At The 81 Game Milestone, Let’s Breakdown The O’s First Half

Featured, Sports and Bets — June 30, 2014 at 4:18 pm by

Here we are 81 games in to the baseball season, at exactly the halfway point of the regular season. The O’s are currently 42-39, three games over .500, and a game and a half back of the division leading Blue Jays. I’ve broken down the team, and I’m giving them grades on their first half performance.

Starting Pitching- C

The Orioles’ starting pitchers have been incredibly average this season, sporting an ERA of 4.22, which ranks 11th out of 15 teams in the American League. They are 12th in the league in total innings pitched, with 465.1 total. They are however 7th in the AL in Wins, as our starters’ overall record is 30-27. Second to last in the league in strikeouts, the Birds’ starters really need to pick it up in the second half if they want to make a serious playoff run. Let’s hope Kevin Gausman can continue to do what he’s done, and be a main stay in this rotation from here on out.

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Bullpen- B+

Having pitched the second most innings in the AL, the O’s bullpen has been a bright spot on the club this year, just like it has been since the 2012 playoff run. Their 3.64 ERA is good enough to rank them seventh in the league, and their record of 12 wins and 12 losses renders them average. When breaking down the stats like this, it would seem fair to give them a grade below the B+ that I gave, but I’m looking at it a little differently. First of all, pitching so many innings, it’s hard to keep a bullpen well rested enough to perform optimally. You can’t match up as easily if the starter comes out after the fifth inning, and the bullpen still needs to record 12 outs. Second of all, the stats have been lowered by some of the scrubs of the bullpen, and not by our key members. We all know how great Zach Britton has been, before and after taking over the closer’s role. He has an ERA of 1.52, and has converted 10 out of his 12 save opportunities. Once thought to be the future ace of this staff, it appears Britton has settled in nicely at the tail end of this bullpen. Offseason acquisition Ryan Webb has performed well, with a 2.48 earned run average, TJ McFarland has really heated up since the start of June, and fan-favorite Darren O’Day has of course been spectacular, allowing only 1.36 runs per nine innings. If it weren’t for the Evan Meeks and Troy Patton’s of the world, this bullpen would look as good on paper as it has looked on the field, which is why I’m sticking with a B+.

Defense- A-

The Orioles are tied for second in the AL in fielding percentage, yet they have not been as spectacular as they were last year. They have turned 95 double plays this year, which is ten more than any other team, and have committed the third fewest errors. Ever since Machado came up in 2012, this team’s defense has been a true bright spot of the organization.

Offense- B

The O’s are second in the league in both team average (.265), and team home runs (96), which is a lethal combination for opposing pitchers. However, they haven’t taken advantage of as many opportunities to score as they should, seeing that they only rank seventh in runs scored (343). Last in stolen bases, the team really does leave a lot to be desired on the base paths. This lineup is performing overall very well, especially considering Machado was out for a month, Davis has spent time on the disabled list, and Weiters’s season ended a long time ago. Without Nelson Cruz tearing it up though, this team would likely be under .500.

Halfway through the season, this team is a game and a half back in the playoff race, and still very much in contention. The starting pitching needs to improve however, if we want to play baseball this October.

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