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Should Orioles have a lineup more like Royals'?


Should Orioles have a lineup more like Royals'?

The Orioles must have been stunned watching Johnny Cueto in Game 2 of the World Series. Cueto threw a complete game two-hitter.

That wasn’t the same Cueto the Orioles saw in two late season starts. They had their way with him, scoring 14 runs on 19 hits and hitting seven home runs in 11 1/3 innings—arguably his two worst outings of the year.

It was that Cueto that the Kansas City Royals wanted so badly.

Now, the Royals have a 2-0 lead. Not since the Yankees fell behind 2-0 in 1996 has a team recovered from that kind of a deficit.

If you want to know the difference between Kansas City and the Orioles, well, there are many.

Their lineups are incredibly different. While the Orioles hit lots of home runs, the Royals’ lineup is more of a contact one.

Only two players on Kansas City, Eric Hosmer and Kendrys Morales struck out more than 100 times. Hosmer’s 108 led the Royals, but would have been fourth on the Orioles behind Chris Davis, Manny Machado and Jimmy Paredes. Adam Jones, who missed 24 games had 104 while Davis’ had 208.

Much has been made about the Orioles’ poor on-base percentage. It was .307. The Royals’ on-base percentage was much better, .322.

That must have been because Kansas City is more disciplined and has many more walks. No.

The Royals were last in the American League in walks while the Orioles were 13th.

Kansas City built its team around their ballpark. The two most exciting plays of its postseason came because of speed. Lorenzo Cain’s pennant winning dash from first on a single and Alcides Escobar’s inside-the-park home run in Game 1 couldn’t have been duplicated by the Orioles.

While Machado stole 20 bases, he doesn’t have the pure speed that several Royals’ do. Cain, Escobar and Jarrod Dyson combined for 71 steals this season. No other Oriole stole more than five bases.

NOTE: Oliver Drake was named the minor league’s top reliever by MiLB.com.

MORE ORIOLES: Joseph will be critical for Orioles in 2016

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

The 2018 Major League All-Star Game is less than a month away. Fan votes are well underway and early frontrunners are close to locking their position in the Midsummer Classic.

Yesterday, we projected how the National League roster will play out. Today it is time to look at the American League roster projection.

For five straight seasons, the AL has had the upper hand in the MLB All-Star Game. In 2018, it does not appear that will change as the American League roster will be loaded from top to bottom.

As a reminder, here is how the process shakes out, first with the fan vote, players’ ballots, and the MLB Commissioner’s Office:

  • Fan vote: nine position players in AL (DH)/ eight in NL; plus final vote for each league
  • Player’s ballots: next 17 players in AL/ 16 players in NL; (five starting pitchers, three relievers must be chosen)
  • MLB Commissioner’s Office: five AL players (four pitchers, one position player) and seven NL players (four pitchers, three position players)

One player from each team must make the initial roster (before injury withdraws, etc.). Below is how it looks the American League roster will play out, considering the latest fan vote returns:

American League All-Star Roster Projection:

C – Wilson Ramos, Rays (Fan Vote), Gary Sánchez, Yankees (Player Ballot)
1B – José Abreu, White Sox (Fan Vote), Joey Gallo, Rangers (Player Ballot)
2B – Jose Altuve, Astros (Fan Vote), Jed Lowrie, Athletics (Player Ballot)
3B – José Ramírez, Indians (Fan Vote), Yangervis Solarte, Blue Jays (Player Ballot), Mike Moustakas, Royals (Commissioner’s Office)
SS – Manny Machado, Orioles (Fan Vote), Jean Segura, Mariners (Player Ballot),
OF – Mookie Betts, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Mike Trout, Angels (Fan Vote), Aaron Judge, Yankees (Fan Vote), Michael Brantley, Indians (Player Ballot), Eddie Rosario, Twins (Player Ballot), Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (Player Ballot),
DH – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Player Ballot)

SP – Justin Verlander, Astros (Player Ballot), Luis Severino, Yankees (Player Ballot), Corey Kluber, Indians (Player Ballot), Chris Sale, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Gerrit Cole, Astros (Player Ballot), Blake Snell, Tampa Bay (Commissioner’s Office)

RP – Edwin Díaz, Mariners (Player Ballot), Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Aroldis Chapman, Yankees (Player Ballot), Joe Jiménez, Tigers (Commissioner’s Office), Delin Betances, Yankees (Commissioner’s Office), Chris Devenski, Astros (Commissioner’s Office)

Manager: Jeff Luhnow, Astros

Based on this projection, the New York Yankees will have the most representatives with six. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox will both have four.

Ensuring no snubs, there will be five players selected for the final fan vote to get one more All-Star into the game for a total of 32 for the American League. As you can see, no matter how the AL roster plays out, it will be a dominant team once again as they look for six straight All-Star wins.

Four of those five wins were inside a National League stadium and that will not change as the Washington Nationals will host this season.


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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado took an even larger lead in the latest update for 2018 MLB All-Star Game voting.

The superstar shortstop maintained his position at the top of American League shortstops in the second round of All-Star voting updates, released Tuesday morning. 

After the first ballot was released, Machado led the shortstops category by over 100,00 votes.

This week, he now holds north of a 200,000-vote lead over last year’s American League starter, Carlos Correa.

The Astros’ Correa jumped from fourth to second this past week while the Indians’ Francisco Lindor dropped to third.  

Machado now has 671,133 votes, seventh among all American League players. For the second straight week, Machado remained the only Orioles player on the list.

Through 69 games in 2018, Machado is batting .310 with 18 home runs, 15 doubles and 53 RBIs. He is posting his best OPS (.945) and on-base percentage (.377) in his career, a bright spot for the O’s, who sit dead last in MLB with a 20-50 record.

The All-Star voting will be open until July 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET and fans can vote five times every 24 hours.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 26.