2 old friends, good club await the KC Royals in Baltimore

Previewing Kansas City's first road series of the season.

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Ryan O'Hearn has made himself at home in Baltimore

One thing about Ryan O'Hearn seemed perfectly clear when Kansas City concluded its 97-loss 2022 season: his time in Kansas City needed to end.

The proof was in his numbers. O'Hearn finished the campaign with a .239 average, .290 OBP, and only one home run in 67 games, a dismal performance that gave him a .211/.282/.351 line and 26 homers in the four seasons that followed his impressive big league debut in 2018 when he homered 12 times and posted a .262/.353/.597 line.

And sure enough, the Royals traded O'Hearn to the Orioles two winters ago, and for whatever reason or reasons, he's thrived ever since. Playing more games (112) than he had in any previous season, he hit .289 with 14 homers and 60 RBI. His presence certainly didn't hamper the O's, who made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

Little has changed. Although Baltimore's season is only three games old, O'Hearn remains comfortable in his new home — after going 0-for-1 in the Orioles' loss to the Angels Sunday, he's hitting .286 with a double. And as often as Hyde likes to get him in the lineup, look for O'Hearn to see some action against Kansas City.

On to the probable pitchers...