O's game blog: The Toronto series opener

Coming off a season when they posted a winning record against every other American League East club for the first time since 2014, the Orioles are playing well again so far this year in division games.

There have just been so few to date. The Orioles went 3-0 at Boston April 9-11 and went 3-1 versus the Yankees at home in late April and earlier this month.

The Yankees have played the most AL East games with 16 while Boston has played the fewest, just three.

AL East vs. AL East in 2024:

.857 - Baltimore (6-1)
.500 - New York (8-8) and Toronto (5-5)
.400 - Tampa Bay (4-6)
.000 - Boston (0-3)

The Orioles are 2-0 this year and 12-0-4 in their past 16 series against AL East teams. They have not lost a series within the division in over a calendar year, since they dropped two of three to New York April 7-9, 2023 in Baltimore.

The 16-series unbeaten streak is the longest such streak in team history since divisions were introduced in 1969, per the Elias Sports Bureau. The Orioles are 36-17 (.679) against division opponents over that period. The O's went 32-20 (.615) against the AL East last year, the second-best winning percentage against the division by the team since 1981 behind the .618 (47-29) mark in 2014. The Birds won the season series against the Blue Jays (10-3), Rays (8-5), Red Sox (7-6), and Yankees (7-6).

With last year's 32-20 in the division and a 6-1 start this year the Orioles are playing .644 ball at 38-21 within the East since the start of last year. A team playing at that percentage over a full year would win 104 games.

Since the start of 2022, the O's hold a 19-13 (.594) edge over the Blue Jays.

The O's begin play tonight leading the AL East at 26-13 by a half-game over the Yankees, who are at 27-15. Toronto is in last place at 18-22 and is 8.5 games back.

The Birds have won three of their past four games, seven of the last nine, nine of 12, 10 of 14, 14 of 20, and 18 of 25. At 26-13 (.667), the Orioles have the best record in the AL and second-best in the majors behind the Phillies (.683, 28-13).

The 26-13 record is tied for the third-best start through 39 games in O's history, which was also accomplished last year, 2005, 1997, and 1979; only the 1969 and 1970 squads (27-12) had better marks.

Only four times in team history has the club won at least 27 of the first 40 games - 1970 (28) and 1997 and 1969 (both 27). Since the start of 2022, Baltimore is 210-153 (.579), the second-best record in the AL and fourth-best in the majors behind the Astros (.590, 211-153), Braves (.650, 229-132) and Dodgers (.650, 238-128). The Orioles have won 126 of their last 200 games (.630).

The Blue Jays have struggled to score. They rank 11th in the AL in team batting (.231), 14th in slugging (.363) and 12th in OPS (.672). While the Orioles lead the AL, scoring 5.08 runs per game, Toronto is next-to-last in the AL at 3.68.

Right-hander Corbin Burnes (3-2, 2.83 ERA) makes his ninth start tonight for the Orioles and has allowed three runs or fewer in the first eight. He has a WHIP of 0.965 in 47 2/3 innings and has a 2.95 ERA his last three games - all quality starts.

In seven career starts versus AL East teams, he is 3-1 with a 1.48 ERA, a .130 batting average against and a .417 OPS.

Righty José Berríos (4-3, 2.85 ERA) makes his ninth start for Toronto. He had an ERA of 1.44 going into his last start but allowed eight runs in 3 2/3 innings Tuesday at Philadelphia.

In 14 career games against the Orioles, he is 10-1 with a 2.98 ERA and 1.092 WHIP.

Toronto is 0-5-1 its last six series, losing four of six, seven of 10 and 12 of its past 17 games. 

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