Orioles at Blue Jays Series Preview

Sports and Bets — September 26, 2014 at 5:39 pm by

The Birds will wrap up their regular season with a three-game series in Toronto. The O’s are three games back from the Angels for home field advantage throughout the playoffs, so it’s looking like the Birds will end up as the two-seed. This means that they will face the AL Central champ, which most likely will be the Tigers. The Tigers have one helluva ball club, but I’m not worried. The Birds are a finely tuned winning machine, babes. Even Jeter knows it.

The Breakdown

Baltimore Orioles (95-64) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (81-78)

Season Series: Baltimore leads 10-6

Baltimore’s Last 10 Games: 6-4, Toronto’s Last 10 Games: 4-6

Runs: Baltimore’s 6th, Toronto’s tied for 4th

Home Runs: Baltimore’s 1st, Toronto’s 3rd

Batting Average: Baltimore’s 8th, Toronto’s 7th

On-base Percentage: Baltimore’s 17th, Toronto’s 6th

Team ERA: Baltimore’s 8th, Toronto’s 24th

Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 13th, Toronto’s 22nd

Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 7th, Toronto’s 26th

Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s tied for 2nd, Toronto’s tied for 9th

Friday, September 26 at 7:07 PM on MASN 2

Chris Tillman RHP (13-5) vs. Drew Hutchison RHP (10-13)

Tillman’s Season Stats: 201.1 IP, 145 Ks, 3.26 ERA, 1.21 WHIP

Tillman’s Last Three Starts: 2-0, 18.2 IP, 17 Ks, 1.93 ERA, 1.13 WHIP

Hutchison’s Season Stats: 179.2 IP, 176 Ks, 4.51 ERA, 1.26 WHIP

Hutchison’s Last Three Starts: 1-2, 16.2 IP, 27 Ks, 4.86 ERA, 1.20 WHIP

According to Roch Kubatko, Tillman has a chance to make some history tonight. Currently, Tillman is 8-0 in 15 road starts this season. If he can record a win or no-decision tonight, he will have the most road starts in a season without a loss since at least 1914. Tillman has been solid against Toronto over his career, going 4-5 in 13 starts with a 3.98 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. This season, Tillman is 1-2 in three starts with a 4.35 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. It’s certainly not a cupcake matchup for Tillman, but I’m sure that gusty son of a bitch wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Birds were finally able to get to Hutchison in his last start against them, knocking him around for 6 runs over 6.1 innings in their AL East clinching win. Despite that rough outing, Hutchison still boasts impressive career numbers against the O’s. In seven starts, he’s 3-1 with a 2.15 ERA and 0.89 WHIP, and has struck out 47 batters over 46 innings. This season, he’s made five starts against the Birds, and he’s 2-1 with a 2.38 ERA and 0.82 WHIP while striking out 36 batters over 34 innings.

Good News: Alejandro De Aza is 2-for-7, Professional Hitter Steve Pearce is 2-for-7 with a HR, and Jimmy Paredes is 2-for-3 with a HR off Hutchison. Jonathan Schoop is only 1-for-7 off Hutchison, but his lone hit was a HR. Adam Lind is 8-for-30, Munenori Kawasaki is 2-for-14, Ryan Goins is 2-for-11 with a HR, and Danny Valencia is 1-for-6 off Tillman.

Bad News: Nick Markakis is 5-for-20, Adam Jones is 3-for-21, J.J. Hardy is 3-for-19, Nelson Cruz is 3-for-18, Ryan Flaherty is 0-for-9, Kelly Johnson is 1-for-5, David Lough is 1-for-6, and Nick Hundley is 0-for-5 off Hutchison. Edwin Encarnacion is 10-for-34 with a HR, Jose Bautista is 8-for-25 with 2 HRs, Colby Rasmus is 6-for-20 with 2 HRs, Jose Reyes is 6-for-18 with a HR, Dioner Navarro is 4-for-11, and Anthony Gose is 5-for-9 off Tillman.

Saturday, September 27 at 4:07 PM on MASN 2

Wei-Yin Chen LHP (16-5) vs. J.A. Happ LHP (10-11)

Chen’s Season Stats: 179.2 IP, 133 Ks, 3.56 ERA, 1.24 WHIP

Chen’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 18.2 IP, 14 Ks, 2.41 ERA, 1.13 WHIP

Happ’s Season Stats: 151.2 IP, 129 Ks, 4.27 ERA, 1.35 WHIP

Happ’s Last Three Starts: 1-2, 20 IP, 17 Ks, 3.15 ERA, 0.95 WHIP

Chen is really cooking with gas as the regular season winds to a close. Over four September starts, Chen has a 1.82 ERA, which would be by far the lowest ERA that he’s recorded over a month this season. He’ll try to keep things rolling against a team that he’s struggled against over his career. In three career starts against Toronto, Chen is 1-2 with a 6.32 ERA and 1.91 WHIP while striking out 15 batters over 15.2 innings. This season, Chen is 1-1 in two starts against the Blue Jays. He’s posted a 5.06 ERA and 1.88 WHIP, and has struck 12 batters over 10.2 innings.

Happ’s pitched very well in the second half of this season, sporting a 3.62 ERA and 1.15 WHIP over 12 starts. In six career starts (seven appearances) against the Birds, Happ is 1-3 with a 2.95 ERA and 1.36 WHIP, and has struck out 45 batters over 39.2 innings. This season, Happ is 1-2 in three starts (four appearances) against the O’s. He’s recorded a 3.18 ERA and 1.10 WHIP while striking out 26 batters over 22.2 innings.

Good News: Jones is 6-for-20, Markakis is 5-for-16, Pearce is 5-for-15 with 2 HRs, Cruz is 7-for-12, Johnson is 2-for-10 with 2 HRs, Hundley is 3-for-9, and Caleb Joseph is 1-for-5 with a HR off Happ. Navarro is 1-for-6, and Goins is 0-for-4 off Chen.

Bad News: Hardy is 3-for-15, Delmon Young is 3-for-16, Schoop is 2-for-8, and De Aza is 1-for-5 off Happ. Valencia is 4-for-13, Bautista is 3-for-6 with a HR, Encarnacion is 3-for-6 with a HR, Reyes is 2-for-6, Rasmus is 1-for-3, and Steve Tolleson is 2-for-3 off Happ.

Sunday, September 28 at 1:07 PM on MASN 2

Ubaldo Jimenez RHP (6-9) or Miguel Gonzalez RHP (9-9) vs. R.A. Dickey RHP (14-12)

Jimenez’s Season Stats: 124.1 IP, 113 Ks, 4.85 ERA, 1.53 WHIP

Gonzalez’s Season Stats: 154 IP, 109 Ks, 3.33 ERA, 1.31 WHIP

Dickey’s Season Stats: 209.2 IP, 171 Ks, 3.78 ERA, 1.24 WHIP

Dickey’s Last Three Starts: 2-0, 20 IP, 14 Ks, 3.15 ERA, 0.95 WHIP

The Orioles haven’t announced Sunday’s starter yet, but the prime candidates are Jimenez or Gonzalez. No matter who gets the ball, they probably won’t pitch very deep into the game, regardless of how well they are pitching. Buck will want to get his primary bullpen arms into the game to keep them from having too long of a layoff before the playoffs.

Dickey has quietly put together a solid season for the Blue Jays, and has now topped 200 innings in four straight seasons. He’s also closing the year on a high note, going 4-0 with a 2.65 ERA and 0.88 WHIP over five September starts. In nine career starts (12 appearances) against the O’s, Dickey is 2-5 with a 4.45 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. This season, Dickey has gone 0-1 in two starts against the Birds with a 3.55 ERA and 1.34 WHIP while striking out 10 batters over 12.2 innings.

Good News: Hardy is 5-for-18 with a HR, Young is 4-for-14 with a HR, Flaherty is 2-for-8 with a HR, Hundley is 2-for-7, De Aza is 3-for-5, and Steve Clevenger is 2-for-2 off Dickey.

Bad News: Jones is 3-for-22 with a HR, Markakis is 4-for-15, Johnson is 4-for-18 with a HR, Cruz is 2-for-10 with a HR, and Pearce is 0-for-4 off Dickey.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

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