The Los Angeles Angels hold the best record in all of baseball against teams below .500. This should give them an advantage as they look to rise back to an even record against the lowly Baltimore Orioles.
At 31-10 against teams with a losing record — the best win percentage in MLB — the Angels clearly have not let inferior opponents take advantage of them. They’ve also used teams like the Orioles to maintain their .500 record with scary precision.
The Angels have been within two games of .500 — above or below — since June 29. They are 24-23 since and have been without Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon for essentially that entire span. Sitting at two games below .500, that streak is in danger of ending with a loss to the Orioles in the opener.
At the final set of their 10-game road trip, the Angels cannot let fatigue get in the way of another opportunity to grab some much-needed confidence-boosting wins.
At 38-85, the Orioles hold the worst record in baseball by a significant margin. The Arizona Diamondbacks are the next worse team, but they hold a four-win advantage over Baltimore. That is largely due to the historic losing streak they’re currently on.
The Orioles have lost 18 consecutive games, a streak that began on August 3 against the New York Yankees. In that time, they’ve been outscored by an abhorrent margin of 149-47.
A quick glance at the numbers make is fairly obvious why wins have been so difficult to come by. Offensively, they are subpar at best. Ranking 20th in batting average, 22nd in OPS, and 27th in runs scored, they have struggled despite the immense production of All-Star Cedric Mullins.
Their pitching is where things fall apart. They rank 30th — dead last — in ERA, WHIP, and opponent batting average. John Means, who threw a no-hitter earlier this season, has been perhaps their only positive contributor on the mound. The outlook for this Orioles team has been dismal recently, and playing the Angels — who have notably crushed bad teams — is not the ideal situation.
This road trip has been a mixed bag for the Angels. They are 3-4, losing the solo game to the Yankees, then sweeping the Detroit Tigers, only to be swept by the Cleveland Indians. The Orioles are an opponent that the Angels should handle.
However, having three more road games after being swept is generally not a recipe for success. The Angels — especially their young players — must have a short-term memory to get some momentum back.
They’ll need it, as they have dates with the San Diego Padres and Yankees upon their return to Anaheim. Coming off back-to-back series losses would make it difficult to find the rhythm they need against two of baseball’s better teams.
Luckily, the Angels have a Shohei Ohtani pitching game during this series. L.A. has not lost a game in which Ohtani pitches since July 19.
Angels (62-64) vs. Orioles (38-85)
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
Probable Pitching Matchups: