Davis has played in more games in Sept. and Oct. (211) than any other month.

He also has a batting average (.284) that is almost 30 points higher than any other month. Davis has over 40 more hits in Sept. and Oct. than any other month. He also has more doubles, RBIs, runs than any other month. Now, yes, some of this is volume-based.

Even in the worst of seasons for Davis, his year in 2014, the slugger still hit 26 home runs. Every other year in Baltimore has seen him hit at least 33, including 2016, when he hit .221. Davis is currently hitting .220.

Now, I’m not saying a ridiculous run on home runs is coming from Davis like Major League Baseball is currently seeing from Giancarlo Stanton.

However, Davis has shown he is capable of prodigious power streaks in his career.

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He is seeing the ball better, getting three hits in Monday’s game.

The Baltimore Orioles have a lot of pieces that are clicking right now. If Davis is to add his name to that list, the Orioles will be a lineup that is packing a punch from top to bottom.