Orioles at Nationals Series Preview

Sports and Bets — September 21, 2015 at 6:10 pm by

After splitting a four-game series against the Rays, the O’s will continue their last road trip of the season with a three-game series against the Nationals. The Birds’ playoff chances may be microscopic, but it’s always nice to kick the shit out of those slapdicks down I-95. Keep fighting, boys!

The Breakdown
Baltimore Orioles (73-76) at Washington Nationals (78-71)
Season Series: Washington leads 2-1
Last 10 Games: Baltimore’s 6-4, Washington’s 7-3
Runs: Baltimore’s 9th, Washington’s 5th
Home Runs: Baltimore’s 4th, Washington’s 8th
Batting Average: Baltimore’s 17th, Washington’s 13th
On-Base Percentage: Baltimore’s 26th, Washington’s 7th
Team ERA: Baltimore’s 19th, Washington’s 9th
Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 26th, Washington’s 9th
Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 5th, Washington’s 14th
Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s 1st, Washington’s tied for 15th

Baltimore’s Injury Report
P Miguel Gonzalez: 15-day DL (right shoulder, elbow)

Washington’s Injury Report
P Aaron Barrett: 60-day DL (Tommy John surgery; out for season)
P David Carpenter: 60-day DL (right shoulder)
P Craig Stammen: 60-day DL (right elbow surgery; out for season)
OF Reed Johnson: 60-day DL (broken rib)
OF Nate McLouth: 60-day DL (right shoulder; out for season)
OF Denard Span: 15-day DL (left hip surgery; out for season)

Monday, September 21 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN 2 & MLBN
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (11-9) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (11-7)
Jimenez’s 2015: 29 GS, 165 IP, 150 Ks, 4.31 ERA, 1.37 WHIP
Jimenez’s Last Three Starts: 2-0, 17.2 IP, 16 Ks, 4.08 ERA, 1.30 WHIP
Gonzalez’s 2015: 28 GS, 160 IP, 153 Ks, 3.83 ERA, 1.43 WHIP
Gonzalez’s Last Three Starts: 2-0, 18.1 IP, 26 Ks, 1.47 ERA, 1.09 WHIP

Jimenez was knocked around in his last start, taking a no-decision against the Red Sox after giving up four runs on six hits and three walks while striking out four over five innings. The second half woes continued for Jimenez, as he now has a 6.58 ERA in his 12 starts since the All-Star break. Hopefully, a date with the Nationals will be just what the doctor ordered for Ubaldo. In seven career starts against Washington, Jimenez is 5-1 with a 2.61 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, and he’s struck out 36 batters over 48.1 innings. This will be Jimenez’s first start against the Nats since 2011.

Gonzalez was masterful in his last outing, earning the win against the Phillies after surrendering two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out a career-high 12 batters over seven innings (MLB). While Gonzalez has been throwing the ball much better recently, he’s still sporting his highest ERA since 2009. A lot of that can be contributed to bad luck, though. Gonzalez’s BABIP is .341 this season, which is significantly higher than his career .295 mark. The 30-year-old southpaw has solid career numbers against the O’s, going 1-4 in eight starts with a 3.51 ERA and 1.52 WHIP while striking out 40 batters over 48.2 innings. This season, Gonzalez took a no-decision in his first start against the Birds. He held them to one run on six hits and three walks while striking out five over six innings.

Good News: Matt Wieters is 10-for-17 with a HR, Steve Pearce is 4-for-12 with a HR, Manny Machado is 3-for-7, and Caleb Joseph is 1-for-3 off Gonzalez. Ian Desmond is 2-for-9, and Danny Espinosa is 0-for-4 off Jimenez. In 18 September games, Chris Davis is slashing .377/.525/.852 with 8 HRs, 17 RBIs, and 18 runs scored.

Bad News: Adam Jones is 6-for-25 with a HR, J.J. Hardy is 3-for-15, Davis is 1-for-12, Nolan Reimold is 2-for-12, Junior Lake is 1-for-9, Paul Janish is 0-for-5, Jonathan Schoop is 1-for-5, and Gerardo Parra is 0-for-3 off Gonzalez. Yunel Escobar is 8-for-21 with a HR, Ryan Zimmerman is 5-for-17, Dan Uggla is 3-for-15 with 2 HRs, and Jayson Werth is 4-for-8 with a HR off Jimenez. This season, the O’s are 31-47 on the road, while the Nationals are 44-30 at home.

Tuesday, September 22 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN 2
RHP Chris Tillman (9-11) vs. RHP Tanner Roark (4-6)
Tillman’s 2015: 28 GS, 154.1 IP, 107 Ks, 5.19 ERA, 1.39 WHIP
Tillman’s Last Three Starts: 0-1, 14 IP, 10 Ks, 8.36 ERA, 1.64 WHIP
Roark’s 2015: 37 G, 9 GS, 93.1 IP, 59 Ks, 4.73 ERA, 1.37 WHIP
Roark’s Last Three Starts: 0-2, 14 IP, 7 Ks, 5.79 ERA, 1.79 WHIP

Tillman is crawling to the finish line this season, as he’s failed to pick up a win in six straight starts. He’s also made five outings since recording his last quality start. In four starts in the month of September, Tilly has posted a slow pitch softball-esque 9.64 ERA. In four career starts against the Nats, Tillman has gone 0-0 with a 4.37 ERA and 1.41 WHIP while striking out 20 batters over 22.2 innings. This season, Tillman took a no-decision in his first start against Washington. He held them to two runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out six over six innings.

Roark has bounced back and forth from the bullpen to the rotation this season, but no matter how he’s been used, he hasn’t come close to following up on his breakout 2014 campaign. Last season, Roark went 15-10 with a 2.85 ERA and 1.09 WHIP while striking out 138 batters over 198.2 innings. In 2015, the 28-year-old has struggled mightily, recording quality starts only twice in his nine outings. Roark’s best pitch is his low 90s fastball, and he compliments his heater with a slider, a curveball, and a changeup. In two career appearances (one start) against the O’s, Roark is 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA and 1.29 WHIP, and he’s struck out five batters over seven innings. This season, Roark took a loss in a relief appearance against the Birds after giving up a run in 0.2 of an inning.

Good News: Parra is 3-for-7 with a HR, Hardy is 3-for-4, Ryan Flaherty is 1-for-3, Lake is 1-for-3, Joseph is 1-for-2 with a HR, and Schoop is 1-for-1 with a HR off Roark. Escobar is 5-for-19, Wilson Ramos is 2-for-8, Espinosa is 1-for-6, Bryce Harper is 1-for-6, Werth is 1-for-6, Jose Lobaton is 0-for-5, and Tyler Moore is 1-for-4 off Tillman.

Bad News: Jones is 0-for-3, Machado is 0-for-3, Davis is 0-for-2, and Jimmy Paredes is 0-for-1 off Roark. Desmond is 3-for-10, Zimmerman is 3-for-6 with 3 HRs, Anthony Rendon is 1-for-3 with a HR, Clint Robinson is 2-for-3, and Michael Taylor is 1-for-2 off Tillman.

Wednesday, September 23 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN 2
RHP Tyler Wilson (2-2) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (12-11)
Wilson’s 2015: 7 G, 3 GS, 29 IP, 8 Ks, 3.72 ERA, 1.34 WHIP
Scherzer’s 2015: 30 GS, 205 IP, 237 Ks, 2.90 ERA, 0.96 WHIP
Scherzer’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 21 IP, 18 Ks, 3.00 ERA, 0.95 WHIP

Last week, Wilson made his first start with the Birds since Aug 3. Unfortunately for the 25-year-old rookie, it was not a triumphant return. He took the loss against the Rays after allowing six runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out one over 4.1 innings. Wilson will look to rebound from this hiccup and record his third quality start in his fourth career outing. This will be Wilson’s fist time facing the Nationals or any of their current hitters.

Scherzer has drastically cooled off after a blistering first half. In his 18 starts before the All-Star break, Scherzer was 10-7 with a 2.11 ERA and 0.78 WHIP, and he struck out 150 batters over 132 innings. In his 12 starts after the break, he’s gone 2-4 with a 4.32 ERA and 1.27 WHIP while striking out 87 batters over 73 innings. The hard-throwing, 31-year-old righty will try to find his first half form against an Orioles club that he boasts a strong résumé against. In seven career starts against the Birds, Scherzer is 4-1 with a 3.59 ERA and 1.20 WHIP, and he’s struck out 52 batters over 47.2 innings. This season, Scherzer earned the win in his first start against the O’s. He held them to two runs on four hits and no walks while striking out seven over 8.2 innings.

Good News: Jones is 11-for-25 with 3 HRs, Davis is 7-for-20 with a HR, Wieters is 6-for-20, Paredes is 2-for-7, Pearce is 2-for-6, Schoop is 2-for-6, Lake is 1-for-3, and Steve Clevenger is 1-for-2 off Scherzer.

Bad News: Hardy is 5-for-29 with 2 HRs, Machado is 0-for-11, Flaherty is 0-for-7, Parra is 0-for-7, and Reimold is 0-for-1 off Scherzer. Harper is a giant tool shed, but there’s no doubt that he should be the NL MVP this season. He leads all of baseball in batting average (.343), on-base percentage (.470), slugging percentage (.674), WAR (10.2), and runs (116). He’s also 3rd in the MLB with 41 homers.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

cover pic: MLB
stats: Baseball-Reference

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