Blue Jays welcome Orioles in battle of the birds

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Aug 29, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (10) rounds the bases after hitting a grand slam home run against Detroit Tigers in the seventh inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays welcome the Baltimore Orioles to the Rogers Centre beginning tonight for a three-game set. As the Blue Jays look to continue their scorching run since August 1st and distance themselves from the New York Yankees in the AL East, The Orioles are fading out of the AL Wild Card race at 6.5 games behind the Texas Rangers.

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Baltimore hasn’t been particularly poor in terms of run production this season, currently sitting 12th in the MLB with 576 runs and fourth in the bigs with 173 home runs. The Orioles do rank in the bottom half in terms of batting average, however, and their cumulative OBP of just .305 is the third-lowest in baseball. The haven’t done themselves any favors lately, either, g0ing 2-8 over their past 10.

Manny Machado continues to be the star of the show in Baltimore, and it’s about time we all accept that he’ll be a thorn in Toronto’s side for many, many years. The young third baseman is hitting .291 with 26 home runs, 67 RBI and 17 stolen bases. Strangely enough, he and Gerardo Parra (11) are the only currently Orioles with more than three steals in 2015.

Chris Davis has rounded the corner strong as of late with three home runs over his past two games, pushing his season totals to 38 deep flies and 97 RBI. Clearly, the Blue Jays will want to keep the bases clean ahead of Crush. Adam Jones is enjoying a strong season of his own with 24 home runs, while second baseman Jonathan Schoop is quietly producing a strong campaign with a .290 average.

Next: Game 1: Hutchison looks to hold on