That break went by so quickly, which is good because I think a lot of people were tend to get stir crazy without some much sports action on their televisions and other devices. After four days without a game, the Cubs head to Camden Yards to face the Orioles, who are currently fourth in the AL East with a 42-46 record.
The Orioles are pretty mediocre overall, with a poor offense and a worse pitching staff. Earlier this year, they tied a major-league record for most consecutive games allowing 5 or more runs, doing so in 20 straight contests. Knowing that factoid, it should not come as a surprise to find that the Orioles have given up the most runs in the majors, with 470 men touching home plate safely. That’s an average of 5.34 runs allowed per game, which is downright horrible.
Orioles’ star third baseman Manny Machado has struggled this season, posting a .296 on base percentage that is far below his career .329 average. What’s the reason for the low OBP? His poor .230 batting average. He’s usually the anchor of the Orioles’ offense, but he’s had a rough go of it so far this season. That could mean a turnaround is due, so the Cubs still can’t take him lightly.
Baltimore has scored a mere 392 runs, good for 22nd most and 135 fewer runs scored than the Houston Astros, who lead the league in that department. Even so, their offense isn’t much worse than the Cubs’ at moving runners around the bases, as the Orioles have scored only seven fewer runs than the boys in blue pinstripes.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Friday, July 14 at 6:05 CT on CSN
- Saturday, July 15 at 6:05 CT on ABC-7
- Sunday, July 16 at 12:35 on ABC-7
What to Watch For
- The primary thing to look for this weekend is new Cubs lefty Jose Quintana as he takes the bump on Sunday for the first time in Cubbie blue. I know I’m looking forward to seeing how a change of scenery will affect his play, because he hasn’t performed as well as he usually does.
- Be on the lookout for how the Cubs approach the Orioles’ pitching staff. They should be able to score some runs and get on base against these guys, but so far have struggled with the former. Let’s hope the break has allowed them to refocus and come out as the offensive force we know they can be.
- Watch for both Jake Arrieta and Mike Montgomery to improve on their previous starts, which were not great.