Based on what we’ve seen in the past two and half seasons, it certainly appears that the Orioles have replaced the New York Yankees as the team that drives me crazy. The Red Sox sit at 2-4 against the O’s this season, after losing 13 of 18 in 2012. I firmly believed that the law of averages would catch up with Baltimore, as they were winning a disproportionate amount of games by three or less runs, and in extra innings.
But I finally have to admit that the manner in which the Orioles seem to beat the Red Sox is not a fluke. They’re a good, young team that will be the Red Sox biggest nemesis in the AL East for years to come, since the Yankees are old and overpaid.
The Orioles have the young bats to do it. First baseman Chris Davis might be the best player in the American League not named Miguel Cabrera. He leads the MLB in home runs with 23, including a two-run blast in the final game of the Orioles home stand with the Red Sox. At the age of 27, he is clearly entering his prime and becoming the power hitting slugger that the Texas Rangers hoped he would be before giving up on him.
It’s scary to think what Manny Machado will become. The Orioles’ third basemen can’t legally buy a beer in Baltimore, but he has become one of the most feared hitters in baseball, rocking a .324 average. Matt Wieters is one of the best power hitting catchers in baseball, and Adam Jones will be an All Star for years to come in center field.
Their starting pitching is suspect, but the future is bright. The Orioles are heavily invested in Miguel Gonzalez, Chris Tilman and Kevin Gausman. Not surprisingly, this trio was largely responsible for the Orioles’ wins on Thursday and Friday night, and their 4-0 lead in Sunday’s finale as I write this.
Make no doubt about it Red Sox Nation — Baltimore has replaced the Bronx as the place where victories will be hardest to come by.