Everyone understands why the Baltimore Orioles and most other teams have the traditional day off after Opening Day. The fact is that you never really know what’s going to happen with the weather. As last week wore on the forecast seemed to improve – because it wasn’t always supposed to be a beautiful day.
It kind of works against a team like the Orioles however, because they had this big dramatic win on Opening Day, and their first instinct is to continue the momentum. Now granted, it’s tough to argue with a free day, especially when eventually you’ll be into the stretch of the season.
Having said that, the Orioles have a very strange beginning to the season this year, unlike anything I’ve ever really seen. They had the off day yesterday, and then they take on Toronto again tonight. It’s actually a truncated two-game series, and Toronto packs up and leaves after tonight’s game. So the series actually ends.
Then the Orioles have off again tomorrow, before New York comes in for the weekend. Once that series is over, guess what happens? You guessed it, another off day on Monday before they head to Boston on Tuesday.
It’s really tough to get momentum going in general with a schedule like that. In fact, it almost gives the feel that the players are back in spring training – where veterans only play in home games for the most part. Play Monday, off Tuesday, play Wednesday, off Thursday, play Friday, etc.
The issue however is that the major league teams only get a certain number of days off during the season. And even those are subject to change as needed if you need to reschedule rain outs. Days off can turn into game days, and regular days can turn into twin bills.
So while the momentum thing is a concern, the bigger one is that the Birds are blowing their days off this month. In full, they have five off days in April. Compare that to August when they have two. Last year they had a flurry of off days in September, which I suspect really helped them in their chase for October. But at the end of the day, this is the schedule the league office gave them. Everyone plays 162 in some manner.
As I said above, the series with Toronto concludes this evening. Dylan Bundy will be on the mound for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s J.A. Happ. Game time is set for just after 7 PM. Fans can follow along on Twitter (@DomenicVadala) for game updates.