Making Shift to First Place

O’s Could take first but it will take effort

As the middle of the season nears, the Baltimore Orioles are in the hunt for the first place in the American League East so finding cheap Baltimore Orioles tickets is ridiculously difficult. They have been able to keep within a few games of first place ahead of Toronto Blue Jays who are having an exceptional first half. The Orioles are keeping neck and neck with the New York Yankees taking turns in second place for most of the beginning of the season. With the midpoint of the season around the corner the Orioles have to buckle down and show some consistency if they hope to win the division.

With the season ending injury and subsequent surgery to catcher Matt Wieters, the Orioles have gone without a good bat and arguable one of the best defensive catchers in the game right now. Having others who have the potential, but have not shown it this season get on a hot streak is key success. J.J. Hardy who had a breakout season and an all-star appearance last year finally hit his first home run of the season in mid-June. For a team that lives and dies by the long ball, there is hope that Hardy could pull things back together. Last year’s league’s leading home run hitter Chris Davis is also not having the luck with the home run that he had last year. New comer to the team Nelson Cruz is having the most success with his new team leading in most offensive categories.

Their pitching needs to have more consistency if the Baltimore Orioles are looking for a post season run. The big contract for ace pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez has not panned out as well as the Orioles front office had hoped, as he did not have a winning record in the first half of the season. The rest of the starting pitching is good when they are on and terrible when they are not. Relief pitcher Zack Britton has been lights out after going from a starter to the closer roll, a need the Orioles have wanted to fill since the departure of Jim Johnson last year.

The Baltimore Orioles are playing much better than in the past and fans have hope that they can get hot during the second half of the season. Manager Buck Showalter’s emphasis is not looking at the standings and to try and win each series. This approach has been working since he arrived and if the right players get hot the Orioles may be able to grind their way into first place but it will take constancy and a little bit of luck.