After getting swept and embarrassed by the Cubs in their own house over the weekend, the Orioles will be looking to shrug it off and quickly bounce back over their upcoming four-game set versus the Texas Rangers this week.
Quite frankly, their season and the fate of this current Orioles squad depends on it. No pressure, but it’s time to put up or shut up if they want to remain in the hunt for a wild card spot down the stretch.
The Orioles (42-49) will start the week nine games off the pace of the division-leading Red Sox and 5.5-games out of the wild card picture. They haven’t helped their cause by going 3-9 thus far in July and 5-11 over their last sixteen contests. To make matters worse, they’ve gone just 8-11 in their own ballpark since the beginning of June after starting the season with a sparkling 17-8 record at Camden Yards.
The Rangers (45-46) will roll into town tied for second in the AL West, but they can forget about catching the uber-hot Houston Astros (62-30), who own a ridiculous 16.5-game lead over them and the Seattle Mariners. On the other hand, the Rangers trail the Tampa Bay Rays by just three games for the final wild card spot. They come into Camden Yards with a subpar 20-26 record while on tour, and they’ve gone just 7-12 against the AL East. However, the Rangers seem to be heating back up as they’ve won five of their last seven contests.
This will mark the first meeting of the season between the cross-country ballclubs. The Orioles used to handle the Rangers well by going 11-3 versus their Texan foes from 2013-2014, but the Rangers have flipped the script in recent times. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, they own a commanding 10-4 advantage over the Birds.
Will the Orioles pick themselves up after a heartbreaking weekend, or will the Rangers continue to revitalize their playoff hopes?
Only time will reveal the answer to that million-dollar question. For now, let’s take a look at the starters.
Tillman turned in a decent outing in his last start of the first half by holding the Rays to just two runs on seven hits over five innings. The Orioles will need more of the same from their veteran leader going forward if they have any chance of turning things around. Tillman has gone 0-5 with a 9.89 ERA over his last eight outings, and he’s posted an 11.25 ERA over his last five. In seven career starts versus Texas, he’s gone 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA.
Cashner was impressive in his last start, allowing two unearned runs on three hits over seven solid innings versus the Red Sox, and has gone seven innings while allowing two runs or fewer in two of his last four contests. The only time Cashner has faced the Orioles was in May of 2013 with the Padres, and he held the O’s to just two runs (one earned) on five hits over 7 1/3 innings.
After allowing six runs on five hits over five innings in his first half finale versus the Twins, Bundy sports a sobering 2-5 record and a 7.18 ERA over his last seven starts. Over his last four starts, he’s gone 1-3 with an 8.85 ERA. The bright spot for Bundy is that in three games (one start) versus the Rangers, he’s gone 1-0 while giving up just two hits over eleven shutout innings.
After holding the Angels to just one run on four hits over 5 2/3 innings, Ross seems to have fully recovered from an injury-riddled first half and owns a solid 3.24 ERA over his last 16 2/3 innings of work. The bad news for Ross is that he’s allowed nineteen runs on nineteen hits over ten innings of work versus the Birds in his career. That folks, is good for a 17.10 ERA spread out over seven games (one start).
Gausman was dismantled to the tune of eight runs on seven hits (four homers) over just three innings of work during his last start versus the Cubs. As a result, he’s now allowed thirteen runs on sixteen hits over his last seven innings on the mound (two starts), which results in a horrid 16.71 ERA. His back-to-back shutout starts that preceded his current rut now seem like a distant memory. Over five games (four starts) versus the Rangers, Gausman has gone 1-2 with a 4.05 ERA.
Perez is another Texas starter that’s returning to form, holding the Royals to three runs on eight hits over seven innings during his last outing. Over his last three starts, the native Venezuelan has gone 2-0 while recording a solid 3.86 ERA over 18 2/3 innings. In four career starts versus the Orioles, Perez has gone 2-1 with a 4.01 ERA.
Miley was roughed up to the tune of seven runs on nine hits over 4 2/3 innings during his last outing versus the Cubs, and now owns a 2-5 record and a 10.20 ERA over his last eight starts. Over his last ten starts, Miley has gone 3-6 with an 8.46 ERA. As if that didn’t get you excited, he’s also posted a 1-5 record along with a 5.75 ERA over seven career starts versus the Rangers.
After missing two full months with an oblique injury, Hamels has returned to his amazing self. After silencing the Royals by allowing just four hits over 7 2/3 shutout innings during his last start, Hamels has now racked up 15 1/3 straight scoreless innings. Over his last three starts, he’s gone 2-0 with a microscopic 0.82 ERA over 22 innings of work. However, he has gone just 1-3 with a 4.32 ERA over five career starts versus Baltimore.
That’s it for now, Orioles fans!
Here’s to a better result than last weekend….