Orioles At Athletics Series Preview

Sports and Bets — July 18, 2014 at 6:51 pm by

The O’s will begin the second half of the season with a tough 10-game west coast road trip against the A’s, Angels, and Mariners. These teams have a combined .588 winning percentage, with the A’s having the best record in baseball. The A’s have also recently traded for Jeff Samardzija and our old pal, Jason Hammel, to boost an already fantastic rotation. Facing the A’s will be the first tall challenge for the Birds in a second half that’s sure to be full of them. And to that I say, bring it on, motherfuckers.

The Breakdown

Baltimore Orioles (52-42) at Oakland Athletics (59-36)

Season Series: Oakland leads 2-1

Baltimore’s Last 10 Games: 7-3, Oakland’s Last 10 Games: 7-3

Runs: Baltimore 9th, Oakland 2nd

Home Runs: Baltimore 2nd, Oakland tied for 6th

Batting Average: Baltimore 4th, Oakland tied for 16th

On-base Percentage: Baltimore tied for 13th, Oakland tied for 5th

Team ERA: Baltimore tied for 14th, Oakland 2nd

Starting Pitcher ERA: Baltimore tied for 22nd, Oakland 2nd

Bullpen ERA: Baltimore 11th, Oakland 5th

Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore 2nd, Oakland 23rd

Game 1: Friday, July 18, 10:05 PM on MASN 2

Chris Tillman RHP (7-5) vs. Jeff Samardzija RHP (3-8)

Tillman’s Season Stats: 118 1/3 IP, 74 Ks, 4.11 ERA, 1.39 WHIP

Tillman’s Last Three Starts: 0-1, 19 1/3 IP, 12 Ks, 3.72 ERA, 1.40 WHIP

Samardzija’s Season Stats: 123 IP, 113 Ks, 2.78 ERA, 1.14 WHIP

Samardzija’s Last Three Starts: 1-2, 20 IP, 16 Ks, 4.05 ERA, 0.85 WHIP

Tillman has been excellent against Oakland over three career starts, going 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA and 1.25 WHIP, and striking out 18 batters over 18 1/3 innings. Tillman has struggled on the road this season, posting a 5.20 ERA over 11 road starts. He’s been much better at home, recording a 2.89 ERA over nine starts. Despite these ERAs, Tillman is 6-0 on the road and 1-5 at home, as wins continue to make their case for the dumbest stat in baseball.

Samardzija has been brilliant in his first two starts with the A’s, going 1-1 with a 2.40 ERA and 0.67 WHIP. Samardzija had a disappointing month of June, pitching to a 5.45 ERA and 1.52 WHIP over six starts as a member of the Cubs. All of the trade talk distractions might have taken the flamethrower off his game for a bit, but he certainly looks comfortable on the bump right now. This will be Samardzija’s first career start against the O’s.

Good News: John Jaso is 3-for-13, Coco Crisp is 0-for-6, Brandon Moss is 1-for-6, Eric Sogard is 0-for-5, and Yoenis Cespedes is 0-for-3 off Tillman.

Bad News: Nick Hundley is 1-for-7, Professional Hitter Steve Pearce is 1-for-5, and J.J. Hardy is 0-for-3 off Samardzija. Jed Lowrie is 2-for-5, Josh Donaldson is 3-for-6, and Craig Gentry is 1-for-3 off Tillman.

Game 2: Saturday, July 19, 9:05 PM on MASN 2 & MLBN 

Wei-Yin Chen LHP (9-3) vs. Jason Hammel RHP (8-6)

Chen’s Season Stats: 104 IP, 75 Ks, 4.15 ERA, 1.31 WHIP

Chen’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 15 IP, 12 Ks, 6.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP

Hammel’s Season Stats: 113 2/3 IP, 107 Ks, 3.01 ERA, 1.06 WHIP

Hammel’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 17 1/3 IP, 16 K’s, 3.12 ERA, 1.27 WHIP

Chen hasn’t been pitching very well as of late, recording a 5.27 ERA over his last five starts. The main reason for Chen’s lackluster numbers over this stretch has been the long ball. Chen’s served up eight homers over these 27 1/3 innings. Hopefully, Chen will be able to use the spacious Whatever The Fuck They’re Calling It These Days Oakland ballpark to his advantage. Chen has been terrific against the A’s over four career starts, going 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA and 0.89 WHIP, and striking out 25 batters over 27 innings. Chen also pitched very well against the A’s earlier this year, holding them to two runs over 6 1/3 innings.

Hammel wasn’t too sharp in his Oakland debut, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits and three walks, over five innings against the Giants. Hammel has been knocked around by the Birds over eight career appearances (six starts), going 0-4 with a 6.68 ERA and 1.73 WHIP.

Good News: Hundley is 7-for-14 with a home run, Nick Markakis is 6-for-14 with a home run, and Delmon Young is 2-for-5 off Hammel. Cespedes is 2-for-9, Donaldson is 1-for-5 with a home run, and Lowrie is 0-for-6 off Chen.

Bad News: Adam Jones is 1-for-5, and Hardy is 0-for-3 off Hammel. Gentry is 2-for-6, Crisp is 3-for-8, Derek Norris is 2-for-7 with a home run, and Brandon Moss is 1-for-3 off Chen.

Game 3: Sunday, July 20, 4:05 PM on MASN 2

Kevin Gausman RHP (4-2) vs. Sonny Gray RHP (10-3)

Gausman’s Season Stats: 38 1/3 IP, 26 Ks, 3.29 ERA, 1.25 WHIP

Gausman’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 15 1/3 IP, 10 Ks, 4.11 ERA, 1.37 WHIP

Gray’s Season Stats: 125 2/3 IP, 108 Ks, 2.79 ERA, 1.19 WHIP

Gray’s Last Three Starts: 3-0, 21 2/3 IP, 18 Ks, 0.83 ERA, 1.02 WHIP

Gausman looked great in his last two starts before the break, going 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA and 0.97 WHIP, and striking out 9 batters over 10 1/3 innings. Gausman faced Oakland for the first time in his young career earlier this season, and he was sensational. He earned the win after allowing one run on four hits and a walk, with six strikeouts over seven innings.

Gray is one of the game’s best young pitchers, but he has struggled mightily in his two career starts against the O’s. He’s 0-2 with a slow-pitch softball-esque 11.42 ERA and 2.08 WHIP over 8 2/3 innings. Earlier this season, Gray was on the losing end of Gausman’s terrific start. Over 5 1/3 innings, Gray surrendered five runs on four hits and four walks while striking out seven.

Good News: Jones is 3-for-5 with a home run, Markakis is 2-for-5, Chris Davis is 2-for-5, Manny Machado is 1-for-3, and Caleb Joseph is 1-for-2 off Gray. As a team, Oakland is only slashing .182/.217/.318 over 22 at-bats against Gausman.

Bad News: Hardy is 1-for-4, Nelson Cruz is 0-for-3, and Ryan Flaherty is 0-for-2 off Gray. Crisp is 2-for-3 with a home run, Cespedes is 1-for-3, and Eric Sogard is 1-for-2 off Gausman.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

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