O's game blog: The Orioles host the Angels in the 2024 season opener

The Orioles' 2024 season, their 71st season in Baltimore, begins this afternoon at Oriole Park. They start a three-game series hosting the Los Angeles Angels.

The Orioles, who are 45-25 all-time in season-opening games, have won 10 of their last 13. They won at Boston on Opening Day last year. The O's are 46-24 in home openers. 

The Orioles open a season at home for the first time since March 29, 2018 versus Minnesota (2,191 days). The O's won that game, 3-2, on an 11th-inning walk-off home run by Adam Jones. The Orioles were originally scheduled to open the 2020 and 2022 seasons at home.

The Orioles are 2-3 in the last five Opening Day games. They won eight in a row from 2011-2018.

The Orioles went 101-61 last season to win the American League East for the first time since 2014 and advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. The Angels went 73-89 each of the last two years. They finished fourth in the AL West in 2023 and have had eight straight losing seasons since winning 85 games in 2015.

The Angels last year had the second-most player games missed due to injury in the major leagues. The Los Angeles Dodgers had the most with 2,138, followed by the Angels with 2,027. The New York Yankees were third at 1,889.

The Orioles had 793 player games missed in 2023, the fifth-fewest in the majors.

The O’s Opening Day starting pitchers the last six seasons:

2018 – Dylan Bundy

2019 – Andrew Cashner

2020 – Tommy Milone

2021 – John Means

2022 – John Means

2023 – Kyle Gibson 

Today right-hander Corbin Burnes, the 2021 National League Cy Young winner, gets the start. The O’s acquired him in a trade with Milwaukee on Feb. 1.

Burnes went 10-8 with a 3.39 ERA in 32 starts for the Brewers last season. His season included a very strong finish as he pitched to a 2.71 ERA over his last 14 starts, recording 0.98 WHIP.

Burnes led the NL in 2021 in ERA, in 2022 in strikeouts and in 2023 in WHIP. His Cy Young vote finish the past four seasons is sixth, first, seventh and eighth.

Today, Burnes becomes the 43rd Opening Day starter in Orioles history and the third O’s pitcher in the last five seasons to make his Baltimore debut with a start on Opening Day, joining Gibson (2023) and Milone (2020)

He made two previous Opening Day starts, going 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA. He gave up three runs in five innings versus the Chicago Cubs in the 2022 opener and gave up four runs over five innings to the Cubs last year in Game 1.

The Angels starter is lefty Patrick Sandoval (7-13, 4.11 ERA in 2023). He made 28 starts last season, throwing 144 2/3 innings with a 1.514 WHIP, a 4.6 walk rate and 8.0 strikeout rate.

Against lefty batters last season he allowed a .228 batting average and .589 OPS. Those numbers were .262/.746 against right-handers.

In the first plate appearance of games in 2023, Sandoval allowed an OPS of .640. That went up to .845 in the second plate appearance and down to .651 in the third.

In one game last year against the Orioles - a 10-3 Baltimore win in Anaheim on Sept. 6 - he gave up seven hits and seven runs (four earned) in five innings. In three career starts versus the Orioles, he is 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA. Over 16 1/3 innings he has allowed a .226 batting average and .584 OPS.

The Orioles, since Brandon Hyde took over as manager in 2019, are 17-10 against the Angels. That is their third-best win percentage in that span at .630. They played better, at .667, only against Pittsburgh (4-2) and Washington (16-8).

The Orioles have scored 5.96 runs per game against the Angels in that time, their most versus any opponent. 

The Orioles will also host the Angels Saturday at 4:05 p.m. and Sunday at 1:35 p.m. They host Kansas City next Monday through Wednesday before the season's first road trip to Pittsburgh and Boston. 

Most Opening Day starts in O’s history:

20 – Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken Jr.
13 – Mark Belanger
12 – Paul Blair, Eddie Murray, Boog Powell
11 – Brady Anderson, Adam Jones
10 – Rick Dempsey

Five Orioles are on their first career Opening Day rosters. They are pitchers Grayson Rodriguez, Yennier Cano and Nick Vespi, infielder Jordan Westburg and outfielder Colton Cowser.  

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