Weather allowing, Previewing the O’s vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

The Baltimore Orioles find themselves sitting in second place in the American League East, just two and a half games behind the surprising New York Yankees, despite dropping two of three to the Kansas City Royals. The offense has been inconsistent at best, but losing your most feared bat in Chris Davis to the disabled list is like driving 110-mph on a spare tire – scary.

(You can discuss this series on the BSL Board here.)

At first glance you would think that the team having the tenth highest scoring offense in baseball is a positive, having scored 108 runs through their first 24 games, but upon closer inspection you can see that they’ve scored 45 (42 percent) of those runs when involved in blowouts (which they are just 3-5 in) and 35 (32 percent) of those runs in the three blowouts they’ve won.

The good news for the Orioles offense is that the Pittsburgh Pirates are in town for a quick two-game set and one of the two scheduled starters has struggled this season, and in interleague play over his career, and the other has a grand total of 37 and two-thirds innings of major league experience.

APRIL

OPPONENT

TIME (ET)

BAL PITCHER

OPP. PITCHER

Tue, Apr 29

  • vs Pittsburgh

7:05 PM

Tillman (3-1)

Morton (0-3)

Wed, Apr 30

  • vs Pittsburgh

7:05 PM

Norris (1-2)

Cumpton (0-1)

 By the Numbers

.221/.296/.351 – The Pirates are 28th overall in team average, 25th in on-base percentage, and if it wasn’t for the fact that they’ve managed to hit some pretty timely home runs this season then they would likely have a worse record than 10-16.

33 Percent – The league average for quality starts is 49 percent but the Orioles starters are averaging a quality start just once every three games.

13 – The Orioles and Pirates have faced off against one another 26 times in baseball history and each team currently has 13 wins against the other. However, the Birds do hold the advantage when it comes to the regular season with a 7-5 overall record and having won three in a row against them. Then again, I bet those two World Series championships would be sweeter.

39.8 Percent – Nelson Cruz has driven in 25 runs and scored 18 times, thus contributing 39.8 percent of the Orioles total offense this season so far. He’ll need to continue that trend of powering the offense while Chris Davis is out.

 The Orioles Will Win If…

They score seven or more runs, seeing as how they team is 4-0 when scoring a touchdown or higher against the opposing team. More realistically though, if Chris Tillman and Bud Norris are able to pitch beyond the sixth inning and not force the bullpen to cover three or more innings then it becomes more and more unlikely the offense will need to put up six or seven runs to beat Charlie Morton or Brandon Cumpton.

 The Pirates Will Win If…

They can finally get their offense going and not rely solely on the contributions of Andrew McCutchen. Hitters like Starling Marte and Jose Tabata will have to find ways to set the table more effectively for McCutchen and Neil Walker. Then of course, their big power threats, Pedro Alvarez and the newly acquired Ike Davis will need to play up to their true talent levels – though their sub-.190 batting averages may suggest otherwise.  

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About the author


Lance Rinker    

Lance is the Managing Editor for Konsume, a crowd-sourced news platform driving passionate journalism. In addition to his work on BSL, you can find Lance’s extended portfolio at his profile on Konsume and you can follow him on Twitter.


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