Saturday, June 22, 2024
World Elite Syndicate

MLB Preview: Baltimore Orioles (86-51) at Los Angeles Angels (64-74)


ROOKIES LEAD THE WAY: The O’s beat the Angels last night, 6-3, in the first game of the three-game series…Improved to 30-15 in series openers and 17-6 in openers on the road…Baltimore scored three runs in the third inning to erase a 1-0 deficit and added three more in the seventh on a Gunnar Henderson three-run homer…Grayson Rodriguez allowed two runs in 6.0 innings to earn his second straight win and fifth of the season. The Orioles notched their 43rd comeback win of the year, tied with the Reds for the most in MLB this season; Baltimore has 79 come-from-behind victories since the start of 2022, second-most in MLB behind the Dodgers (83).

THE SKIPPER: Brandon Hyde became the fifth Orioles skipper since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954 to reach 300 career managerial wins with last night’s victory…He joins Earl Weaver (1,480), Buck Showalter (669), Paul Richards (517), and Hank Bauer (407) as managers with 300 wins in an O’s uniform.

SOMETHING IN THE ORANGE: The O’s have won three games in a row, nine of their last 12, 12 of 16, 15 of 21, 20 of 29, 23 of 33, 29 of 43, and 37 of 53…They’ve won five series in a row, six of seven series, and nine of 11 series…At 86-51 (.628), the Orioles have the best record in the AL and second-best in MLB (see box at right)…The Birds are 37-16 (.698) since July 5, the best record in the AL and second-best in MLB during that time behind the Dodgers (37-14, .725)… The team had a season-best eight-game winning streak from July 5-16, Baltimore’s longest since a 10-gamer from July 3-13, 2022…The O’s are 148-100 (.597) since June 2022, the second-est record in the AL and fourth-best in MLB during that time. The O’s hold a 3.5-game lead over the Rays in the AL East. The Birds won their 82nd win on August 28, becoming the second MLB team this year to clinch a winning season behind the Braves and Saturday’s victory in Arizona was the team’s 84th of the year, surpassing last year’s total.

SWEEPLESS IN BALTIMORE: With tonight’s game, the Orioles will have gone 84 consecutive series of at least two decisions (no ties) without being swept…According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the fourth-longest streak in MLB history, trailing the 1942-44 St. Louis Cardinals (124), 1906-09 Chicago Cubs (115), and 1903-05 New York Giants (105)…Baltimore’s current streak is the longest in O’s history, ahead of 46 consecutive sweepless series from 1971-72… The Birds have not been swept in a series of at least two games since May 13-15, 2022 at Detroit (0-3), and not at home in a series of at least two games since August 27-29, 2021 vs. Tampa
Bay (0-3).

STATING HIS CASE: Gunnar Henderson leads AL rookies with 4.8 bWAR, 3.3 fWAR, 81 runs, 70 RBI, six triples, 52 extra-base hits, 220 total bases, and nine game-winning RBI, while ranking among AL rookie leaders in home runs (T-1st, 23), hits (3rd, 116), walks (3rd, 50), and doubles (T-3rd, 23)…According to STATS, he ranks among qualified AL rookies in on-base percentage (3rd, .330), and slugging percentage (3rd, .482). His 4.8 bWAR is the second-best by a rookie in O’s history (since 1954) behind Adley Rutschman (5.2) last year; Henderson ranks among the top 10 in team history by a rookie in several offensive categories (see box at right). He’s the third rookie in team history to record 20+ doubles, 5+ triples, and 20+ homers, joining Cal Ripken, Jr. (1982) and Ron Hansen (1960), both of whom won AL Rookie of the Year. He is one stolen base shy of becoming the first rookie in team history with 20+ doubles, 5+ triples, 20+ homers, and 10+ stolen bases; he would be the 20th rookie in MLB history with such a stat line, joining Arizona’s Corbin Carroll this year, and the first in the AL since Kansas City’s Bobby Witt Jr. last season. Henderson leads the team with 81 runs scored this season; only three previous rookies have led the O’s in runs – Cal Ripken, Jr. (1982, 90), Willie Tasby (1959, 69), and Tito Francona (1956, 62); the runs scored are tied for the second-most by a rookie in Orioles history with Eddie Murray (1977, 81) and behind Ripken, Jr. He leads the O’s with 11 Defensive Runs Saved, per Sports Info Solutions; nine of those are at shortstop, ranked seventh in MLB despite playing over 300 fewer innings at the position than anyone ahead of him. Henderson is tied for the MLB lead with four runner runs, a metric designed to evaluate the performance of runners taking extra bases, per Statcast.

THE PLACES YOU’LL GO: The Orioles began a nine-game road trip Friday night by taking two of three games in Arizona…The O’s face Los Angeles-AL for two more games through Wednesday and Boston for three games from September 8-10 following an off day on Thursday…This is the second nine-game tour in as many road trips for Baltimore following August 11-20, which had stops in Seattle (2-1), San Diego (1-2), and Oakland (3-0)…The last two trips are tied for the second-longest of the season behind an 10-game expedition from April 27 to May 7 in Detroit (3-1), Kansas City (2-1), and Atlanta (1-2). Baltimore is 44-25 (.638) away from Camden Yards this season, the best road record in the AL and second-best in MLB, behind Atlanta (46-24, .657); the .638 road winning percentage would be the second-best since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954 behind 1997 (52-29, .642) and the sixth-best in a full season by an AL club in the last 20 years and the best since Minnesota (.679, 55-29) in 2019. The Orioles have scored 368 runs on the road this year, third-most in the AL and fifth-most in MLB; the 5.33 runs per game away from Oriole Park would be tied for the third-highest mark on the road in O’s history (since 1954) and the best since 2004 (5.33); the 1996 club holds the record with 6.31 runs per game on the road.

AGAINST THE ANGELS: The O’s and Angels are meeting for the second and final time this season with a three-game set at Angel Stadium…The teams split a four-game set at Camden Yards from May 15-18…The Birds are 9-3 against the Halos since the start of last year, including sweeping a four-game series at Camden Yards from July 7-10, 2022 for the first time against the Angels since 2003.

MAKING THEIR PITCH: The O’s have a 3.62 ERA (205 ER/509.2 IP) since July 1, the third-best mark in MLB during that time behind Seattle (3.33) and Toronto (3.46)…The Orioles have gone 38-19 (.667) over that period, the second-best record in the AL and third-best in MLB… Baltimore posted a 4.33 ERA (346 ER/719.1 IP) through June, ranked 18th in MLB.

BIG TIME RUTSCH: Adley Rutschman has reached safely 213 times on base (138 H, 73 BB, 2 HBP), the most by a primary catcher since Milwaukee’s Yasmani Grandal reached safely 240 times (126 H, 109 BB, 5 HBP) in 2019, per STATS…His times on base this season are the second-most by a primary catcher in O’s history (since 1954), trailing only Javy López (236 in 2004).

MOUNT UP: Ryan Mountcastle has reached base safely in 38 of his last 40 starts since returning from the IL on July 9…He’s reached safely at least twice in nine of his last 13 games since August 19…Mountcastle has slashed .352/.437/.519 (38-for-108) with three doubles, five homers, 19 runs scored, 20 RBI, 16 walks, one hit-by-pitch, and one stolen base in 29 games since the start of August…He ranked among AL leaders last month in on-base percentage (2nd, .444), batting average (3rd, .360), and hits (T-4th, 36)…Mountcastle had a career-high 28- game on-base streak from July 21 to August 23, which was the longest by an Oriole since Nick Markakis had a 38-gamer from July 5 to August 18, 2009. His 1.092 OPS against left-handed pitching is the second-best in the AL and fourth-best among MLB qualifiers behind Los Angeles-NL’s Mookie Betts (1.158),Miami’s Jorge Soler (1.099), and Houston’s Chas McCormick (1.096).

QUICK HITS: Scheduled to make his 28th start of the season, 12th on the road, and third career start against the Angels tonight…Made 22 appearances (21 GS) in 2022, 11 appearances at home (10 GS), and 11 on the road…Owned an 8-7 record with a 3.23 ERA (45 ER/125.1 IP) and 87 strikeouts…Made six starts of 5.0-or-more scoreless innings, tied for seventh-most in the AL…Acquired by the Orioles along with INF Breyvic Valera, OF Yusniel Diaz, RHP Zach Pop, and INF Rylan Bannon in exchange for INF Manny Machado on July 18, 2018…Originally selected by the Dodgers in the 14th round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of UNLV.

LAST TIME OUT: Did not factor into the decision in his last outing on August 29 vs. Chicago-AL…Surrendered one run on six hits (1 HR) with five strikeouts in 6.0+ innings…Left with two runners on, who were stranded…Marked his fourth straight quality start…Has not issued a walk in consecutive starts for the second time in his career (also: 6/7-13/23)…Threw 93 pitches, 60 strikes.

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: Is scheduled to make his third career start against the Angels tonight…Will be his first career assignment at Angel Stadium…Has earned the win in each of his two career outings against Los Angeles-AL, pitching to a 2.53 ERA (3 ER/10.2 IP) and a 1.03 WHIP in those games…Secured his fifth win of the season in his last start against the Angels on May 16, 2023 at Oriole Park…Allowed three runs on six hits (1 HR) with a wild pitch and four strikeouts in 5.2 innings…Left with one runner on, who later scored…Threw 95 pitches, 63 strikes.

WEST COAST LIFESTYLE: Making his 15th career start against the AL West…Has pitched to a 5-1 record with a 3.13 ERA (29 ER/83.1 IP), a 1.03 WHIP, eight quality starts, and one complete-game shutout in his 14 career outings against the division.

‘KREM’ OF THE CROP: In his last seven outings since July 24, Kremer sports a 2-1 record with a 2.61 ERA (12 ER/41.1 IP) and five quality starts…During that span, he ranks among qualified AL starting pitchers in opponent slugging (6th, .323), ERA (7th), OPS (7th, .597), and batting average (8th, .219)…Has surrendered three earned runs-or-fewer in each of those games.

HIGH QUALITY: Kremer has logged four straight quality starts, the longest such streak of his career and tied for the fifth-longest active streak in MLB entering today…His 14 quality starts on the year are a career high; posted 11 such performances in his first three MLB seasons (2020-22).

CUTTING DOWN: Kremer has recorded 39 strikeouts via his cutter this season, the fifth-most in MLB entering today’s games…Opposing hitters are slashing .222/.281/.449 (35-for158) against his secondary pitch this season…In 2022, Kremer punched out 27 batters with his cutter, while opponents slashed .259/.292/.356 (45-for-174).

SWEET VICTORY: Kremer’s 12 wins this season are second on the team (Gibson, 13), tied for fourth in the AL, and tied for ninth in MLB entering play today…His 12 victories are also a career high, surpassing his eight wins in 2022…The Orioles own a 20-7 edge in his 27 assignments this season, including victories in nine of his last 10 since July 5 and in 12 of his last 14 starts since June 13.

ENJOYING THE NIGHT LIFE: Kremer owns a 10-3 record with a 3.63 ERA (41 ER/101.2 IP) and 11 quality starts in 18 night assignments this season…His 10 victories after dark are tied with teammate Kyle Gibson for the AL lead and are tied for fourth-most in MLB entering tonight’s games…The Orioles are 14-4 in his night starts, including four consecutive wins from July 5-August 4.


LEADING OFF: Today, the Angels play the second (0-1) of seven games on a homestand against the Baltimore Orioles (0-1; Sept. 4-6) and Cleveland Guardians (Sept. 7-10)…Halos went 3-6 on last road trip against the Mets (2-1), Phillies (1-2) and Athletics (0-3)…LAA was 1-5 on last homestand vs. Tampa Bay (1-2) and Cincinnati (0-3).

SQUID TO ATLANTA: Today, the Atlanta Braves claimed INF Andrew Velazquez off waivers from the Angels. IN THE COMMUNITY: Earlier today, Kolton Ingram visited Alderwood Elementary School in Irvine as part of the Angels Classroom Connections program… Tomorrow, the Angels will host a Rally Readers event at the Anaheim Public Library: Canyon Hills Branch… On Thursday, the Halos will visit patients at Miller Children’s Hospital.

SCHANUEL’S STREAKS: Nolan Schanuel has reached base safely in each of his first 13 MLB games…He set a franchise record with a 10-game hit streak to begin his MLB career (see list below), before having the hit streak snapped Friday night at Oakland.

RENGIFO ROLLING: Luis Rengifo has hit safely in a career-high 12 straight games (previous high was a 10 game hit streak from June 29 – July 10, 2022)…Over his last 14 games, he is batting .442 (23/52) with two doubles, one triple, four home runs and 12 RBI.

VS. BALTIMORE: Orioles lead the season series 3-2… The teams split a four-game series at Camden Yards from May 15-18…Halos have won five of last eight home games vs. Baltimore, dating back to July 28, 2019.

HOME RUN LEADERS: Angels lead the American League and rank third in the Majors with 200 home runs this season…Only the Braves (259) and Dodgers (213) have homered more.

SETTING THE TONE: The Angels lead the American League with eight leadoff home runs this season (four by Mickey Moniak and two each from Taylor Ward and Luis Rengifo)…The eight leadoff homers are tied for the third-most in a season in Halos history (LAA had 10 leadoff HR in 1986 and nine in 2021).

HELLO, MY NAME IS…: With his season debut on Sunday in Oakland, José Marte became the 62nd different player used by the Angels this year, which is the most in the Majors…Halos set a franchise record last year with 66 players used.

THE INJURED LIST: Angels currently have 14 players on the injured list and have used the IL a total of 32 times this year for 27 different players.

LATE COMEBACKS: Wednesday at Philadelphia was the Angels fifth win this season when trailing after eight innings…It’s the highest total for the Club since 2017, when the Angels also had five wins when trailing after eight frames.

3-10, 5.01 ERA
Has held opponents to two-or-fewer runs in nine of last 14 starts.

  • TODAY’S GAME: Making 25th start of the season today and 14th at home…Made Opening Day roster for second consecutive season…Is in third Major League season with Angels.
  • SUPPORT ME: Averaging 3.41 runs of support per nine innings this season, which is fifth-lowest in A.L. (min. 120 IP).
  • LAST TIME OUT: Took no decision on August 30 at Philadelphia after pitching 4.0 innings and surrendering two runs on four hits, three walks, and three strikeouts.
  • STAY UNFAMILIAR: This season, opponents are batting .232 (88/380) the first two times through the order, but are batting .323 (31/96) the third time through the batting order.
  • EARLY SUCCESS: Has a 4.67 ERA (71.1 IP – 37 ER) in the first three innings of games, compared with an 5.46 ERA (52.2 IP – 32 ER) from the fourth inning on.
  • GOING OFFSPEED: In 2023, is holding opponents to a .226 (66/292) average against offspeed pitches, including a .189 (14/74) clip on curveballs.
  • VS. BALTIMORE: Today marks third career start vs. Orioles…Is 0-1 with a 1.64 ERA (11 IP – 2 ER) and 11 strikeouts vs. BAL in career…Facing Orioles for the first time in 2023.
  • AT ANGEL STADIUM: In 28 career games at Angel Stadium, is 7-8 with a 4.03 ERA (154 IP – 69 ER) and 168 strikeouts…This year, is 2-4 with a 4.56 ERA (71 IP – 36 ER) in 13 home starts…Last season, was 4-3 with a 3.22 ERA (72.2 IP – 26 ER) in 13 home starts, including no-hitter on May 10 vs. Rays (seventh individual no-hitter in Angel Stadium history).
  • WHIFF SPECIALIST: Ranks ninth in American League this season with 26.2% strikeout rate (min. 120 IP)…Ranks second on Halos with 142 punchouts in 2023.
  • SO CLOSE: Came within eight outs of a second career no-hitter after tossing 7.1 hitless innings against the Rangers on August 16, but was foiled by an 8th inning double off the bat of Marcus Semien.
  • HISTORIC STRETCH: From June 8 – July 2, had five straight starts with 8+ strikeouts and two-or-fewer runs allowed…The only other player in Angels history with such a streak was Nolan Ryan (seven games; his final three games in 1972 and first four in 1973).

12K: Matched career high with 12 strikeouts on May 19 vs. Minnesota and carried a no-hitter through 5.2 innings…Previously tallied 12 strikeouts on July 31, 2022 vs. Texas.

  • STREAKS SNAPPED: Victory on June 14 ended a career-high streak of five consecutive losing decisions…Also ended streak of 10 straight winless starts to begin a season, which finished tied for third-longest in Angels history (Rickey Clark – 12 starts in 1968 and Hector Santiago – 11 starts in 2014)
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