Four O's on pace for 100 RBIs, including one that loves to drive the ball to right-center

After last night’s rainout, the Orioles are still at 40 games played and holding. At 26-14 (.650) they remain on a 105-win pace.

They also have a few players that, at their 40-game paces, would put up some nice final numbers.

* Gunnar Henderson projects to hit 49 homers with 109 RBIs.

* Adley Rutschman projects to hit 32 homers with 101 RBIs.

* Anthony Santander projects to hit 28 with 101.

* Jordan Westburg projects for 24 and 109.

There are 44 players in Baltimore Orioles history, dating of course to 1954, that have driven in 100 or more runs. None have done it since Jonathan Schoop with 105 in 2017. Miguel Tejada, with 150 RBIs in the 2004 year, holds the O’s single-season record for RBIs.

With four players currently on a 100-RBI pace, I wondered what the club record for most 100-RBI players in one season is. Well in 1966, they had three with Frank Robinson at 122, Boog Powell at 109 and Brooks Robinson at 100.

The 1996 Orioles are the only O's club with four in a one year with Rafael Palmeiro at 142, Bobby Bonilla with 116, Brady Anderson at 110 and Cal Ripken Jr. at 102.

Westburg is gaining more and more fans each day for his consistent and steady play and production during this year, his first full MLB season.

He’s batting .298/.353/.518/.871 with nine doubles, two triples, six homers and 27 RBIs. In the AL stats as of last night, he ranked tied for eighth in slugging, tied for ninth in RBIs and 13th in OPS.

Of Westburg’s six home runs, three have come to the left of center and three to the right.

He has always been able to wear out right and right center with line drives coming up through the farm.

“My bread and butter has always been right field, right center field.” Westburg said in a recent interview. “I think that in 2022 or really the offseason after 2021, I started experimenting with more of the pull side. It came from more of a few adjustments in my swing and my setup. I actually don’t completely remember the events.

“The year I won (the Orioles’) Minor League Player of the Year in 2022, had a lot of pull-side homers. I think it was kind of a maturity and approach thing that evolved. I always knew I could hit the ball pull side but I’m never trying to. It happens due to a good approach or getting a mistake pitch.”

Westburg said there are times he may be looking to ambush an inside corner pitch and hit it out to left. He can turn on the ball, he just doesn’t look to do it too often, preferring to let the ball get deeper and be able to drive it to right and right center often.

“It’s in there, I knew it was in there (he said of pull-side power). But it’s a matter of playing to my strength and my strength is right and right center and why would I ever come off that?

“For me it’s about having competitive at-bats. And I stay competitive with not trying to get too big. Not trying to hit homers pull-side. Not leaving myself exposed to pitcher’s tricks and gimmicks. Want to always be ready to execute my plan and my approach.”

He sure has been doing that this year. He’s been clutch often for the Orioles and has a batting average of .394 when hitting with runners in scoring position with an OPS in such spots of 1.231.

Now a two-game series: After Tuesday's rainout and if they get today's game in, the Orioles and Blue Jays are down to a two-game series. The O's will need a win to split the series.

If they play and win, they keep two streaks alive while a loss will end both. They have gone 104 straight regular-season series of at least two decisions (no ties) without being swept.

They have also gone 12-0-4 in their past 16 AL East series, winning 12 with four ties and no losses. 

They need a win today or they will have been swept while also losing an AL East series. 

Westburg batting leadoff today in series finale
Orioles unsure of next step with Rodriguez or when...

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