Orioles at Rangers Preview

Sports and Bets — June 5, 2014 at 4:45 pm by

Miguel Gonzalez was scheduled to pitch tonight for the Birds, but he’s been experiencing pain in his right side. The injury doesn’t sound too serious, but there’s a chance that he’ll need a trip to the 15-day disabled list. Gonzalez’s injury has caused Buck Showalter to bump Chris Tillman up a day in the rotation. Fortunately, Tillman will still be on normal rest due to Monday’s off day. A win tonight for the O’s (30-27) would complete a three-game sweep against the Rangers (29-30), and match their season-high win streak of five.

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Starting Pitchers

Chris Tillman RHP (5-2, 4.63 ERA) vs. Colby Lewis RHP (4-4, 5.44 ERA)

Tillman was the starting pitcher in the first game of this current winning streak, and he earned the win after pitching 6 2/3 strong innings. Tillman allowed one run on four hits and two walks, with three strikeouts against the Astros in an encouraging bounce back effort. In Tillman’s previous two starts, he allowed 14 runs on 14 hits and seven walks, with eight strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. Walking batters has been one of the biggest issues surrounding Tillman’s disappointing 2014. He’s walking 3.7 batters per nine innings this year, compared to 3.0 in 2013 and 2.5 in 2012.

Lewis has struggled to regain his form this year after missing the entire 2013 season to Tommy John surgery. Lewis was ineffective in his last start, taking the loss after surrendering six runs (five earned) on nine hits and two walks, with five strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings in Washington. Lewis has been getting shellacked at home this season, pitching to a 7.52 ERA over four starts, while posting a solid 3.90 ERA over five road starts.

Lineups

Orioles

  1. Nick Markakis RF
  2. Manny Machado 3B
  3. Nelson Cruz DH
  4. Adam Jones CF
  5. Chris Davis 1B
  6. J.J. Hardy SS
  7. Jonathan Schoop 2B
  8. David Lough LF
  9. Caleb Joseph C

Rangers

  1. Shin-Soo Choo LF
  2. Elvis Andrus SS
  3. Mitch Moreland 1B
  4. Adrian Beltre 3B
  5. Alex Rios DH
  6. Chris Gimenez C
  7. Leonys Martin CF
  8. Michael Choice RF
  9. Rougned Odor 2B

Matchups to Watch

Tillman has pitched very well against the Rangers in his career, going 3-1 in four starts with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. Surprisingly, he’s pitched even better in Texas, going 3-0 in three career starts with a 2.05 ERA and a .86 WHIP. Current Rangers have hit .217/.294/.435 with three home runs in 46 at-bats against Tillman. Andrus and Beltre have done the most damage off Tillman, going 3-for-9 and 3-for-8 with a home run, respectively. Personally, I wouldn’t mind if the O’s just intentionally walked Beltre every time he came to the plate tonight. He is absolutely locked in right now, can hit any pitch in any location out of the ballpark, and has one of the most violently beautiful swings in baseball.

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Lewis has been knocked around by the Birds in his career, going 1-4 in five starts (seven appearances) with a 5.97 ERA. Limiting the long ball has been Lewis’ biggest problem against the O’s; he’s allowed 10 home runs over only 34 2/3 innings. Current Orioles have slashed .259/.271/.621 with six home runs over 58 at-bats against the righty. Markakis and Hardy both have hit two home runs off Lewis, while Jones and Ryan Flaherty each have hit one. Delmon Young and Hardy have had the most success off Lewis, going 4-for-13 and 4-for-12, respectively. I’m shocked that Lough is in the lineup tonight and not Young. Markakis is only 2-for-13 off Lewis, but his two hits were those aforementioned home runs. The last time that Lewis pitched against the Birds, this happened…

Let’s get the brooms out!

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