Now that All-Star Game is over with, what’s to come in the final 73 games of the season?
The Orioles will walk into the second half with one of the toughest schedules in baseball
The All-Star Game was a fun exhibition despite the fact that Felix Bautista gave up a game winning homerun to Elias Diaz which made Mariners fans celebrate and make very disparaging comments about him on twitter (don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself).
The fact of the matter is that the All-Star Game is and still always will be an exhibition game where players put aside their rivalries for a fun game as comrades-in-arms. Personally, I believe that was one of the better all-star games.
But that’s not what this post is about. Please remember that the stats will change as the season goes along. This is our remaining schedule as it stands with 73 games to go and our 54-35 mark. 73 is a nice number. It was the amount of minutes you got in a curling game until thinking time was invented.
July 14-16 – Vs. Miami Marlins
The All-Star Game is over and now it’s time to gear up for the second half of the season. The Orioles will open up with the Miami Marlins, for whom, the Orioles have had a lot of trouble against in 38 games (10-28). The Marlins have owned the Orioles ever since Interleague began back in 1997 and the Orioles have only won one season series against them and that was back in 2000 (2-1) and then tying the series last year at 2-2. The Marlins come in as one of the surprise stories in baseball with all talk centered around Luis Arraez hitting .383 and with 126 hits. and as a team, they are hitting .265, so they are a contact team that knows how to put the ball in place. Jorge Soler is their power hitting threat at 23 homeruns and 51 RBI. Their pitching has been very good as well with Sandy Alcantara leading the charge.
July 17-19 – Vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are sitting in 1st place by mere percentage points in the NL West (.002) and they are trying to make another run to the promised land. The O’s are 6-9 against them all-time but hit very well against their pitching. Freddie Freeman leads the team in average and J.D Martinez and Mookie Betts have wreaked havoc against the O’s in the past. Pitching is led by Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urias.
July 20-23 – At. Tampa Bay Rays
Seriously, how the hell is July 24th’s game NOT a Sunday Night Baseball game… oh I forgot, ESPN is Anti-Baltimore. That game should be a showcase as this is probably going to be the most important series for the O’s in quite some time.
July 24-26 – At. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies sit far back in the NL East race with Atlanta and Miami leading the charge. The Orioles are 33-29 all-time versus their I-95 Interleague rivals in Philadelphia. Bryce Harper has had very little success against the team as he is batting just .189 career against the team. Kyle Schwarber has 22 homeruns yet is only batting .184 (61/331) with 36% of his hits being homeruns. Pitching has been unusually strong for the Phils, especially relief.
July 28-30 – Vs. New York Yankees
An integral series because the O’s winning this series could give them the tiebreaker in the Wild Card chase.
July 31 – August 3 – At. Toronto Blue Jays
You know the story behind that. July 31 is the trade deadline so will the Orioles be buyers or sellers for the short run?
August 4-6 – Vs. New York Mets
It will be a sweet homecoming for Buck Showalter when he returns to Baltimore for a home series. Hopefully Buck will get a nice welcome. The O’s are 16-28 all-time against the Mets. The Mets spent heavily in the offseason yet they have been underwhelming and underperforming as they were supposed to be winners of 105-110 games with their line-up and pitching but it hasn’t been the case. While they have been hitting, their pitching has been blowing games left and right even in which they’ve had big leagues. O’s could tee off on their pitching as Verlander and Scherzer have had very little success against the team in the past.
August 8-10 – Vs. Houston Astros
Houston has been a huge disappointment this year thanks to having lost their leader, Jose Altuve for a number of games. While they are in 2nd place in the AL West behind the Rangers, they are hitting at .248 with 108 team homeruns. Their pitching has been questionable at best with Cristian Javier and Framber Valdez.
August 11-13 – At. Seattle Mariners
O’s begin a west coast swing with Seattle. Don’t get me started with the twitter war over Felix Bautista.
August 14-16 – At. San Diego Padres
San Diego Padres, so here’s another team that spent a lot and are underperforming. The team is hitting .235, they are striking out like mad, and they are 4th in the NL West. While Blake Snell has been their ace, his pitching record is misleading.
August 18-20 – At. Oakland Athletics
Why do I feel bad for the Athletics and their fans…?
August 22-24 – Vs. Toronto Blue Jays
You know that story.
August 25-27 – Vs. Colorado Rockies
The Orioles will face off against the Rockies at home where they are 8-10 all-time against them. The Rockies have been floundering as of late as they were supposed to be a promising team on the rise. However, that is not the case. They are batting .255 as a team but striking out nearly 9 times a game. Their pitching has been atrocious at best with a 5.72 ERA and having walked 342 batters while striking out a paltry 648 batters.
August 28-30 – Vs. Chicago White Sox
The White Sox have just been laughingstocks as they got off to a fast start and then just went to pieces.
September 1-3 – At. Arizona Diamondbacks
Now, the Diamondbacks are my second team, I will admit and they have been on a tear as of late. Corbin Carroll has established himself as one of the best in the biz and it didn’t take long for Diamondbacks management to give him a nice contract (8 years, $117.6M). As a team, they are beating the snot out of the ball as well as putting good contact and wood on the ball (.258 with 105 team homeruns). Former Oriole Christian Walker established himself pretty quickly there, having his 36 homeruns the year before and is already halfway there at 18. Carroll is hitting well as well. Pitching has been strong with Zac Gallen leading the way but the ERA is still concerning at 4.35. All-time, the O’s are 7-14 against them.
September 4-6 – At. Los Angeles Angels
We will see Shohei Ohtani one last time here and Mike Trout? Probably won’t see him again this season.
September 8-10 – At. Boston Red Sox
You know the story here, they could be eliminated by the time we get to them. Oh yeah, football season starts too for the Ravens…
September 11-13 – Vs. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals will visit OPACY and with the exit of Yadier Molina, this team took a turn for the WORST. At one point they were in last but with a positive run differential. Paul Goldschmidt leads the way for the Cards as well as Nolan Arenado and Willson Contreras. While they’re hitting the ball well, the pitching has been disastrous TO AN EXTENT… The numbers are very deceiving with a 4.55 team ERA and the team only giving up a mere 87 homeruns and striking out 727 batters.
September 14-17 – Vs. Tampa Bay Rays
This series could prove the ULTIMATE in determining in the AL East if the Orioles continue with their winning ways. The game on September 17th should be a Sunday Night showcase game on ESPN but you know what’ll happen right? Nope! Not worth the time, so let’s feature the Yankees or someone else! ANYONE BUT BALTIMORE!
September 18-20 – At. Houston Astros
Houston’s owned Baltimore in OPACY for awhile now but I think that’ll turn here.
September 21-24 – At. Cleveland Guardians
Hopefully we’ve locked in a playoff then and we can give some of our players a rest.
September 26-27 – Vs. Washington Nationals
Beltway series that really won’t matter much.
September 28- October 1 – Vs. Boston Red Sox
This will be our measuring stick series to see what happens with the playoffs depending on if we get in or not.
Final Record in the final 73 games? I’m predicting the O’s to win at least 46-49 games for a final mark of 100-62 to 103-59. Don’t (blank) with these O’s because they are out to play and these final 73 games will prove our mettle as separating the men and the boys.