The Baltimore Orioles have just completed a three game sweep of the Boston Red Sox in Boston and now own the best record in MLB at 19-9, but are they for real?
They have been one of the biggest surprise teams in the early stages of the 2012 season, but can they keep this up?
The next couple of weeks will tell us a lot about whether they have what it takes to really contend in the rugged A.L. East Division. They are in the middle of a brutal stretch of 15 games against some of the A.L.’s best teams.
- New York Yankees – 5 games
- Boston Red Sox – 3 games
- Texas Rangers – 4 games
- Tampa Bay Rays – 3 games
The O’s are off to a great 5-1 start to this very tough stretch of games after sweeping the Red Sox and taking two of three games in New York against the Yankees. The pitching staff has been great so far this season with a staff ERA of 2.78 which is #2 in all of MLB.
Pitcher Jason Hammel’s been lights out in his first season in Baltimore with a 4-1 record and a stellar 2.09 ERA in six starts. Can he continue his string of solid pitching? He’s been an average big league pitcher over his seven-year big league career with a 38-46 record and an unimpressive 4.85 earned run average.
The O’s also have a really good offensive attack that’s scored 131 runs (#10 MLB), hit 41 home runs (#2), and has a .255 batting average (#11). This team can score runs in a hurry.
The offense is being led by two young players in Adam Jones and Matt Wieters who are just now entering their primes. It looks like both guys are making the leap from being solid players to joining the game’s elite at their positions.
The O’s are now back home and will finish out this 15 game stretch with a nine game home stand starting tonight against the Texas Rangers.
I’m not sold on the O’s keeping this up and will need to see more before I start to believe, but they have my attention.