It’s been an up-and-down start to the season for the O’s to say the least.
Following a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore lost four consecutive games at the hands of the Miami Marlins. With the team sitting tied for second in the A.L. East at 5-7, the Orioles are set to square off in the Nation’s Capital against the reigning World Series Champion Washington Nationals.
It’s not a long trip to reach the opposing team’s ballpark, but a change of scenery might be good for the Orioles with the current form they are in.
Tommy Milone (0-1, 4.76 ERA) will face off against Aníbal Sánchez (0-1, 7.20 ERA) tonight in game one. The veteran lefty is coming off a no-decision, in which he pitched five innings, struck out eight batters and allowed one run.
Key to the Series: Wake Up Offense!
After a hot start to the season, the Orioles’ bats have collectively cooled off lately. Miami outscored Baltimore 7-1 combined in the first three games and beat the O’s 8-7 in game four. Getting back in a rhythm at the plate will be crucial if the Orioles want to rebound in the upcoming series in DC.
The Orioles scored five runs or more in each game of the sweep against the Rays, but they struggled to even put runs on the board against Miami.
José Iglesias still leads the team with a .379 average, while Hanser Alberto leads the team with 17 hits. These two will need to continue to carry the load if the rest of the team cannot catch up. Austin Hays has struggled, going .146 in 41 attempts at the plate.
The Orioles currently rank 16th in the MLB in team batting average; they will now look to get out of the funk they are in against a Washington pitching staff, who are collectively third in the MLB in ERA (2.76).
Following their World Series victory, the Nationals have a few different names in the lineup this year. Following the departure of Anthony Rendon, Asdrubal Cabrera and youngster Carter Kieboom fill the void at third base.
The Nats are coming off of a one-one split in a short series against the New York Mets and currently have a 4-5 record. This is the first three-game series against the Orioles before Washington heads back to Camden Yards in a week for another three-game series.