O’s Gaming Blog: Homestand vs. Texas Begins

Going 12-7 in a 22-game skid against clubs with winning records, including series victories over the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees, the Orioles return home tonight as a club that plays .660 in the first 50 games of the season. .

It’s an incredibly strong start to a season that they hope will end with them in the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season. If the season ended today, they would have the top Wild Card seed in the American League and would, in fact, be a playoff club. .

This challenging stretch began on May 5 in Atlanta. The Orioles won the opener but then lost twice by one run to lose that series 2-1. They then finished 2-1 against Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh and 2-2 against the Los Angeles Angels. They went 3-0 in Toronto and 2-1 in New York. They’re playing .632 in the last 19 games, going 4-1-1 in the six series against quality opponents.

When the streak began, they were 4 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay for the AL East lead, and today they start playing three games back. The AL East standings at the start of the weekend:

Tampa Bay 37-15

Baltimore 33-17, 3GB

New York 30-22, 7GB

Boston 26-24, 10GB

Toronto 26-25, 10.5GB

The Orioles would be in first place in any of the other five Major League Baseball divisions. In all, they have won five of six, seven of nine, 11 of 15, 16 of 24 and 24 of their last 34 games.

They completed a 5-1 tour, scoring 37 runs in the six games and have scored 57 runs in the last 10 games.

This weekend’s matchup is between two of the highest scoring clubs in the majors.

MLB team leaders, runs per game:

6.33 – Texas
5.96 – Tampa Bay
5.47 – Los Angeles Dodgers
5.24 – Boston
5.18 – Atlanta
5.14 – Baltimore and Arizona

According to Stats Perform, the Rangers are the fifth American League team to score at least 310 runs and record at least 170 extra-base hits in their first 50 games of an expansion-era season.

* 2023 Texas Rangers, 310 runs, 170 extra-base hits (in 49 games)

* 1999 Cleveland Indians, 338 Runs, 189 XBH

* 1999 Seattle Mariners, 325 runs, 200 XBH

* 1996 Seattle Mariners, 316 runs, 212 XBH

* 1994 Chicago White Sox, 317 runs, 174 XBH

While Tampa Bay has the best record in the majors right now, the Orioles are second and Texas (31-18) is third, playing .633 and leading the AL West by three games over Houston and four over the Angels. .

Despite the great offense they have produced this year, the Rangers scored just seven runs in losing two of three in early April at home against the Orioles. The O’s won the first two games 2-0 and 7-2 before losing 5-2 in the series finale. In 26 innings of that series, Baltimore’s pitching allowed 17 hits and seven earned runs, walking three for 24 strikeouts. Texas had a .523 OPS in the three games and has a .790 team OPS on the year to rank second in the American League.

The Orioles are 15-8 at home this year with a 3.76 team ERA, allowing opponents a .244 average and a .692 OPS.

Rangers are 15-10 on the road, 4-3 against AL East clubs, 8-8 in series openers and now season best 13 games above the .500 mark. That’s his most games over .500 since the end of the 2016 season.

Texas is 10-2-1 in their last 13 series and the Orioles are 11-1-1 in their last 13.

Right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (2-1, 6.21 ERA) will make his 10th start tonight. For the year, he has allowed 51 hits and 10 home runs in 42 innings, with 18 walks and 50 strikeouts. He has allowed 1,643 WHIPs and posted a 3.9 walk rate and 10.7 strikeout rate. The Orioles are 7-2 in their games. In his last six starts, Rodríguez has allowed zero, zero, six, two, eight and two runs.

Right-hander Jon Gray (4-1, 3.02 ERA) starts for Texas. The Rangers signed him before the 2022 season to a four-year deal worth $56 million. Gray is riding a three-start streak going into this game, going 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA, giving up two runs and 12 hits in 20 innings with a .470 OPS. The Rangers are 5-4 in their first nine starts of 2023.