The Baltimore Orioles recently snapped their 19 game losing streak and it took a tremendous offensive effort to do so. Well, not tremendous, but it required enough offense to negate the Orioles horrific pitching situation. As has been the case most of the month of August and the entire second half.
The Orioles offense has posted a league average 100 wRC+ since the All-Star break. Even worse, is that they have had the best team wRC+ at home over that same time span. Unfortunately, the Orioles have only played 17 home games over that stretch and 20 road games.
Surprsingly, the Orioles’ exceptional offense in terms wRC+ has been limited by opportunity. Their strength has been at home against right handed pitching, but they have the fourth least plate appearances against right handed pitchers since the All-Star break.
Meaning that whether by choice, or by coincidence, they have seen a disproportionate amount of left handed pitchers to combat their one advantageous hitting situation. This is evident because the Orioles have had the tenth most plate appearances at home versus left handed pitching since the All-Star break.
Despite seeing a disproportionate amount of left handed pitchers at home since the All-Star break the Orioles still have posted a 96 wRC+ in that situation. Although that is slightly below league average production, it still indicates that the offense produces even in less advantageous positions.
So how do the Orioles negate their solid offense? The worst pitching.
They are so bad.
It does need to be stated that the Orioles have the third worst team wRC+ on the road, but that is compounded by how poorly the Orioles pitch in any situation. Their pitching staff has the highest team ERA by more than half a run and the third highest team FIP.
Making matters worse, is their pitching staff has the second highest team ERA and FIP at home despite facing the tenth fewest total batters faced at home since the All-Star break. Meaning that the smaller sample size may actually be sparing them from being the absolute worst.
Presently four of the Orioles five starting pitchers have an ERA of 6 or higher and their bullpen is tied for the second highest team ERA this season.
Simply put; this team is designed to lose. The only issue is, their offense makes it difficult for them to do so; especially at home.
Considering the Orioles continue to roll with the likes of Matt Harvey (6.27 ERA), Keegin Akin (7.86 ERA), Jorge Lopez (6.35 ERA), and Spenser Watkins (7.24 ERA) it seems they are intent on trying to get the top overall pick in the 2022 draft.
Although tanking has been widely speculated, this seems to verify that Orioles are really going for it this year. While their offense seems to be the lone bright spot for the team, the Orioles sure make it difficult for them to win considering their pitching situation.
Their best pitching prospects are still relatively far away from being Major League ready and the Orioles’ success playing the waiver wire has been more minimal than a 20 year old bachelors’ apartment aesthetic.
The Baltimore Orioles’ offense is something to wish upon. Their best overall prospect is developing nicely and having an incredible run since being called up to Triple A. It remains to be seen how the Orioles plan to compete in the coming years if they can not find arms that do more than eat innings. As losing streaks like the one fans just endured may happen again and again even into next season. It is not hard to understand why Orioles’ fans patience with this rebuild is wearing thin.