When you’re on an 11-game losing streak, the very last team you want to have to play is the Tampa Bay Rays. Unfortunately for the Orioles, they must do this four times in the next four days.
Over the course of 2021, the Rays have absolutely had the Orioles’ number. Although I’d rather have it that way and see the Rays take the division over anyone else, it will still be a struggle to watch, as our O’s attempt to regain their feet.
The Orioles will be sending out a collection of arms that is highlighted by Matt Harvey, as odd as that is to say. Behind him in games two through four will be John Means, Spenser Watkins, and Jorge López. Combined between those three, 19 runs were scored in their last starts.
On the offensive side, the Orioles’ lineup has been colder than it’s been all season. The offense is 15-for-99 with RISP this month, including a stretch of five games where they were 0-for-46. That is just blatantly awful, and these four games will be more blowouts if that doesn’t improve.
In order to improve, these Baltimore Battery ❌-Factors must come through for the Birds!
The first ❌-Factor is Trey Mancini. No doubt, Mancini is the undisputed ❌-Factor for the Orioles all around. But unfortunately, Mancini is playing through the toughest stretch of his season. His home run off Chris Sale in Boston was his first since July 28, and I believe it breaks him out of this slump. He is hitting .355 with four home runs against the Rays this year. Also, he is 3-for-8 against the combination of Collin McHugh and Shane McClanahan, the Rays’ game one and three starters, respectively.
Our next ❌-Factor is once again the Orioles’ speed. The hitting with runners in scoring position is awful, but the more chances they have, the better they can do. With Cedric Mullins rested up and Jorge Mateo and Richie Martin playing consistently, the O’s need to be aggressive with them on the base paths. If they are able to reach base, which is second nature for Mullins, I want to see more steals and hit-and-runs to open up the defense and make them work. Giving these extra opportunities to someone like Mancini or Anthony Santander, who are prone to get hot, will be one of the only ways to stay in any of these games.
The Orioles truly have a tough task here in the next four days. You can catch all of the action on MASN or on the radio at 105.7 The Fan!
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