The Orioles currently lead the AL East with a 57-40 record, a game and a half ahead of Boston, and have ascended to the best record in the American League after a three-game sweep of Cleveland over the weekend.
Anchoring the Baltimore offense is one of the few third basemen who can rival Nolan Arenado: Manny Machado. Machado, a 23-year-old, has hit .314/.374/.555 this season with 20 home runs and excellent defense, accumulating 4.5 rWAR in 92 games.
Complementing Machado in the Orioles lineup is the major league leader in home runs, Mark Trumbo. Baltimore acquired Trumbo in a trade with Seattle in the offseason and all he has done is hit 30 home runs in 97 games with a .281/.335/.565 line at the plate, primarily playing right field.
In addition to Machado and Trumbo, the Orioles are getting a breakout season from 24-year-old second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who is hitting .294/.326/.512 with 17 homers among his 45 extra-base hits this season. Chris Davis has also been his usual power-hitting self with 22 home runs this season.
On the mound, the Rockies will miss Colorado product Kevin Gausman but will face two of Baltimore’s top starters, Chris Tillman and Dylan Bundy.
Tillman, who the Rockies will face Tuesday, has been an ace for the Orioles this season, with a 3.18 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with 108 strikeouts in 127⅓ innings and Baltimore is 18-3 in his starts this season.
A former top prospect, Bundy will make his third start in the big leagues Wednesday after battling injuries throughout his minor-league career. Bundy allowed just one unearned run on five hits with no walks and five strikeouts in five innings of work in a win over Cleveland on Friday.
Prior to facing Tillman and Bundy in the final two games of the series, the Rockies will face veteran righty Yovani Gallardo on Monday. Gallardo has not fared well against the Rockies in his career, with a 6.08 ERA in 53⅓ innings against Colorado.
Though not as heralded as their counterparts in New York, the Orioles have an impressive trio of relievers in the back end of their bullpen in Darren O’Day, Brad Brach and Zach Britton, who have combined to post a 1.31 ERA in 116⅔ innings. Britton, the Baltimore closer, has been particularly impressive, sporting a 0.65 ERA and 0.79 WHIP with 32 saves and 48 strikeouts in 41⅔ innings this year.
In addition to their talent-laden roster, the Orioles sport baseball’s best home record with an outstanding 36-14 mark at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and they will certainly pose a touch challenge for the Rockies.
July 25: Jorge De La Rosa vs. Yovani Gallardo
July 26: Chad Bettis vs. Chris Tillman
July 27: Jon Gray vs. Dylan Bundy