Orioles at Athletics Series Preview

Sports and Bets — August 3, 2015 at 9:10 pm by

After going 5-2 on their seven-game homestand, the Birds are off to the West Coast for a nine-game road trip. The first victim for the O’s will be the Oakland Athletics. The A’s are tied for the worst record in the AL with the Red Sox, and they’ve recently dealt away Scott Kazmir, Ben Zobrist, and Tyler Clippard. Hit up 7-11 for a couple Red Bulls and enjoy the late night ass-kickings, babes.

The Breakdown
Baltimore Orioles (53-51) at Oakland Athletics (47-59)
Last 10 Games: Baltimore’s 7-3, Oakland’s 3-7
Runs: Baltimore’s 7th, Oakland’s 12th
Home Runs: Baltimore’s 4th, Oakland’s tied for 23rd
Batting Average: Baltimore’s 11th, Oakland’s 18th
On-Base Percentage: Baltimore’s 21, Oakland’s 19th
Team ERA: Baltimore’s 14th, Oakland’s 5th
Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 20th, Oakland’s 3rd
Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 4th, Oakland’s 27th
Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s 1st, Oakland’s 30th

Baltimore’s Injury Report
P Jason Garcia: 60-day DL (right shoulder; currently on rehab assignment)
P Chris Tillman: day-to-day (left ankle)
P Mike Wright: 15-day DL (left calf)
OF Steve Pearce: 15-day DL (left oblique)

Oakland’s Injury Report
P Sean Doolittle: 60-day DL (left shoulder)
P Jesse Hahn: 15-day DL (right forearm)
P Jarrod Parker: 60-day DL (right elbow surgery; out for season)
INF Tyler Ladendorf: 60-day DL (left ankle surgery)

Monday, August 3 at 10:05 p.m. on MASN 2
RHP Tyler Wilson (1-1) vs. RHP Jesse Chavez (5-10)
Wilson’s 2015: 5 G, 1 GS, 17 IP, 4 Ks, 2.12 ERA, 1.24 WHIP
Chavez’s 2015: 22 G, 18 GS, 114.2 IP, 99 Ks, 3.53 ERA, 1.26 WHIP
Chavez’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 14 IP, 15 Ks, 4.50 ERA, 1.50 WHIP

Chris Tillman is having his start pushed back due to a sprained left ankle, so Tyler Wilson is taking the ball in the series-opener. Wilson’s only major league start took place on May 28 against the White Sox, and the 25-year-old rookie was a hard-luck loser. He held Chicago to two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out one over six innings. Wilson’s last appearance in the big leagues came against Toronto on June 19, and he was terrific in relief. He gave up one run on five hits and two walks while striking out one over 5.2 innings. Wilson has been excellent at Norfolk this season, going 5-5 in 16 starts with a 3.05 ERA and 1.16 WHIP while striking out 58 batters over 91.1 innings.

Only 41 out of Chavez’s 245 career pitching appearances have been starts, so it’s fair to wonder if the right-hander is running out of gas this season. Chavez has seen his ERA climb from 2.11 to 3.53 over his last 10 starts. In the month of July, Chavez went 1-3 in five starts with a 5.33 ERA and 1.58 WHIP while striking out 22 batters over 25.1 innings. Chavez throws in the low 90s with a cutter, a changeup, a slider, and an occasional curveball. Chavez’s cutter is his best pitch, and he’s been throwing it 35.7% of the time this season. The 31-year-old has never started against the O’s, but he has seen them out of the bullpen. In four career relief appearances against the Birds, Chavez has allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits and two walks while striking out six batters over 6.2 innings.

Good News: J.J. Hardy is 2-for-6, Chris Davis is 2-for-3, Manny Machado is 1-for-2, Matt Wieters is 1-for-2, and Jimmy Paredes is 1-for-1 off Chavez. Over Machado’s last six games, he’s batting .320 with 2 HRs, 4 RBIs, 7 runs scored, and a stolen base. Oakland’s 23-31 at home this season.

Bad News: Adam Jones is 1-for-4, Ryan Flaherty is 0-for-2, Gerardo Parra is 0-for-2, David Lough is 0-for-1, Nolan Reimold is 0-for-1, and Travis Snider is 0-for-1 off Chavez. Last season, the O’s went 2-4 against the A’s. This season, the Birds are 21-31 on the road. The O’s have lost 17 of their last 23 in Oakland (Kubatko).

Tuesday, August 4 at 10:05 p.m. on MASN 2
RHP Miguel Gonzalez (9-7) vs. RHP Chris Bassitt (0-4)
Gonzalez’s 2015: 19 GS, 109.1 IP, 81 Ks, 4.28 ERA, 1.29 WHIP
Gonzalez’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 16 IP, 10 Ks, 4.50 ERA, 1.50 WHIP
Bassitt’s 2015: 10 G, 5 GS, 40.2 IP, 27 Ks, 3.10 ERA, 1.11 WHIP
Bassitt’s Last Three Starts: 0-2, 19.1 IP, 13 Ks, 3.26 ERA, 1.03 WHIP

Gonzalez was pummeled in his last start, taking the loss against Detroit after giving up five runs on 10 hits and a walk while striking out one over 3.1 innings. It was an especially frustrating performance to watch because it looked like the All-Star break had rejuvenated Gonzalez. Coming into his July 30 start against the Tigers, Gonzo was 2-0 in his two 2nd half starts. He had surrendered only three runs on 11 hits and two walks while striking out nine batters over 12.2 innings. Gonzalez just hasn’t been the same pitcher after needing a trip to the DL for a groin injury. Since returning from the DL, his ERA has skyrocketed from 3.33 to 4.28 over seven starts. Gonzalez is 0-0 in two career appearances (one start) against the A’s. He’s given up four runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out four batters over 6.1 innings. This will be Gonzalez’s first time facing Oakland since 2013.

Bassitt was acquired by the A’s over the winter in the trade that sent Jeff Samardzija to the White Sox. Bassitt has compiled an impressive minor league resume over the years, going 24-17 with a 3.10 ERA and 1.24 WHIP while striking out 373 batters over 386.2 innings. Bassitt didn’t make his first start for Oakland until June 30, but the 26-year-old has been doing a great job of making up for lost time. Over his five starts, he’s posted a 3.00 ERA and 1.03 WHIP while striking out 19 batters over 30 innings. Despite pitching so well in a starting role, Bassitt is still looking for his first win of the season. The A’s have only scored eight total runs in the five games that Bassitt has started. The young righty is a sinkerballer, who throws in the low 90s with a slider, a curveball, and a changeup. This will be Bassitt’s first time facing the Orioles or any of their hitters.

Good News: Brett Lawrie is 2-for-18, Billy Butler is 1-for-11, Eric Sogard is 0-for-3, and Sam Fuld is 0-for-2 off Gonzalez. In 52 career games against the A’s, Davis has batted .272/.350/.506 with 10 HRs, 33 RBIs, and 25 runs scored. The A’s are 11-25 in one-run games this season.

Bad News: Ike Davis is 1-for-3 with a HR off Gonzalez. This season, the Birds are 14-17 in one-run games and 38-41 against right-handed starters.

Wednesday, August 5 at 3:35 p.m. on MASN
LHP Wei-Yin Chen (5-6) vs. RHP Kendall Graveman (6-7)
Chen’s 2015: 20 GS, 125 IP, 102 Ks, 3.24 ERA, 1.18 WHIP
Chen’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 15 IP, 12 Ks, 6.60 ERA, 1.80 WHIP
Graveman’s 2015: 17 GS, 96 IP, 63 Ks, 3.84 ERA, 1.44 WHIP
Graveman’s Last Three Starts: 0-2, 13.1 IP, 12 Ks, 6.75 ERA, 1.88 WHIP

Chen is coming off his worst start of the season. He took a no-decision against the Tigers after giving up six runs on 10 hits and no walks while striking out six over 3.1 innings. It was an extremely rare poor outing from the anchor of the Birds’ staff. Luckily for Chen, he gets the chance to bounce back against a team that he’s dominated over the years. Of any major league team that Chen’s faced more than once, his ERA is the lowest against Oakland. In five career starts against the A’s, Chen is 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA and 0.94 WHIP, and he’s struck out 29 batters over 32 innings. Last season, Chen went 1-0 in two starts against Oakland with a 3.97 ERA and 0.97 WHIP while striking out eight batters over 11.1 innings.

Graveman was acquired by the A’s in the trade that sent noted dickhead Josh Donaldson to Toronto over the winter. He’s been nothing short of outstanding over his minor league career, going 17-10 with a 2.26 ERA and 1.11 WHIP while striking out 154 batters over 231.1 innings. Graveman was sharp in his last outing, taking a no-decision after surrendering one run (none earned) on five hits and two walks while striking out six Indians over 6.2 innings. He desperately needed a start like that too, as he was coming off three straight rough outings. Over these three starts, Graveman went 0-3 after giving up 14 runs over 12.1 innings. Graveman is a 24-year-old sinkerballer, who throws in the low 90s with a cutter, a splitter, and a slider. This will be his first career start against the O’s, but he did make two relief appearances against them as a member of the Blue Jays last season. He held them scoreless on one hit and no walks while striking out one over 1.2 innings.

Good News: Hardy is 1-for-1 off Graveman. Fuld is 3-for-15, Josh Reddick is 0-for-9, Lawrie is 0-for-2, Josh Phegley is 0-for-2, and Marcus Semien is 0-for-2 off Chen. This season, the Orioles lead the majors with 31 outfield assists. The Birds are 21-16 in day games this season, while the A’s are 17-24. Oakland’s 8-19 against left-handed starters this season.

Bad News: Flaherty is 0-for-1, and Jones is 0-for-1 off Graveman. Butler is 8-for-19 with 2 HRs off Chen.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

stats: Baseball-Reference
cover pic: ABC 7 Detroit

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