Take Baltimore (#925)
Let me start with an excerpt from my write-up supporting Dylan Bundy in his last start, a 6-2 win in LA against the Angels. Numbers have been slightly adjusted to reflect current realities:
'Orioles starter Dylan Bundy was in a nasty funk heading into the All Star Break. His velocity was down, his strikeout rate was down and he had a 5.93 ERA in June before getting lit up by the Twins and Rays in his first two starts in July, just before the break.
'Manager Buck Showalter decided to give Bundy some extra rest between starts. In his first start with extra rest, he threw six innings of four hit, one run ball against the Rangers. He went with normal rest next time out and got hammered by the Astros, although Baltimore won the game. Showalter gave Bundy extra rest again before his last start and it was another gem: eight innings of three hit, one run ball against KC. No surprise then, that Bundy is on an extra day of rest again tonight.'
Bundy is not on extra rest tonight, but the cumulative effect of getting him those extra days off is primed to pay dividends. The Orioles are 4-0 in his starts since the All Star Break, winning those games by a combined score of 34-12, all multi-run victories. He's only thrown 26.1 innings of work in the last 5+ weeks; quite capable of throwing seven or eight innings; exactly what he's done in his last two starts. And this ballpark is a good fit for Bundy's fly balling ways.
The last place A's snapped a three game home skid last night with a come-from-behind win, but this is not a team primed to go on many winning streaks here in the dog days of August. They are just 2-5 in starter Sean Manaea's last seven starts, and they needed offensive outbursts for both victories, scoring 18 combined runs in the two wins. Manaea has allowed 19 runs including six dingers in his last four trips to the hill. The A's defense behind him ranks among the worst in baseball, and their bullpen continues to struggle, ranked #26 in MLB in ERA. Take the Orioles.