Seven games into the season, there are two teams in major league baseball on complete opposite sides of the spectrum with Tuesday's results: the 7-0 Baltimore Orioles and the 0-7 Atlanta Braves. The Minnesota Twins are 0-7 as well, but were idle on Tuesday. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the majors haven’t had at least one team start 7-0 or better and one start 0-7 or worse since 2003. That year, the Royals started 9-0, the Giants 7-0 and the Tigers 0-9.
Birds are the word
Pitching, defense and three two-run homers -- the recipe for another Orioles win.
With a 9-5 victory Tuesday, Baltimore ran its record to 7-0. That’s two wins shy of the most consecutive wins to begin a season in franchise history. Only the 1944 squad (as St. Louis Browns) won more, with nine. Each of the two other best such starts in franchise history led to a pennant.
The team’s seven straight wins to start the season have a place in American League East history, too, which is notable since four of the O's wins have come against AL East opponents. Their seven straight trail only the 1987 Brewers (12) and the 1984 Tigers (nine).
The Elias Sports Bureau notes that they’re the 28th team since 1903 to start 7-0 or better. Five of those teams went on to win the World Series, including the 2015 Royals.
How have they done it? Slugging their way has been a strong factor. The Orioles have hit 13 home runs through their first seven games, tied with the Astros for the most in the American League this season. Their .522 slugging percentage also leads their league.
It’s not just the hitting, though. Their pitchers have excelled with runners on base. They’ve held opponents to just a .165 batting average and one home run with runners on.
Winless in Atlanta
The Braves are winless through their first seven games for the first time since 1988 and third time since moving to Atlanta in 1966. The Braves have a league-worst minus-24 run differential and have allowed 46 runs.
The Braves’ start isn’t entirely surprising, given they are in the middle of a rebuilding effort, having traded away several notable players, including Shelby Miller and Andrelton Simmons this past offseason.
Poor pitching has fueled Atlanta’s slow start to the season. The staff’s 46 runs allowed is its most through seven games since allowing 50 in 2006.
Twenty-five-year-old Julio Teheran, one of the young assets the Braves elected to hold onto, has started poorly. He has allowed seven runs through 10 innings to start the season after posting the highest full-season ERA of his career last season (4.04).