Monday, May 16, 2011

Running with the Pack

With 39 games played, the Orioles are practically at the quarter pole of the 2011 AL East race and have the leaders in sight. I'm not convinced they are stalking the pace-setters, but this start is vastly superior to the start of the last 2 campaigns.

With a record of 19-20, the O's are just 3 games (in the loss column) behind the division leading Rays, from whom they just took 2 of 3 in Tampa Bay. The O's have scored 156 runs on the season and allowed 176. Allowing 1/2 run per game more than you score and being within 1 game of .500 is an efficient use of runs. The offense will have to step it up as this cannot continue for very long.

The offense is 11th in the AL in runs scored. Pitching is 13th (ERA). Again, efficient use of a weak offense and inconsistent pitching to be within a game of .500.

The O's are 10-11 at home and 9-9 on the road. The road record is a significant improvement over prior campaigns.

The O's are 7-9 against the AL East, 8-9 vs. AL Central and 4-2 vs AL West. No single glaring weakness. 0-4 vs the Yankees and 0-3 vs Cleveland are the bugaboos.

The O's are 16-12 vs RH pitching and 3-8 vs LH. This must change for the O's to keep pace with a .500 record, let alone keep pace in the AL East. This is a glaring weakness that AL managers will exploit by juggling rotations and/or calling up left handed minor leaguers for spot starts in order to load up lefty starters for a series with Baltimore.

So, on to Boston for 2 games and then back home. The O's catch a little break in getting Matsuzaka and Lackey in the 2 game set. Both have been hittable thus far. The O's send Tillman and Britton. Tillman vs Matsuzaka favors the Sox as Tillman pitched well in his last start and has yet to pitch well 2 starts consecutively in the AL, but perhaps the O's can outslug the Sox with Matsuzaka on the mound. Britton vs Lackey would appear to favor the O's.

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