The Baltimore Orioles had to begin the second half following the All Star break with a brutal 10-game west coast road trip against three of the best teams in the American League, including the two teams with the best record in the AL, but came through with a 6-4 trip. Today, they will conclude a 16-game stretch against those three teams with a chance to secure a 10-6 record against the AL West triad.
Baltimore will go for the series win today against the Seattle Mariners after taking a tough 6-3 loss on Saturday Night. The O's will be looking to reverse their fortune in Sunday afternoon games as they are currently in Sunday matinees.
Taking the mound for the Birds will be opening day starter Chris Tillman, who has seen his fair share of Sunday games this season as he is 2-2 with a 2.30 ERA in four Sunday starts. Baltimore's pitching staff as a whole has struggled in day games as they are 15-21 with a 4.93 ERA, and are 7-10 with a 5.59 ERA on Sunday's.
The Orioles will have done what not many of them thought they would do, which is manage to have a winning record over a 16-game stretch where they had to play three game at Oakland, three at Los Angeles, four at Seattle, and then three more against the Angels at home followed by three more against the Mariners at home. Not only do they have a chance for a winning record over that stretch, but they have a chance to go 10-6, which would be a tremendous result over their brutal stretch.
There is little question that the Orioles are managing to win a ton of low scoring and close games over this stretch, including a franchise record tying seven consecutive one run games (O's won five of the seven), and it's all due to their pitching.
Orioles starters and relievers alike are pitching extremely well and are doing so right when the offense has needed it most, as the Birds are struggling to put runs on the board as they have scored five runs in their last 34 innings played.
Baltimore's offense will look to get going today, and they have fared fairly well on Sunday's as they are hitting .263 with 17 home runs and 70 runs scored (4.11 per game) in 17 Sunday games this season, but have also seen themselves strikeout 128 times in those 17 games.
The offense will have their hands full today as they have to try and figure out Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma, who is 9-5 with a 3.06 ERA. We have seen that the Orioles offense like to face the best, and Iwakuma is one of the best, but the Orioles can remind themselves that they beat Iwakuma a week ago in Seattle after touching him up for four runs over his seven innings of work.
Win or lose today, Baltimore will still have done themselves very well to have a winning record over this 16-game stretch, where we thought simply going 8-8 would be a successful mark.
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