The Baltimore Orioles have surged into first place in one of the most competitive divisions in baseball. Despite remaining quiet in the face of hype surrounding perennial favorites and big offseason acquisitions by their opponents, the Orioles are proving last season was no fluke.
After winning another series, the Orioles face a .500 Minnesota Twins club that has struggled this year. Not forgetting their abysmal campaign last season, the Twins are still rebuilding. The rotation enters the series in a vulnerable position, and the Orioles have an advantage across the board. This is a very winnable series for the O’s, even on the road.
Baltimore’s lineup has been a bit cold lately, but pitching has carried them and they’re winning close games. Timely hitting, however sporadic the success of the lineup, and strong efforts from an excellent bullpen have been enough. The Orioles are well-managed, and even when they’re slumping, the lineup is deep enough to win games.
The Twins have not been a good team this year. In a volatile AL Central, the Twins have flirted with leading the division, but have never really threatened to pull away from the .500 mark as there are too many gaps in this young team.
If the Baltimore Orioles can keep up this pace as the rest of their division levels off, they could emerge from the pack in the lead heading towards the All-Star Break. The Orioles are for real, and they’re winning even while they don’t play their best baseball.