In 2015, Machado hit .286/.359/.502 with 30 doubles, a triple, 35 homers, 86 RBIs and an OPS of .861. It was a tremendous season. But his numbers are better this year across the board and his power numbers, projected out through 162 games, will blow by what he recorded last year.
He is batting .302/.369/.597 currently, with 25 doubles, 17 homers, 41 RBIs and with an OPS of .966. At his current pace he will finish with 63 doubles, 43 home runs and 104 RBIs.
Orioles hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh has a good seat to watch Machado every night. He sees a player that has learned to understand how opponent pitchers are trying to get him out. He sees a player that is prepared more than ever now and that knowledge coupled with his vast talents are combining to produce some special season.
“Any player that puts himself in a position where they start to feel more comfortable in understanding who they are and what the league is trying to do against them, they can have a better comfort level on a daily basis of what they need to prepare for,” Coolbaugh said. “His routine, the way he goes about it every day, allows him to have success. Just that understanding of what pitchers are trying to do. That sets him apart from a lot of people and it’s a pleasure to watch him. He makes a lot of things look easy.”
Coolbaugh watched Machado’s breakout 2015 season and now has seen him take that and top it to this point of the 2016 season.
“You watch guys that come up that are extremely talented,” Coolbaugh said. “Whether it is an injury or they hit adversity at some point. Last year with Manny having that breakthrough season, being healthy all year and proving he’s a 30-homer guy. That sets that confidence to say, ‘Hey, I was able to do this and now I can take it to another level.’ He is just playing with a lot of confidence this year. He knows there will be some bad days, but there are a lot more good days.”
Coolbaugh said Machado has found a pregame routine that he believes in and one that gets him ready for the game every day and night.
“It is huge for any player to have a routine,” Coolbaugh said. “Sometimes you don’t have to do it extensively every day. But you need something you can go to to kind of put you back in line when things get of whack. It is a huge thing and a safety blanket for a lot of guys.
“With Manny, his routine is very simple. He works off the tee and then in BP, it’s a lot of stuff where he just works on hitting line drives the other way. He uses the whole field and then he kind of cranks it up the last two rounds. Then he kind of starts to let it go a little bit. He has an understanding of what he does every day to feel his swing. Find the barrel, as I say, in BP.”
Series finale is tonight: The Orioles and Boston have each won one game in their series that ends tonight. The winner this evening will move into first-place by one game and break the tie with the two teams. Both teams are 37-27 after Boston won last night.
In the season series, the Orioles lead 5-4 and have outscored Boston 56 runs to 53. The O’s have hit .254 as a team with a .472 slugging percentage, 16 homers and a .801 OPS. The Red Sox have hit .302 as a team with a .526 slugging percentage, 17 homers and an OPS of .891 in the nine games. The O’s team ERA is 6.04 in the season series with Boston at 6.27.
O’s starters have not fared well this year versus Boston:
Chris Tillman is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA.
Tyler Wilson is 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA.
Ubaldo Jimenez is 0-1 with a 8.10 ERA.
Yovani Gallardo is 0-0 with a 9.00 ERA.
Kevin Gausman is 0-2 with an 11.00 ERA.
Mike Wright is 1-0 with an 11.74 ERA.