2013 has been another successful season (so far) for the Baltimore Orioles, however the thorn in the side of the team appears to be their ability (or lack thereof) to defeat teams with much poorer records.
As all baseball fans would appreciate, you can’t win every game and even the worst teams in baseball each year usually tallies approximately 60-65 wins. However if a team wants to mount a serious challenge for a division championship, then they must win the majority of games against these lower ranked teams.
Despite the Orioles being in contention for the AL East title, a closer look at their performance highlights a cause for concern as they have already dropped 13 games this season to teams which most fans would expect them to beat.
The Orioles are currently 3.5 games behind the 1st place Boston Red Sox and 3.0 games behind the 2nd place Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East standings. Listed in the table below are the combined records of each three teams against the Mariners, White Sox, Astros, Royals, Padres and Twins – All of which are teams with much poorer records in 2013.
|Tampa Bay Rays||18 wins||9 loses||0.666 win %|
|Boston Red Sox||16 wins||8 loses||0.666 win %|
|Baltimore Orioles||10 wins||13 loses||0.435 win %|
With both the Rays and Red Sox continuing to put consistent wins on the board, the Orioles need to end this trend as soon as possible. They will get an opportunity to do so over the coming weeks, with games against the Royals (1), Astros (3), Mariners (3) and Padres (2) in late July through early August. In addition, they have a home series against the White Sox (4 games) in early September.
Of these 13 games, the Orioles must win at least 10. If they don’t capitalize on these opportunities, they will instead be required to win the majority of their remaining games against the Red Sox (12) and Rays (7) if they are to overtake them in the divisional title race.
Guest post by Daniel Clark from Pen & Paper Sports. You can follow Daniel on Twitter @DJC_Sports.