The Baltimore Orioles offense awoke last night with a 9-1 rout of the Tampa Bay Rays that saw the Birds hit back-to-back and back-to-back-to-back home runs for the first time since the team moved to Baltimore. The offense was much welcomed after the Orioles scored four total runs in their three games against the Chicago Cubs over the weekend, all of which were day games and that prompted us to examine this team's inexplicable numbers in day games.
Baltimore is 74-55 on the season, and own a six game lead in the AL East over the New York Yankees and are just 2 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland A's for the best record in the American League, but it you look at the Birds numbers in the day time, you would not think this is a first place team.
The Orioles are 18-25 this year in day games and are 56-30 in night games. That's quite a discrepancy, especially when you look at it from a winning percentage point of view as their day game winning percentage is .419, while their night game win percentage is .700.
So is there a particular aspect of the team that is struggling in the sunlight? Nope, everything is.
Let's take a look at the Orioles offensive numbers during the day with where they rank in Major League Baseball for each category:
As you can see, the offense is simply not getting it done in day games for the Orioles, and more specifically they are simply not getting on base. Any time you see a Major League team getting on base less than 30% of the time, more than likely they are going to be struggling to score runs, even a team as potent offensively as the Orioles.
While the offense has struggled, the pitching staff has not fared any better, which is surprising from a staff that ranks in the top ten in the league in several pitching categories. Let's take a look at the Orioles pitching numbers in day games with their MLB rank in each category:
As you can see, as poor as the offense has performed in the sunshine, the pitching staff has struggled even more. Despite only throwing the 19th most innings, they have allowed the sixth most runs, tied for the second most home runs allowed, ninth most walks and have the second worst opponents batting average and the worst WHIP in all of baseball in day games.
For those of you wondering, the Orioles have 12 more day games remaining this season with most of those coming against AL East opponents, including four against the team closest to them, the Yankees. In addition, the final two games of the season will be day games against the Toronto Blue Jays.
It has not been good for the Birds in the sunlight, and maybe they just need to change the type of sunscreen they use, but with 12 day games remaining, the Orioles will have to find a way to perform better than they have thus far, or this race could get very interesting, very quickly.
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