The New York Yankees are in trouble. Lately they can’t hit, they can’t stay healthy, and they can’t win. To make matters worse, they’re stuck in third place in the AL East standings; five games behind the Boston Red Sox and three behind … the Baltimore Orioles? That’s right. The lowly Orioles … no more.
At this point in the season, few things are certain. But I think it’s safe to say this: the Baltimore Orioles are a force to be reckoned with in the AL East this year.
The scariest thing about this team is their offense. The Orioles have always had some good bats, but never this good. Chris Davis is the best of them: his pair of homers today against the Yankees give him 30 on the season already. At this pace, he could end the year with well over 50 round-trippers.
But Davis isn’t the only Oriole hitter the Yankees need fear. Baltimore also has impressive young center fielder Adam Jones entrenched in the number-three hole, and the rock-steady Nick Markakis, who can hit pretty much anywhere in the lineup. As a team, the Orioles rank second in the American League in runs scored, third in batting average and first in home runs. This is a prolific offense, perhaps the class of the league.
The Orioles pitching is also vastly improved from last year, which is one of the reasons they’ve taken sole possession of second place in the AL East. Chris Tillman has been outstanding, posting nine wins and a 3.72 ERA in 16 starts. Their other four starters have also performed admirably, rounding out a solid rotation.
If the Orioles continue to hit the way they’ve been hitting, the Yankees could find themselves on their couches come October.