After splitting the first two games with the Oakland Athletics, the Baltimore Orioles find themselves four games up in the AL East. The Orioles lost to the A’s in game one on a walk-off, three run home run or they would have taken both games from the A’s. It’s easy to argue that the Orioles have outplayed Oakland so far in the series, and they will need to continue this kind of play for the rest of the second half, as they face as tough of a schedule as any other team in baseball.
The Orioles continue their west coast trip, facing the Angels and the Mariners after concluding with the Athletics. The Orioles have eight more games left on the 10 game road trip, and going .500 in these games would definitely be a success. The Orioles then return home, only to face the Angles, and the Mariners again.
After facing what could be three straight playoff teams, the Orioles make-up their rained out game against the Nationals before facing the Blue Jays, and then the St. Louis Cardinals. The lightest part of the Orioles schedule in August follows the series against the Cardinals, as they face the Yankees, Indians, White Sox, Cubs, Rays, and Twins to wrap up the month.
September mainly consists of division opponents, as it commonly does, but the month also includes a series against the Cincinnati Reds. The Orioles will be Derek Jeter’s last game in Yankees Stadium, and the O’s conclude the season against the Toronto Blue Jays, which has potential to be a meaningful series, although if all goes well for Baltimore, it will be an opportunity to set their pitching for the post season.
It’s hard to argue against what Baltimore has done lately, playing as well as any other team in baseball over the last few weeks, while playing as difficult a schedule as any one else as well. Some say the Orioles have the most difficult schedule remaining, but they appear up to the challenge.
The acquisition of a few more pieces is always a possibility, as teams like the A’s, and the Angels have already shown their desire to get better. The Orioles are reportedly in trade talks for Phillies’ veteran pitcher A.J. Burnett, which would be about as minimal of an upgrade as possible. If the Orioles were to not make a move, the only worse outcome would be teams they are directly competing with making a major splash. Baltimore appears to have what it takes with their current roster, but would be able to get over the top with just one more key contributor.