Orioles At Mariners Series Preview

Sports and Bets — July 24, 2014 at 5:58 pm by

The Birds let the Angels off the hook last night, and had to settle for taking two out of three. This puts them at 3-3 on the road trip which is both encouraging and frustrating. 3-3 isn’t a bad record at all against the two best teams in baseball, but if not for some late inning bullpen slip-ups, the O’s would be 5-1. Now the Birds are off to Seattle to conclude the road trip with a four-game series against a team that’s been one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season. It’s time to brew a fresh pot of coffee, crank up the Pearl Jam, and hopefully, watch the O’s finish the trip off strong.

The Breakdown 

Baltimore Orioles (55-45) at Seattle Mariners (53-48)

Season Series: 0-0, Last Season: Seattle went 4-2

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

Runs: Baltimore’s 9th, Seattle’s 22nd

Home Runs: Baltimore’s tied for 1st, Seattle’s tied for 18th

Batting Average: Baltimore’s 5th, Seattle’s tied for 23rd

On-base Percentage: Baltimore’s tied for 17th, Seattle’s 28th

Team ERA: Baltimore’s 18th, Seattle’s 1st

Starting Pitcher ERA: Baltimore’s 21st, Seattle’s 7th

Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 14th, Seattle’s 1st

Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s tied for 2nd, Seattle’s tied for 2nd

Game 1: Thursday, July 24, 10:10 PM on MASN & MLBN

Wei-Yin Chen LHP (10-3) vs. Hisashi Iwakuma RHP (8-4)

Chen’s Season Stats: 109 IP, 79 Ks, 4.21 ERA, 1.30 WHIP

Chen’s Last Three Starts: 3-0, 16 2/3 IP, 14 Ks, 4.32 ERA, 1.32 WHIP

Iwakuma’s Season Stats: 103 2/3 IP, 83 Ks, 2.95 ERA, 0.99 WHIP

Iwakuma’s Last Three Starts: 2-0, 22 2/3 IP, 21 Ks, 1.59 ERA, 0.66 WHIP

Chen hasn’t been sharp in his four career starts against the Mariners, going 0-2 with a 4.56 ERA. Spacious Safeco Field hasn’t been able to help Chen much either, as he has a 4.86 ERA over his three starts in Seattle. The Mariners have done the bulk of their damage against Chen with the long ball. They’ve hit four homers off Chen in only 23 2/3 innings.

Iwakuma has been the best pitcher in baseball this season in terms of limiting his walks. He’s only walked eight batters all year, which averages out to 0.7 walks per nine innings. He pitched a total of 28 2/3 innings over his last four starts, and he didn’t give up a single walk over that stretch. So he’s basically the bizarro Ubaldo Jimenez. He did struggle against the Birds in his only career start against them, allowing three runs over five innings.

Good News: Delmon Young is 2-for-5 with a home run, and Chris Davis is 2-for-2 with a home run off Iwakuma. Kyle Seager is 0-for-11, Dustin Ackley is 1-for-7, and Brad Miller is 0-for-4 off Chen.

Bad News: Nelson Cruz is 4-for-17, J.J. Hardy is 0-for-3, and Adam Jones is 0-for-2 off Iwakuma. Former slapdick Yankee Robinson Cano is only 5-for-21, but his hits include two doubles and a home run off Chen. Cano is slashing .336/.381/.549 with 28 home runs, 102 RBIs, and 109 runs scored in 154 career games against the O’s.

Game 2: Friday, July 25, 10:10 PM on MASN 2

Kevin Gausman RHP (4-3) vs. Felix Hernandez RHP (11-2)

Gausman’s Season Stats: 42 1/3 IP, 32 Ks, 4.04 ERA, 1.39 WHIP

Gausman’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 14 1/3 IP, 15 Ks, 4.40 ERA, 1.47 WHIP

Hernandez’s Season Stats: 151 1/3 IP, 163 Ks, 2.02 ERA, 0.90 WHIP

Hernandez’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 23 IP, 26 Ks, 1.57 ERA, 0.78 WHIP

Gausman is looking to bounce back from a brutal start in Oakland. Gausman picked up the loss after allowing five runs on nine hits and two walks, with six strikeouts over four innings. Gausman has never faced the Mariners in his young career.

Hernandez is a true ace that is currently tied for second in ERA, third in WHIP, tied for second in strikeouts, and tied for second with the fewest home runs allowed in the MLB. He’s been solid against the O’s over his 15 career starts, going 5-4 with a 3.44 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. He’s struck out 80 batters and only given up 3 home runs in those 96 2/3 innings.

Good News: Cruz is 15-for-59 with four home runs, Davis is 8-for-30 with a home run, Nick Markakis is 13-for-28, and Jones is 8-for-26 off Hernandez.

Bad News: Young is 3-for-17, Nick Hundley is 2-for-14, and Hardy is 2-for-10 off Hernandez. Cano is 2-for-3 off Gausman.

Game 3: Saturday, July 26, 4:10 on MASN 2 & WJZ 

Bud Norris RHP (8-6) vs. Chris Young RHP (8-6)

Norris’ Season Stats: 97 2/3 IP, 70 Ks, 3.78 ERA, 1.21 WHIP

Norris’ Last Three Starts: 2-1, 15 2/3 IP, 14 Ks, 4.02 ERA, 1.40 WHIP

Young’s Season Stats: 117 1/3 IP, 70 Ks, 3.22 ERA, 1.13 WHIP

Young’s Last Three Starts: 0-2, 19 IP, 15 Ks, 3.79 ERA, 1.21 WHIP

The last time that Norris took the mound, he had one of his best starts of the season. He earned the win after allowing two runs (one earned) on eight hits and two walks, with eight strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings against the Angels. He’ll look to keep things rolling against a Seattle team that has had his number in the past. In three career starts against the Mariners, Norris is 1-2 with a 5.09 ERA and 1.47 WHIP.

The Mariners are the fourth team that Young has been on in his 10-year career. Health, not ability has been the biggest problem for Young over the years. He has a lifetime 3.72 ERA, but the most innings that he’s ever thrown in a season is 179 1/3. Young has struggled against the Birds in the past, posting a 4.70 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in his three career starts against them.

Good News: Professional Hitter Steve Pearce is 1-for-2 with a double off Young. Through the first six games of this road trip, Jones has three home runs and 10 RBIs. On the pitching side of things, there is nothing good at all in this matchup for Norris. All eight Seattle hitters that have faced him in the past have excellent career numbers against him.

Bad News: Hardy is 0-for-6 off Young. Seattle hitters have slashed .367/.439/.694 with four home runs in 49 at-bats against Norris.

Game 4: Sunday, July 27, 4:10 on MASN 2

Miguel Gonzalez RHP (5-5) vs. Roenis Elias LHP (8-8)

Gonzalez’s Season Stats: 96 2/3 IP, 74 Ks, 3.91 ERA, 1.41 WHIP

Gonzalez’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 23 2/3 IP, 16 Ks, 1.90 ERA, 0.93 WHIP

Elias’ Season Stats: 118 1/3 IP, 104 Ks, 4.41 ERA, 1.27 WHIP

Elias’ Last Three Starts: 1-2, 13 2/3 IP, 17 Ks, 7.90 ERA, 1.83 WHIP

Gonzalez hasn’t pitched well on the road this season, recording a 4.42 ERA over nine starts. At home, he’s been a completely different pitcher, posting a 3.30 ERA over eight appearances (seven starts). For his career, the home/road splits have been much less drastic for Gonzalez. He has a lifetime 3.58 home ERA and 3.78 road ERA. Gonzalez has never faced the Mariners in his career.

Elias is a 25-year-old rookie from Cuba who was very solid in the minors. Over 326 1/3 minor league innings, Elias had a 3.61 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. He’s had some problems with consistency this season. He posted a 3.54 ERA in April, a 4.38 ERA in May, a 3.86 ERA in June, and a 7.90 ERA in July. He has never faced the Orioles or any of their current hitters.

Good News: Cano is 2-for-21 off Gonzalez. In 60 career games against the Mariners, Markakis has slashed .316/.386/.432 with four home runs, 26 RBIs, and 31 runs scored.

Bad News: Jeff Reboulet and his flawless mustache won’t be suiting up for the Birds this series.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

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