The Baltimore Orioles are coming off an 8-game road trip that ended with a record of 1-7. They are currently in 4th place and 6.5 games behind the New York Yankees, but play 7 home games in a row, beginning with the St. Louis Cardinals (30-35) and finishing with the Cleveland Indians (32-31). The Orioles are in need of some luck to try and get back into contention before the All-Star break, and with the Red Sox playing the first place Houston Astros (45-22) in a 3 game set, they may just get some.
The Orioles currently have a 21-10 home record that is on par with many of the better teams in the American League and this little stretch comes at the perfect time for the O’s. They have been struggling with sub-par pitching and uncharacteristically poor fielding for the last seven games. Adam Jones has been laboring, averaging .230 in those 7 games and Manny Machado has been laboring all season with a .214 batting average.
These two stars have to start getting hot bats if they want to get this lineup back into the swing of things, no pun intended. The heavy hitters (Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo) haven’t had a multi RBI game since June 4th and June 1st, respectively, but when the Orioles are ranked 8th in the American league in On-Base Percentage, there is no wonder why they can’t bring in more runs.
At the crux of the Orioles winning drought has been pitching. We know Guasman and Tillman can pitch better than what they have and we know they have the pitches to do it. Pitching is the part of the game that can give teams a chance when they go into those hitting slumps. When you’re standing on that mound and things aren’t going your way, no tweak seems to fix any issue you may have. The Orioles are at a critical part of their season, a fork in the road you might say, where they can cower in the cellar of the AL East or find that Orioles magic and fight their way into the playoffs.
They say home is where the heart is and that is what this team will need to back into the hunt. Baltimore has one of the most knowledgeable and loyal fan bases in baseball and has the best baseball park to boot. It will be imperative for the fans to get behind this team and will them to some series wins. With more road games than home games for the rest of the season, the Orioles are going to have to make home sweet home their season mantra.