How Baltimore Orioles can salvage April as weather warms

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Trey Mancini
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Trey Mancini /

The Baltimore Orioles have had a very slow start to the 2018 season, with their offense being ice cold, much like most of the weather conditions they have played in so far.

The Baltimore Orioles have just one postponement so far in the 2018 season, despite the unseasonably cold weather across the northeast.

The Orioles lone postponement so far this season came on Monday’s Patriots Day matinee in Boston.

However, that doesn’t mean it has been 70 degrees with sunny conditions very often this season.

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You could blame the MLB for keeping the Orioles in the northeast for the majority of April. In fact, other than the three-game sojourn (and sweep) to Houston, the Orioles have played in Baltimore, New York and Boston.

If you live in the northeast, you know how brutal the cold has been. Weather on Opening Day was fantastic.

However, let’s see what Orioles’ radio voice Joe Angel has had to say about the weather lately.

Then, there is this tweet from Kevin Gausman:

Yes, everyone has had to play with the same conditions. However, some teams are better equipped to play in colder conditions.

So, what is the outlook for the night game Tuesday night and now the two-day games in Detroit, you ask?

Well, this meteorologist (yes, I am a meteorologist) is calling for a chance of snow showers, windy and a high in the mid 30s for Tuesday. With the wind chill, it will feel well below freezing in the series opener against the Tigers.

Wednesday’s game was moved due to the forecast for rain in the afternoon and evening, so the goal is to get the game in during the day. Showers are expected to start between 2-4 p.m. The saving grace is that the showers should all be rain showers, and winds are calming down as well.

Well, none of that will last long.

Thursday brings a return of a mix of rain and snow showers and windy conditions. Highs will be in the low 40s, but it will likely feel like it is below freezing.

A great few days for baseball indeed.

Much has been made early in the season about the weather and attendance. This includes Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports MLB writer, who highlighted the fact that the Baltimore Orioles average attendance is down a whopping 16,000 fans.

Other articles, such as one in USA Today, believe that scheduling changes are necessary to help the sport.

Back to Baltimore Orioles baseball.

All of this cold weather has a negative consequence for the Orioles. As you may know, the Orioles live and die by the home run.

Last year, Accuweather asked whether the weather has to do with the surge in home runs in 2017.

Everyone who has ever watched the Orioles knows that when summertime arrives, and the humidity sets in, balls that are fly outs in April could be home runs.

Now, that affects both teams.

But, one could argue that very few teams are as home run dependent as the Orioles.

So far, the Los Angeles Angels lead the American League in home runs with 26. The league average is 16.

The Orioles currently have 14 home runs.

Pair that with a .216 batting average and you are going to struggle.

However, there may be hope on the horizon.

First, the weather is going to warm up, and by the time the Orioles return home this Friday, temperatures should be in the 50s to start, and by the end of their upcoming 10-game homestand, probably the 70s.

Second, their next 13 games are against Detroit, Cleveland, Tampa Bay and Detroit again. This is a welcome break after starting off with Minnesota, Houston, New York, Toronto and Boston.

Just for reference, those teams are first, third, third, second and first in their divisions. Three of them would be in the playoffs if the season ended today (Minnesota, Toronto and Boston).

As for the Orioles’ next opponents, they haven’t started off very strong either.

Detroit has five home runs on the year and is hitting .216. They are also 4-9.

Cleveland is struggling offensively but could wake up at any moment with the potential in their lineup. They are hitting a meager .200, with 14 home runs. However, their pitching continues to be exceptional, and they are 8-6.

The Tampa Bay Rays are hitting .233 with only nine home runs. They also are the second-worst team in the American League at 4-12.

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So, despite the ugly 5-11 record, the Orioles have a chance to make April look decent. Win the two Detroit series, split a 4-gamer with Cleveland and win the Tampa series and all of a sudden you are 13-16. Pick up a few sweeps and it could be even closer to .500 to finish the month.

Sure, there are major flaws everywhere. We can talk about them another time. Let’s just hope that warmer weather for the fans and players helps the Orioles as they close out April.