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Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Orioles continue to allow home runs at historic rate

Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Orioles continue to allow home runs at historic rate

The Baltimore Orioles begin a three-game series against the Houston Astros Friday night. Here's the latest news and notes after their sweep at the hands of the Yankees.

Player Updates:

Rookie of the Year-candidate John Means continued his post-All-Star break struggles, allowing five hits, four runs and a walk in 3.2 innings against the Yankees Wednesday night. He did strike out five, but was ultimately saddled with his seventh loss of the season.

The Yankees continue to bludgeon Oriole pitching this season, setting another long ball record in hitting the most home runs against a single opponent in a season ever. The Orioles are on pace to crush the Major League record for home runs allowed by a pitching staff.

Injuries:

OF Dwight Smith Jr.: Calf, Mid August?

RP Josh Rogers: Elbow, Out indefinitely

OF DJ Stewart: Ankle, Early July?

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, September?

Coming Up:

Friday 8/9: Orioles vs. Astros, 7:05 p.m., Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Saturday 8/10: Orioles vs. Astros, 7:05 p.m., Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Sunday 8/11: Orioles vs. Astros, 1:05 p.m., Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Source: Rotoworld

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Evaluating the state of 2019 MLB awards races

Evaluating the state of 2019 MLB awards races

It's the dog days of August in Major League Baseball, but with nearly 50 games left in the season for most teams, there's plenty of time to shake things up in most awards races. Let's take a look around the league to see who should be favored in each of the major races in both leagues.

AL MVP

1. Mike Trout, Angels
2. Matt Chapman, Athletics
3. Alex Bregman, Astros

I’m not going to waste your time with 1,000 words on why Mike Trout is great. This award isn’t even remotely close at this point, and it would take a huge injury to shake things up.

Immediately starts knocking on wood as hard as possible.

Mike Trout is the best player in baseball, maybe the best ever, and leads the AL in home runs, RBI, walks, OBP, SLG, OPS (duh), and WAR (no one is within 2 WAR of him). Bregman is really good and Chapman is underrated as the only AL player in the top 10 of both offensive and defensive WAR, but this is a wrap. Next.

NL MVP

1. Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
2. Christian Yelich, Brewers
3. Anthony Rendon, Nationals

Let’s be honest, for as great as Rendon is, this is a two-horse race. Bellinger and Yelich have both been incredible this season, and may even challenge Trout if either played in the American League.

Instead, we get to enjoy a legendary NL MVP race between the two home run leaders. Yelich has Bellinger beat in steals, but Bellinger has Yelich topped in defensive metrics.

Bellinger also plays for the far superior team, which likely gives him the edge. Plus, Yelich won last year, and voters love giving their support to a newcomer. This is Bellinger’s time.

AL Cy Young

1. Justin Verlander, Astros
2. Charlie Morton, Rays
3. Shane Bieber, Indians

Another race with an easy first pick that gets much more difficult as you go down the ballot. Verlander leads the AL in ERA, wins, and WHIP, and he’s second in strikeouts. The Astros ace doesn’t walk batters (fourth-best BB/9) and while he does lead the league in home runs allowed, it hasn’t hurt him.

Morton continues to enjoy a late-career breakout, and Shane Bieber may have a Cy Young in his near future, but Verlander continues to be the cream of the crop in the American League.

NL Cy Young

1. Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers
2. Max Scherzer, Nationals
3. Jacob deGrom, Mets

Ryu’s run prevention has literally been historic, and that combined with Scherzer’s injury and deGrom’s slow start is enough to put the man with a 1.53 ERA atop the leaderboard.

That said, Ryu is a couple of bad starts away from a more normal ERA, and if Scherzer comes back soon from his back injury it won't surprise anyone to see him surpass Ryu quickly. And all of a sudden deGrom is starting to look like his 2018 self again.

No surprise these three lead the NL in WAR among pitchers.

AL Rookie of the Year

1. Brandon Lowe, Rays
2. John Means, Orioles
3. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays

Lowe is dealing with slight injury troubles and Means hasn’t been nearly as good since the All-Star break, so “Vladito” actually looks like the best bet to ultimately win this award.

Still, for right now, Lowe and Means have built up enough of a lead over Guerrero to stay ahead of the Toronto phenom at the moment. It won’t last long if Guerrero continues to hit 450-foot home runs in every stadium he visits, though.

NL Rookie of the Year

1. Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres
2. Pete Alonso, Mets
3. Mike Soroka, Braves

Both the Padres and Mets should be commended for playing Tatis and Alonso from Opening Day this season, rather than play the service time game and hold down their best players in April to gain additional years of team control. Both players look like future/current superstars and have been among the best players in baseball all season long.

Of course, it’s Soroka with the best chance of playing in the postseason in 2019. Even if the order of the top three feels pretty set, this is a really, really strong group that fans should appreciate getting to watch.

AL Manager of the Year

1. Rocco Baldelli, Twins
2. Kevin Cash, Rays
3. Bob Melvin, Athletics

This award always goes to the most-overachieving team each season, which puts these three names ahead of the pack. The Twins have been the most-discussed overachiever in the AL, but the Rays looked like the best team in baseball at one point while the A’s are keeping the AL West closer than they have any right to.

Still, Baldelli is probably the favorite, considering how dominant the Twins have looked for much of the season.

NL Manager of the Year

1. Torey Lovullo, Diamondbacks
2. Brian Snitker, Braves
3. Bruce Bochy, Giants

Again, this award is earmarked for the biggest overachiever. In the Senior Circuit, that looks like Arizona, who was supposed to be one of the worst teams in baseball but instead finds themselves in second in the NL West.

Snitker is also a strong possibility, given how great the Braves have been. It was supposed to be a jumbled mess in the NL East, but instead, Atlanta is running away with it. 

And don’t rule out Bochy. If the Giants’ hot streak continues, he could find himself getting some lifetime achievement votes in his final season.

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Chris Davis had to be restrained after heated exchange with manager Brandon Hyde

Chris Davis had to be restrained after heated exchange with manager Brandon Hyde

It’s been a trying few seasons for Orioles (former) slugger Chris Davis, and some of that frustration came to the forefront Wednesday night against the Yankees.

After being lifted for a pinch hitter in the fifth inning against James Paxton, Davis got into an altercation with manager Brandon Hyde. It’s unclear what exactly Hyde said to Davis as he walked past the first baseman, but whatever it was, Davis didn’t appreciate it.

Hyde doesn’t break his stride as he heads down the dugout steps, but Davis immediately becomes incensed. Multiple teammates and coaches are forced to hold back Davis as he yells at Hyde, and eventually, he walks away with Mark Trumbo and sits down, still seething.

After a few breakout seasons, including an Oriole-record 53 home runs in 2013, Davis received a huge contract to stay in Baltimore. The high price tag coincided with a steep decline in production, and Davis has now become one of the worst hitters in baseball. His contract puts a target on his back in the eyes of fans, but he’s always been able to count on total support from the front office and coaching staff.

Hyde has always come across as a player’s manager and has specifically defended Davis countless times this season. It’s curious to see him apparently say something so inflammatory, though it’s possible Davis was just venting and anything Hyde said would have set him off.

It’s important to note we’re smack dab in the middle of the proverbial dog days of August, and Davis has had to sit through a lot of losing baseball in the last year and a half. Getting blown out once again by your biggest rival in the middle of another lost year would be frustrating for anyone, especially someone with as visible struggles as Davis has had this season.

The first baseman is batting .183 with nine home runs this season while striking out 110 times in 246 at-bats.

In reality, these sorts of shouting matches happen in every clubhouse multiple times a year. It's rare to see such a public blow-up, especially between two consummate professionals like Davis and Hyde.

Hopefully for tensions in the clubhouse, this is a one-off, but the Orioles are quickly running out of reasons to keep Davis around long term, regardless of how much money he’s owed. This certainly isn’t a point in his, or anyone’s, favor.

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