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Series #47: Athletics at Orioles - 90% Chance of an Outpouring of Rain and Offense

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MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Orioles’ Current Record:

41-102, worst record in all of baseball. They are currently in the middle of a four game losing streak.

Possible Lineup:

Cedric Mullins - CF

Jonathan Villar - SS

Trey Mancini - 1B

Adam Jones - RF

Chris Davis - DH

Joey Rickard - LF

Renato Nunez - 3B

Breyvic Valera - 2B

Caleb Joseph - C

Probable Starting Pitchers:

Alex Cobb - RHP

Andrew Cashner - RHP

Dylan Bundy

Hottest Hitter(s):

Although he was nearly traded at the deadline, Adam Jones nixed a potential deal and opted to stay in Baltimore, and since the All Star Break he is leading the team in total hits, with forty three. While the team could have gotten some solid prospects for him, Jones’ outspoken leadership and experience with both winning and losing makes him the ideal veteran for young and impressionable ballplayers to model themselves after. Trey Mancini leads the team with nine home runs since the break.

Coldest Hitter(s):

Chris Davis, AKA the “other” Chris Davis, has been caught in the middle of one of the worst regular seasons in baseball history, as the slugging first baseman’s contact issues finally reached a tipping point. His second half has been better than his first, but that is only due to the fact that his first half was historically awful.

Hottest Pitcher(s):

After beginning the year late, Alex Cobb was signed on in an effort to rescue the Orioles’ pitching staff, but he merely compounded the team’s starting pitching woes. However, it appears that Cobb has finally settled into his old form, as he has a 2.65 ERA in nine starts during the season’s second half. Seeing as no other Orioles’ regular starter has an ERA under four, Cobb gives the Orioles a better chance to win night in and night out than any other pitcher for Baltimore.

Coldest Pitcher(s):

Since the All Star Break, Dylan Bundy’s ERA is 8.29 and he has surrendered seventeen home runs in nine starts. The former top prospect is looking more and more like a bust with each passing year, though perhaps a change of scenery can help to turn him around. The lowest ERA of any pitcher in Baltimore’s bullpen in the second half is 4.50, unless Danny Valencia and his scoreless 0.1 innings pitched counts.

Key Injuries:

Alex Cobb was listed day to day with a finger issue, so whether or not his finger is entirely healed may impact his start against the A’s this week.

* * *

With Hurricane Florence en route to the east coast, the next three games are due to be filled with inclimate weather, delays, and reschedulings in an effort to play between the raindrops. While it is usually a treat for the team to get to go and visit Camden Yards, the storm certainly is giving the team a cold welcome. Ultimately, the baseball games being played are secondary to the safety those living in the path of the category 4 storm, and hopefully all those in danger are able to get themselves and their most important belongings to safety.

In what is certainly an imperfect segue, the Orioles have been a bit of a disaster all season, having one of the worst seasons for a non-expansion team in baseball history. After years of competing and remaining perpetually one or two key pieces away from taking the next step, everything completely cratered out from under Baltimore this year, and it looks as though there will be a long recovery ahead. For the A’s, this will be their first low-stress series in a while, one that the team almost certainly should sweep, especially if the A’s want to keep pace with the Astros and Yankees for a more premium playoff spot. However, with the weather promising to be a factory and several question marks about who will be starting the final two games of the series, anything could happen.

Game #145: Tuesday, September 11th, 4:05 (probably) - NBCSCA, MASN 2, MLB.tv

Mike Fiers vs Alex Cobb

Fiers has been hot for the A’s ever since he was traded over, but he did manage to drop a game against the Orioles while pitching for the Tigers earlier this year. Cobb has been sidelined with a blister the last couple of days, and should be fully ready to go for Tuesday’s game, but time will tell whether or not there will be a drop in his performance since he deviated from his regular pitching schedule.

Game #146: Wednesday, September 12th, 4:05 (probably) - NBCSCA, MASN 2, MLB Network, MLB.tv

TBA (likely an opener + Montas) vs Andrew Cashner

The A’s roster, with the callup of Montas, has three starting pitchers and eighteen relief pitchers on it, currently, meaning the team can get very creative to how it approaches opposing offenses each game. As such, especially if a game is delayed and a double header is scheduled, the A’s will certainly opt to pitch a bullpen game, with the recently recalled Montas ideally taking on the bulk of the early and middle innings. The A’s were able to get familiar with Andrew Cashner while he pitched with Texas last season, and with the A’s offense’s ability to grind out at bats, this could be a very dangerous matchup for Baltimore.

Game #117: Thursday, September 13th, 4:05 (probably) - NBCSCA, MASN 2, MLB Network, MLB.tv

Brett Anderson vs Dylan Bundy

Brett Anderson was pitching better than anyone else on the A’s before turning in a clunker his last time out, though a small arm injury proved to be the blame for his ineffectiveness. Presumably fully healthy and ready to rejoin the rotation, Anderson picking up where he left off would be huge for a team that has been decimated by injuries all year. Fortunately for Anderson, his competition will be Bundy, who has been one of the worst starting pitchers in baseball this season.