Orioles at Blue Jays Series Preview

Sports and Bets — August 5, 2014 at 4:21 pm by

This is a big one, folks. Tonight, the first place O’s will begin a three-game series against the second place Blue Jays. The Birds currently have a four game lead over the Blue Jays, so they can’t lose first place during the series, but they sure as hell can extend that margin to give themselves some more breathing room. Both teams have identical 11-6 records since the All-Star Break, and the Orioles have faced much stiffer competition over those 17 games. Six of Toronto’s wins have come against that shitty, rebuilding team up in Boston. Toronto will be getting Brett Lawrie back from the DL for this series, but they are still missing Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion. It’s a perfect opportunity for the O’s to start putting these Canadian pricks in the rearview.

The Breakdown

Baltimore Orioles (63-48) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (60-53)

Season Series: Tied 5-5

Baltimore’s Last 10 Games: 7-3, Toronto’s Last 10 Games: 6-4

Runs: Baltimore’s tied for 11th, Toronto’s 3rd

Home Runs: Baltimore’s 2nd, Toronto’s 1st

Batting Average: Baltimore’s 11th, Toronto’s 4th

On-base Percentage: Baltimore’s 20th, Toronto’s 3rd

Team ERA: Baltimore’s 13th, Toronto’s 24th

Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 17th, Toronto’s 21st

Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 8th, Toronto’s 25th

Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s tied for 2nd, Toronto’s 7th

Tuesday, August 5, 7:07 PM MASN & MLBN

Bud Norris RHP (8-7) vs. Mark Buehrle LHP (11-7)

Norris’ Season Stats: 109 2/3 IP, 80 Ks, 3.69 ERA, 1.24 WHIP

Norris’ Last Three Starts: 1-1, 18 2/3 IP, 18 Ks, 2.41 ERA, 1.50 WHIP

Buehrle’s Season Stats: 142 IP, 82 Ks, 3.11 ERA, 1.33 WHIP

Buehrle’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 15 2/3 IP, 9 Ks, 6.89 ERA, 1.79 WHIP

Norris faced the Blue Jays for the first time last season, and the results were not pretty. He allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks, with five strikeouts over four innings. But this season, Norris has been excellent in his three starts against Toronto. He’s 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA and 1.12 WHIP, and has struck out 13 batters over 19 2/3 innings.

Buehrle has given the O’s a lot of trouble over the years, even though his career record doesn’t reflect it. In 23 appearances (21 starts) against the Birds, Buehrle is 8-9 with a 3.41 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. This season, Buehrle has gone 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in two starts against the O’s. The 35-year-old southpaw may be currently showing signs of tiring. After not posting a monthly ERA higher than 2.79 through the first three months of the season, Buehrle recorded a 5.74 ERA in July.

Good News: Nick Markakis is 20-for-46 with two home runs, Delmon Young is 19-for-48 with four home runs, Adam Jones is 10-for-28 with a home run, and Chris Davis is 6-for-19 with two home runs off Buehrle. Colby Rasmus is 5-for-27 with two home runs, and Jose Bautista is 1-for-8 off Norris.

Bad News: J.J. Hardy is 3-for-28 with a home run, Nelson Cruz is 1-for-17, and Manny Machado is 2-for-9 off Buehrle. Jose Reyes is 8-for-23, Josh Thole is 5-for-15 with a home run, Melky Cabrera is 4-for-12, and Dioner Navarro is 4-for-11 with a home run off Norris.

Wednesday, August 6, 7:07 PM MASN

Wei-Yin Chen LHP (12-3) vs. Drew Hutchison RHP (7-9)

Chen’s Season Stats: 124 1/3 IP, 90 Ks, 3.76 ERA, 1.24 WHIP

Chen’s Last Three Starts: 3-0, 20 1/3 IP, 15 Ks, 1.77 ERA, 0.89 WHIP

Hutchison’s Season Stats: 122 2/3 IP, 111 Ks, 4.62 ERA, 1.35 WHIP

Hutchison’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 12 1/3 IP, 11 Ks, 8.76 ERA, 1.86 WHIP

Surprisingly, Chen has faced Toronto only once in his career, and only two current Blue Jays have previously faced him. Chen saw the Blue Jays in September of his rookie season, and he struggled through five innings. He took the loss after surrendering five runs on nine hits and a walk. On a positive note, Chen is in the midst of his best season, he’s tied for 2nd in the MLB in wins, and he’s throwing the ball exceptionally well right now. Chen recorded a 2.92 ERA in July, and has a 1.23 ERA after his first start in August.

Drew Hutchison is the definition of an Oriole Killer. The second year pro has made 28 starts against teams that are not the Orioles. Over these starts, he’s 10-12 with a 5.33 ERA and 1.42 WHIP, and has struck out 132 batters over 150 1/3 innings. Against the Birds, he’s 2-0 in five starts with a 1.16 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, and has struck out 28 batters over 31 innings. So pretty much everyone in fucking baseball hammers this guy, but the O’s. This situation causes me Shutter Island levels of confusion.

Good News: Jonathan Schoop is 1-for-7 with a home run, and Machado is 2-for-3 off Hutchison. The O’s have hit only home run in 88 at-bats against Hutchison. In 69 career games against the Blue Jays, Davis has hit .303/.382/.660 with 22 homers and 56 RBIs.

Bad News: Jones is 3-for-15, Markakis is 4-for-15, Davis is 2-for-11, Hardy is 3-for-13, and Cruz is 2-for-12 off Hutchison. Our old pal Danny Valencia is 2-for-7, and Anthony Gose is 1-for-1 off Chen.

Thursday, August 7, 7:07 PM MASN & MLBN

Miguel Gonzalez RHP (5-6) vs. J.A. Happ LHP (8-5)

Gonzalez’s Season Stats: 107 2/3 IP, 76 Ks, 3.93 ERA, 1.43 WHIP

Gonzalez’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 18 2/3 IP, 7 Ks, 3.38 ERA, 1.34 WHIP

Happ’s Season Stats: 95 1/3 IP, 77 Ks, 4.34 ERA, 1.45 WHIP

Happ’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 18 1/3 IP, 13 Ks, 1.96 ERA, 1.04 WHIP

Gonzalez has been outstanding against Toronto over nine career appearances (eight starts). He’s 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA and 0.99 WHIP, and has struck out 40 batters over 53 2/3 innings. This will be Gonzalez’s second outing against the Blue Jays this season. His first start came in April, and he received a no-decision after pitching 5 2/3 solid innings. He allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out seven.

Happ has been able to perform a tightrope act over his five career appearances (four starts) against the Orioles. He’s 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA and 1.56 WHIP, and has struck out 28 batters in 25 2/3 innings. The O’s have been able to put runners on base against Happ, but he’s been able to bear down and get strikeouts to keep their scoring to a minimum. This season, Happ is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, and has struck out nine batters over 8 2/3 innings in two appearances (one start) against the Birds.

Good News: Jones is 6-for-13, Markakis is 4-for-13, Nick Hundley is 3-for-9, and Nelson Cruz is 4-for-5 off Happ. Rasmus is 1-for-14, Jose Bautista is 3-for-11, Cabrera is 1-for-10, and Reyes is 0-for-9 off Gonzalez.

Bad News: Professional Hitter Steve Pearce is 3-for-12, Hardy is 2-for-9, Delmon Young is 2-for-10, and Machado is 2-for-9 off Happ. Juan Francisco is 1-for-3, and Thole is 1-for-2 off Gonzalez.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

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