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Baltimore Orioles series preview: Binary black holes near each other, threatening human existence

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These O’s ain’t Royal, but neither are the Royals.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles
Days of future past
Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

With the calendar yet to turn the page to September, it has incredibly been months since the Baltimore Orioles’ and Kansas City Royals’ seasons sluiced, sloshed, and slimed their respective ways through the grimy bowels of our national pastime’s subterranean sewage system, deposited with emphatic finality into the dark metaphysical corner where prematurely shat out seasons go to fester, gone well before actually playing themselves out completely, yet never to be forgotten, scarring our children and populating our nightmares with indelible images of bumblefuckery and atrocities somehow permitted to play out on 29 well-manicured lawns spread across this unraveling country—and one north of the border, where these clubs’ unfathomably lewd and lascivious brands of baseball pose a serious and sincere threat to the fabric of Canada’s mild-mannered being, even in small portions—through sheer, unrivaled ineptitude borne from a toxic combination of hubris and a complete lack of self-awareness and introspection.

Whether the unraveling of this once-proud nation is being accelerated or was even potentially started by the Royals’ and Orioles’ coincidental brutality done unto sport is a question historians will ponder well past this empire’s demise, a lasting quandary boundless in its scope. That two teams could simultaneously play such awful baseball was an eventuality for which no one could have prepared. Their cataclysmic abhorrence constantly retests the limits of what was thought possible, the scope of this concurrent baseball abomination reaching astronomical levels—two black holes nearing inevitable collision, the fate of the galaxy in peril, threatening the very fabric of our existence.

The two clubs have amassed a combined record 103 games under .500 with a month yet to play out. Both are within nine games of the 100-loss mark with 28 and 29 games to go in the season. That they’ll blow past the 100-loss mark with weeks to go in the season seems all but a certainty. That this is likely the first time in history—a factoid that one could probably research but seems completely futile with the world nearing its end—that two teams this spectacularly awful and this far underwater will face each other at this juncture in the season. That they must play each other this weekend is the only thing that can slow each team’s startling pace—one team must win, but rest assured there will be no winners in either of these contests.

Game times and pitching matchups are as follows:

  • Friday, August 31 — 7:15 PM CDT — Andrew “Ass, Grass, or” Cashner versus Brad “Miracle Worker” Keller
  • Saturday, September 1 — 6:15 PM CDT — Dylan “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding Runs)” Bundy versus Heath “Twitter Disaster” Fillmyer
  • Sunday, September 2 — 1:15 PM CDT — David “JAG” Hess versus Jorge “Skee” López

All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference, but also come with a serious NSFW warning

Orioles at Royals pitching matchups

Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Game 1
Andrew Cashner 25 141.0 97 15.8 59 9.6 4.79 4.85 4.97 5.13 1.1 1.5
Brad Keller 36 105.1 72 16.4 41 9.4 3.33 3.76 4.29 4.57 1.5 2.6
Game 2
Dylan Bundy 25 140.2 147 24.0 43 7.0 5.37 5.26 4.38 3.99 0.5 0.5
Heath Fillmyer 12 51.1 30 13.8 25 11.5 4.21 5.34 5.08 5.38 -0.1 0.4
Game 3
David Hess 16 78.0 52 15.3 30 8.9 5.08 5.84 5.67 5.29 -0.1 0.8
Jorge López 13 33.1 25 16.7 21 14.0 4.86 4.42 5.08 5.31 0.1 0.0

Woof. I guess the best that can be said about these three Orioles hurlers is that Dylan Bundy’s peripherals look semi-palatable.

Baltimore Orioles position players

Name Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Name Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Adam Jones RF 522 14 50 55 5 0.285 0.318 0.432 0.323 102 0.7 0.1
Jonathan Villar (S) 2B 117 4 15 13 8 0.275 0.353 0.412 0.336 111 0.7 0.8
Craig Gentry OF 169 1 13 11 12 0.269 0.321 0.346 0.295 83 0.5 1.1
Joey Rickard OF 163 7 22 21 2 0.227 0.288 0.42 0.306 90 0.5 0.2
Renato Núñez 3B 132 2 13 9 0 0.256 0.341 0.385 0.321 101 0.5 0.6
Austin Wynns C 76 3 15 9 0 0.254 0.284 0.408 0.298 85 0.3 0.4
Cedric Mullins II (S) CF 68 2 10 5 0 0.305 0.379 0.492 0.376 138 0.3 0.1
Chance Sisco (L) C 173 2 13 16 1 0.195 0.306 0.289 0.275 69 0.3 0.1
Caleb Joseph C 234 3 24 16 2 0.209 0.253 0.323 0.252 54 0.0 0.0
Steve Wilkerson (S) IF 18 0 2 2 1 0.235 0.278 0.294 0.254 55 0.0 0.0
John Andreoli OF 27 0 4 0 2 0.231 0.259 0.269 0.235 42 0.0 -0.1
Breyvic Valera (S) IF 4 0 0 1 0 0.25 0.25 0.25 0.22 31 -0.1 -0.1
Engelb Vielma (S) IF 8 0 1 0 0 0.143 0.25 0.143 0.196 15 -0.1 0.0
Trey Mancini LF/DH 522 20 59 48 0 0.243 0.305 0.416 0.311 94 -0.2 -0.4
Jace Peterson (L) Util 218 3 18 25 11 0.2 0.313 0.324 0.288 78 -0.4 -0.3
Anthony Santander (S) OF 108 1 8 6 1 0.198 0.25 0.297 0.242 47 -0.4 -0.6
Tim Beckham SS 329 9 33 27 1 0.219 0.277 0.355 0.277 71 -0.7 0.1
Chris Davis (L) 1B/DH 462 16 38 48 2 0.173 0.249 0.316 0.248 51 -2.4 -1.9
*players in italics on 40-man roster

After the trade deadline rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic that Orioles brass undertook, the little good that was present on this club was left to don uniforms of other more deserving clubs. That there isn’t another 1.0+ win player by fWAR—Craig Gentry just clears the bar in the low-standard jump by a tenth of a win in rWAR—is a damning indictment of this current incarnation of a spectacularly bad ball club. That these 2018 Royals could ever be favored to win a series should be impossible, yet here we are in the darkest timeline.

Poll

Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    No one
    (17 votes)
  • 23%
    Royals
    (34 votes)
  • 2%
    Orioles
    (4 votes)
  • 62%
    Definitely no one
    (92 votes)
147 votes total Vote Now