After failing to capitalize on a prime opportunity versus the Angels over the weekend, the Orioles will now look to recover in a hurry and try to build some momentum versus the lowly Oakland A’s over the next three nights.
For the Orioles, time is running out for them to state their case for a playoff spot in October. A favorable three-game set versus the second-worst team in the AL must translate to at least two wins in the back pocket, if not all three. It doesn’t help that Boston will be awaiting the Birds at Fenway for their clash in the latter part of the week.
The Orioles (60-64) Are just four games out of a wildcard berth, but they’re also currently enduring a fourth consecutive sub-.500 month (9-10 in August) after dropping another series versus Anaheim. The O’s have clawed their way back into playoff contention by notching an improved 18-15 record over their last thirty-three, but have stumbled a bit as of late with a 5-8 record over their last thirteen. To make matters worse, they’ve gone just 6-13 versus AL West opponents that are not named the Texas Rangers.
The Athletics (54-70) have gone through another rebuilding/learning season in 2017, and they’ll roll into Baltimore ranked as the second-worst club in the AL through the three-quarter mark of the campaign. The young A’s squad has played solid baseball at home this season, but they’ve let themselves down with a 20-39 mark on the road. The A’s are also in the middle of a rough 7-11 month of August.
The A’s were able to nab two wins and split the series with the Birds in the middle part of the Orioles recent West Coast swing. Will they be able to land another blow to the O’s playoff hopes this time around?
Only time and fate will decide.
Let’s go to the starters.
Miley will be looking to bounce back from his last outing in which he allowed three runs on five hits over 4 2/3 innings versus Seattle. However, Miley has been in excellent form as of late with a 2-1 record and a stellar 2.91 ERA over his last four contests. He’s also dominated Oakland in the past and boasts a 3-1 record and a sparkling 1.33 ERA over four career starts versus the A’s.
Smith will be making another start after allowing three runs on three hits over 5 1/3 innings versus Kansas City. Smith was pretty solid in July with a 4.13 ERA over four starts, but has posted a 7.04 ERA over three outings so far in August. He’ll be making his second career start versus the Birds and owns a lifetime 6.30 ERA against them over three games (one start).
Jimenez was back to his old ways during his last outing versus the Mariners as he allowed six runs on eight hits over just 4 1/3 innings. His latest outing came as a bit of a surprise as Jimenez had been in excellent form prior to his latest start. Jimenez is 1-2 with a solid 4.13 ERA over his last five contests.
Blackburn was tagged by the Royals during his last start and allowed four runs on eight hits over just four innings. He’ll also be facing the Orioles again after allowing four runs on ten hits over 5 2/3 innings against them on August 11th. After posting an impressive 2-1 record and 3.05 ERA over six starts in July, the promising rookie’s last two rough outings has seen his ERA rise to 4.41 over three starts in August.
Bundy was pretty impressive during his last contest versus the A’s as he allowed three runs on seven hits over six innings while striking out ten in the process. As a result of his latest stellar start, Bundy has now gone 3-0 with an amazing 2.14 ERA over his last three outings and has posted a superb 4-1 record and 3.62 ERA over five starts since the All-Star Break.
Manaea turned in a solid outing during his latest start versus Houston and allowed three runs on six hits over six innings, but sadly took the loss. It was a nice recovery from the A’s young hurler after he had given up six runs in just a third of an inning versus the Birds on August 12th. After posting a very solid 7-5 record and 3.76 ERA over sixteen starts during the first half of the campaign, Manaea will be looking to snap back into form and improve upon a 1-3 record and 6.96 ERA through his first seven starts in the second half of the season.