MLB- (10:05 ET, XM 189) Baltimore at San Diego

MLB- (10:05 ET, XM 189) Baltimore at San Diego

The season began with such promise for Baltimore


2007-06-20

The season began with such promise for Baltimore, as manager Sam Perlozzo believed last year's 70-92 record was mirage. Off an 11-7 start to the year, the Orioles had faith they finally had turned the corner and were going to be contender in 2007 with good starting pitching and an improved bullpen. Instead, after six losing streaks of at least four or more games followed by a current 9-game skid, Perlozzo is out and the bad news for Baltimore continues, now in last place in the American League East.

Interim manager Dave Trembley takes over as the Orioles will try to prevent 15th loss in last 17 games with Jeremy Guthrie taking the mound. Guthrie was acquired off waivers from Cleveland on Jan. 29 and has pitched brilliantly with not enough to show for it. The right-hander has not permitted more than three runs in any of his nine starts while lasting at least seven innings in seven consecutive appearances. The Orioles' bullpen, however, has failed to hold four of his leads and they are only 3-6 -5.4 units when be starts in spite of nasty 1.71 earned run average.

The Baltimore bullpen is much like gas prices; their ERA just keeps going up and up to present 5.39, among the worst in baseball. Pitching coach Leo Mazzone was brought in by his friend Perlozzo to improve the O's pitchers, but little has changed as pen is 8-18 and has converted on just 13 of 24 save opportunities. This has all culminated in the seven starters Baltimore has used to be 21-23, for -14.85 units.

What can this once proud franchise do to be a contender again; the best aspect would be Peter Angelos selling the team. Trembley is the ninth manager since 1993 when Angelos bought the club and his dysfunctional ownership style has led Baltimore be heading towards 9th losing season in last ten years. This week he has brought in former Cubs executive Andy MacPhail as chief operating officer, which is a sound business move if profits can be turned into wins, unfortunately that is not the situation. The Orioles are now 25th attendance, proving the apathy they have towards Angelos and this team. With Angelos unlikely to sell, the O's must do a "Florida Marlin" and blow it up and start from scratch. All other methods have failed, thus making it time to change everything. Based on results, the fans coming to the Camden Yards will hardly notice.

Baltimore will be a +130 road underdog at first place San Diego in the middle game of the set according to Sportsbook.com. The Padres have the second best home record in the National League at 21-12 (+4.3 units) and send unbeaten Justin Germano up the hill. The right-hander is 5-0 in seven starts since being promoted from Triple-A on May 8 to replace then injured Clay Hensley. He will face an Orioles club that is now 3-10 in interleague play and 11-29 against the money line after a loss this season.

The sorry state of affairs leaves the Birds 43-85 against the ML when playing against a team with a winning record over the last two seasons. In the role of the underdog, they are more like a lapdog with 2-14 mark as a dog of +125 to +175 this season.

For those interested in disasters, Baltimore can be heard on XM Radio 189 starting at 10:05 Eastern. Those with real courage can witness this contest on MLB-TV. Peruse the Betting Trends page on this and the rest of the action on the major league baseball schedule.

StatFox Power Line San Diego -159

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