Orioles at Rangers Series Preview

Sports and Bets — August 28, 2015 at 7:17 pm by

The Birds are floundering big time, losing seven of their last eight games and dropping below .500. Over these last eight contests, the O’s have averaged only 3.25 runs per game. That ain’t gonna cut it in Texas, babes. The Rangers currently hold the second Wild Card spot in the AL, and they’re 2.5 games ahead of the Birds. Needless to say, this is a huge series for the O’s, who desperately need to start stringing together some wins.

The Breakdown
Baltimore Orioles (63-64) at Texas Rangers (65-61)
Season Series: Texas leads 3-1
Last 10 Games: Baltimore’s 2-8, Texas’ 6-4
Runs: Baltimore’s 8th, Texas’ tied for 6th
Home Runs: Baltimore’s 3rd, Texas’ tied for 9th
Batting Average: Baltimore’s 11th, Texas’ 9th
On-Base Percentage: Baltimore’s 20th, Texas’ 12th
Team ERA: Baltimore’s 15th, Texas’ 26th
Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 24th, Texas’ 23rd
Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 5th, Texas’ 28th
Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s 1st, Texas’ tied for 28th

Baltimore’s Injury Report
P Chaz Roe: 15-day DL (right shoulder)
P Mike Wright: 15-day DL (left calf)
INF J.J. Hardy: 15-day DL (groin)

Texas’ Injury Report
P Yu Darvish: 60-day DL (Tommy John surgery; out for season)
P Nick Tepesch: 60-day DL (right elbow)
C Robinson Chirinos: 15-day DL (left shoulder)
C Carlos Corporan: 15-day DL (left thumb; currently on rehab assignment)
INF Kyle Blanks: 60-day DL (right Achilles; currently on rehab assignment)
INF Jurickson Profar: 60-day DL (right shoulder; currently on rehab assignment)
OF Josh Hamilton: 15-day DL (left knee)
OF Antoan Richardson: 60-day DL (back; currently on rehab assignment)

Friday, August 28 at 8:05 p.m. on MASN 2
RHP Kevin Gausman (2-5) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (7-8)
Gausman’s 2015: 18 G, 10 GS, 73.1 IP, 66 Ks, 4.30 ERA, 1.13 WHIP
Gausman’s Last Three Starts: 0-2, 20 IP, 22 Ks, 3.60 ERA, 0.90 WHIP
Hamels’ 2015: 24 GS, 155.1 IP, 160 Ks, 3.82 ERA, 1.24 WHIP
Hamels’ Last Three Starts: 1-1, 19 IP, 17 Ks, 4.26 ERA, 1.63 WHIP

Gausman was very sharp in his last start, taking a no-decision against the Twins after giving up two runs on three hits and no walks while striking out eight over seven innings. Gausman has started to find his stride in the second half, but the Birds’ offense hasn’t been doing him any favors. In his seven starts since the All-Star break, Gausman has gone 1-4 with a 3.88 ERA and 1.04 WHIP while striking out 41 batters over 46.1 innings. Gausman will look to keep rolling against a Rangers club that he’s had success against in limited action. In two career appearances (one start) against Texas, Gausman is 0-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 1.25 WHIP, and he’s struck out seven batters over eight innings. His lone start against the Rangers came earlier this season, and Gausman took a no-decision after pitching 6.1 scoreless innings. He gave up four hits and two walks while striking out seven batters.

Hamels picked up his first win as a Ranger in his last start after holding the Tigers to two runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out two over six innings. Hamels has had some trouble adjusting to life in the AL West, going 1-1 with a 4.73 ERA and 1.50 WHIP over his first four starts with Texas. The three-time All-Star and World Series MVP hasn’t been quite the same dominating pitcher this season, as his current 3.82 ERA would be his highest since his posted a 4.32 ERA in 2009. Hamels throws in the low 90s with a changeup, a cutter, and a curveball. His changeup is by far his best pitch, and he’s been throwing it 24.2% of the time this season. The 31-year-old southpaw has been knocked around over his two career starts against O’s, going 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA and 1.62 WHIP while striking out 14 batters over 13 innings. This will be his first start against the Birds since 2009.

Good News: Adam Jones is 2-for-3, and Steve Pearce is 1-for-3 off Hamels. Mike Napoli is 1-for-6, Mitch Moreland is 0-for-4, Adrian Beltre is 0-for-3, and Shin-Soo Choo is 0-for-2 off Gausman. Manny Machado is the only player to play in every game this season, and his streak of playing in 127 consecutive games is the longest active streak in the MLB (Encina).

Bad News: Paul Janish is 3-for-15, Gerardo Parra is 2-for-10, Matt Wieters is 0-for-3, and Jimmy Paredes is 0-for-1 off Hamels. Prince Fielder is 3-for-5 with a HR, Elvis Andrus is 1-for-3, and Rougned Odor is 1-for-3 off Gausman. In four games against the Birds this season, Moreland is hitting .294/.333/1.000 with 4 HRs, 7 RBIs, and 4 runs scored.

Saturday, August 29 at 8:05 p.m. on MASN 2 & MLBN
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (9-8) vs. LHP Martin Perez (1-3)
Jimenez’s 2015: 25 GS, 141.2 IP, 131 Ks, 4.26 ERA, 1.36 WHIP
Jimenez’s Last Three Starts: 0-1, 15.2 IP, 15 Ks, 8.04 ERA, 1.98 WHIP
Perez’s 2015: 7 GS, 37.1 IP, 21 Ks, 5.30 ERA, 1.50 WHIP
Perez’s Last Three Starts: 0-1, 17 IP, 10 Ks, 3.71 ERA, 1.53 WHIP

Jimenez was shellacked in his last start, taking the loss against the Royals after allowing seven runs on 10 hits and a walk while striking out three over 5.2 innings. Jimenez has had an absolute nightmare of a second half. In his eight starts since the break, Jimenez has gone 2-4 with a 7.65 ERA and 1.56 WHIP while striking out 33 batters over 42.1 innings. Hopefully, a date with the Rangers is just what Jimenez needs to get his shit together. In eight career starts against Texas, Jimenez is 4-2 with a 2.37 ERA and 1.26 WHIP, and he’s struck out 46 batters over 49.1 innings. Last season, Jimenez went 1-0 in two starts against Texas with a 0.66 ERA and 0.95 WHIP while striking out 12 batters over 13.2 innings.

Perez has only made eight starts this season because he was recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Rangers have been playing it safe with the 24-year-old, skipping his last start to give him extra rest. The last time Perez toed the bump was on Aug. 20, and he took the loss after surrendering three runs to the Tigers on six hits and three walks while striking out four over five innings. Perez is a groundball pitcher, who throws in the low 90s with a changeup, a slider, and a curveball. Perez’s changeup is his best pitch, and he’s been throwing it 22.3% of the time this season. In two career starts against the Birds, Perez is 1-1 with a 4.38 ERA and 1.38 WHIP, and he’s struck out nine batters over 12.1 innings. Both of these starts came during the 2013 season.

Good News: Machado is 2-for-6 with a HR, Wieters is 3-for-6, and Parra is 1-for-3 off Perez. Andrus is 3-for-18, Moreland is 2-for-15, and Choo is 1-for-9 with a HR off Jimenez. The O’s are 17-13 vs. left-handed starters this season.

Bad News: Jones is 0-for-6, and Chris Davis is 1-for-5 off Perez. Fielder is 11-for-39, Beltre is 9-for-23 with 2 HRs, Will Venable is 5-for-15, Napoli is 4-for-13 with 2 HRs, Odor is 2-for-4, and Bobby Wilson is 1-for-3 off Jimenez. In 96 career games against the Birds, Beltre is slashing .295/.344/.532 with 22 HRs, 60 RBIs, and 60 runs scored.

Sunday, August 30 at 3:05 p.m. on MASN 2
RHP Miguel Gonzalez (9-10) vs. LHP Derek Holland (1-1)
Gonzalez’s 2015: 24 GS, 135.2 IP, 103 Ks, 4.78 ERA, 1.37 WHIP
Gonzalez’s Last Three Starts: 0-2, 16.1 IP, 11 Ks, 7.16 ERA, 1.71 WHIP
Holland’s 2015: 3 GS, 13.1 IP, 9 Ks, 4.73 ERA, 1.35 WHIP

Gonzalez delivered yet another clunker in his last start, taking the loss against the Royals after giving up three runs on six hits and three walks while striking out one over 4.1 innings. In Gonzo’s 12 starts since returning from the DL, he’s recorded an atrocious 6.46 ERA. Gonzalez will have his work cut out for him in the series finale, as Texas has given him fits over the years. In four career starts against the Rangers, Gonzalez is 2-2 with a 4.76 ERA and 1.59 WHIP, and he’s struck out 10 batters over 22.2 innings. Gonzalez faced the Rangers once earlier this season, and he took the loss after getting pummeled for six runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out one over 4.1 innings.

Shoulder trouble has limited Holland to just nine appearances (eight starts) over the last two seasons. Maybe he should start taking his medical advice from Brennan Huff?

Holland’s last healthy season came in 2013, and it was also the best of his career. He went 10-9 in 33 starts with a 3.42 ERA and 1.29 WHIP while striking out 189 batters over 213 innings. This season, Holland has made two starts since coming off the DL, and he’s gone 1-0 with a 4.38 ERA and 1.30 WHIP while striking out nine batters over 12.1 innings. Holland throws a sinking, low to mid 90s fastball, a slider, a knucklecurve, and a changeup. His slider is his best pitch, and he’s thrown it 16.6% of the time over his career. In seven career appearances (six starts) against the O’s, Holland is 4-2 with a 3.60 ERA and 1.33 WHIP, and he’s struck out 37 batters over 40 innings. This will be the 28-year-old lefty’s first start against the Birds since 2013.

Good News: Wieters is 2-for-15 with 2 HRs, and Machado is 4-for-11 off Holland. Napoli is 4-for-17, Andrus is 3-for-11, Beltre is 1-for-11, Fielder is 1-for-6, and Wilson is 0-for-3 off Gonzalez.

Bad News: Jones is 4-for-17, Davis is 0-for-7, and Paredes is 0-for-1 off Holland. Moreland is 4-for-10 with a HR, Choo is 3-for-8 with a HR, Venable is 1-for-3, Chris Gimenez is 1-for-2, and Odor is 1-for-2 off Gonzalez.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

stats: Baseball-Reference
cover pic: Zimbio

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