Orioles at Rays Series Preview

Sports and Bets — May 1, 2015 at 6:41 pm by

The O’s are heading to Tampa Bay for a three-game series where they’ll be considered the home team. It’s going to be weird watching the Birds take their hacks in the bottom half of the innings at Tropicana Field, but it was probably the smart choice not playing these games in Baltimore. Safety for fans and players aside, I do think it’s total bullshit that the Rays don’t have to flip a home series to a road series later in the season. That seems like a perfectly fair and doable request for a team in your own division. I highly doubt it will matter anyway. The O’s are winners of three straight and all three of their starters are on seven days rest, so as far as I’m concerned, these games could be played on the fucking moon and the Birds would still emerge victorious. This team knows a thing or two about overcoming adversity, babes.

The Breakdown
Baltimore Orioles (10-10) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (12-10)
Season Series: Baltimore leads 2-1
Last 10 Games: Baltimore’s 5-5, Tampa Bay’s 6-4
Runs: Baltimore’s 4th, Tampa Bay’s 22nd
Home Runs: Baltimore’s tied for 3rd, Tampa Bay’s tied for 12th
Batting Average: Baltimore’s 2nd, Tampa Bay’s 21st
On-Base Percentage: Baltimore’s 4th, Tampa Bay’s 14th
Team ERA: Baltimore’s 27th, Tampa Bay’s 10th
Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 25th, Tampa Bay’s 7th
Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 26th, Tampa Bay’s 20th
Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s tied for 17th, Tampa Bay’s tied for 2nd

Baltimore’s Injury Report
P Wesley Wright: 15-day DL (left shoulder)
C Matt Wieters: 15-day DL (right elbow)
INF Ryan Flaherty: 15-day DL (groin)
INF J.J Hardy: 15-day DL (left shoulder)
INF Jonathan Schoop: 15-day DL (right knee)

Tampa Bay’s Injury Report
P Jeff Beliveau: 60-day DL (torn labrum in left shoulder; out for season)
P Alex Cobb: 15-day DL (right elbow)
P Jake McGee: 15-day DL (left elbow)
P Matt Moore: 60-day DL (left elbow)
P C.J. Riefenhauser: 15-day DL (left shoulder)
INF Ryan Brett: 15-day DL (left shoulder)
INF Nick Franklin: 15-day DL (left oblique)
DH John Jaso: 60-day DL (left wrist)

Friday, May 1 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN 2 & MLBN
RHP Chris Tillman (2-2) vs. RHP Alex Colome (0-0)
Tillman’s 2015 Stats: 4 GS, 19 IP, 13 Ks, 7.58 ERA, 1.84 WHIP
Colome’s 2015 Stats (minors): 4 GS, 15.1 IP, 17 Ks, 2.35 ERA, 1.30 WHIP

Tillman has to be ecstatic that he’s facing a team that isn’t Toronto. In Tillman’s two starts against Toronto this season, he’s 0-2 with an 18.00 ERA and 2.86 WHIP. In Tillman’s two other starts this season, he’s 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. As an added bonus, Tillman boasts solid career numbers against Tampa. In 15 career starts against the Rays, Tillman is 5-6 with a 3.87 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. He’s been even better at the Trop, going 2-2 in six starts with a 3.03 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. In his first start against Tampa this year, Tillman picked up the win after giving up one run on four hits and three walks while striking out four over 6.2 innings. When Tilly is on six or more days of rest, he’s 13-3 in 26 career starts with a 3.52 ERA.

This will be Colome’s first start of the 2015 season. He made four rehab starts in the minors after battling with pneumonia during spring training. Colome was suspended for 50 games in 2014 for using PEDs, and while he hasn’t pitched much in the big leagues, he has had success in limited action. In six career starts (eight appearances) in the majors, Colome is 3-1 with a 2.50 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. The 26-year-old’s only career start against the O’s came last season, and he earned the win after allowing one run on two hits and four walks while striking out three over 5.2 innings.

Good News: Adam Jones leads the AL with a .400 batting average. You better watch your frozen ass, Teddy Ballgame. Manny Machado is 1-for-2 off Colome. James Loney is 3-for-24 with a HR, Desmond Jennings is 2-for-21, Asdrubal Cabrera is 3-for-12, Logan Forsythe is 1-for-8, Kevin Kiermaier is 1-for-6, Brandon Guyer is 1-for-4, and Rene Rivera is 0-for-2 off Tillman.

Bad News: In 109 career games against the Birds, Even Longoria has hit .273/.344/.524 with 25 HRs, 73 RBIs, and 70 runs scored. As a team, the Birds have hit .100/.308/.100 in 10 at-bats against Colome. Longoria is 14-for-36 with 6 HRs, David DeJesus is 3-for-10, Steven Souza is 1-for-3, and Jake Elmore 1-for-2 off Tillman.

Saturday, May 2 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN 2
RHP Miguel Gonzalez (2-1) vs. RHP Chris Archer (3-2)
Gonzalez’s 2015 Stats: 4 GS, 23.2 IP, 21 Ks, 3.42 ERA, 1.31 WHIP
Archer’s 2015 Stats: 5 GS, 32.1 IP, 37 Ks, 0.84 ERA, 0.74 WHIP

Although the splits are much less severe than Tillman and Toronto, Gonzalez has to be relieved to be getting away from the Red Sox. Both of Gonzalez’s last two starts came against Boston, and he went 1-0 with a 5.73 ERA and 1.64 WHIP while striking out six batters over 11 innings. In Gonzalez’s two previous starts, he went 1-1 with a 1.42 ERA and 1.03 WHIP while striking out 15 batters over 12.2 innings. Like Tillman, Gonzalez also enjoys extra rest. Gonzo is 8-9 with a 3.32 ERA in 21 career starts with six or more days of rest. Gonzo has been decent against Tampa over his career, going 4-4 in 12 starts with a 3.82 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. But he has been unusually wild against the Rays, walking 40 batters in just 66 innings. He’s been excellent when pitching under the catwalk, though, going 3-2 in six career starts with a 2.48 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. In his first start against Tampa this season, Gonzalez took the loss after surrendering one run on three hits and five walks while striking out five over 5.2 innings.

Through the first month of the season, Archer has been one of the best pitchers in baseball. He’s currently 3rd in the MLB in ERA, 3rd in WHIP, and tied for 4th in strikeouts. “He has not allowed an earned run in 26 2/3 innings, a streak dating to the sixth inning of his Opening Day start against the Orioles (Orioles/MLB).” The Birds have given the 26-year-old heaps of trouble over his young career. In five career starts (six appearances) against the O’s, Archer has gone 1-3 with a 5.58 ERA and 1.47 WHIP, and he’s struck out 29 batters over 30.2 innings. In his first start against the O’s this season, Archer took the loss after giving up four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk while striking out five over 5.2 innings.

Good News: Machado is 4-for-12, Chris Davis is 2-for-6 with a HR, Alejandro De Aza is 2-for-6 with a HR, Professional Hitter Steve Pearce is 2-for-5 with 2 HRs, Travis Snider is 2-for-4, and Caleb Joseph is 1-for-2 off Archer. Loney is 4-for-20, Kiermaier is 1-for-4, Rivera is 1-for-4, and Guyer is 0-for-2 off Gonzalez.

Bad News: Jones is 1-for-14, David Lough is 0-for-3, Delmon Young is 0-for-3, and Jimmy Paredes is 0-for-1 off Archer. Jennings is 6-for-25 with 4 HRs, Longoria is 7-for-25 with a HR, DeJesus is 3-for-9, Asdrubal Cabrera is 3-for-8 with a HR, Forsythe is 1-for-3, and Souza is 1-for-2 off Gonzalez.

Sunday, May 3 at 1:35 p.m. on MASN 2 & WJZ
LHP Wei-Yin Chen (0-1) vs. RHP Nathan Karns (1-1)
Chen’s 2015 Stats: 4 GS, 22.2 IP, 16 Ks, 2.78 ERA, 1.06 WHIP
Karns’ 2015 Stats: 5 GS, 28.1 IP, 25 Ks, 4.76 ERA, 1.24 WHIP

In a development that should surprise precisely no one, Chen also loves pitching on extra rest. In 19 career starts with six or more days of rest, Chen is 7-5 with a 3.26 ERA. Chen’s pitched well against Tampa over his career, going 3-4 in 14 starts with a 3.42 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. He’s been even better at that dilapidated shithole, pitching to a 3.11 ERA and 1.23 WHIP with a 1-2 record in eight career starts. Despite these stellar numbers, Chen struggled in his first start against the Rays this season, taking a no-decision after giving up three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out four over 4.1 innings. Chen’s last start was by far his best outing of the season. He was no-decisioned after giving up two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out five Red Sox over eight innings.

The Birds would be wise to use a patient approach against Karns, as the 27-year-old is tied for 2nd in the MLB with 16 walks. In his two career starts against the O’s, Karns has been absolutely pummeled, going 0-1 with an 8.10 ERA and 1.60 WHIP. In Karns’ first start against the Birds this season, he took the loss after giving up six runs on five hits and four walks while striking out four over 5.2 innings.

Good News: When Chen and Karns faced off on April 7, the O’s won, 6-5. In 29 career games against the Rays, Pearce has slashed .302/.407/.604 with 8 HRs, 15 RBIs, and 18 runs scored. Davis is 2-for-4 with a HR, Pearce is 2-for-4 with a HR, De Aza is 1-for-3, and Snider is 1-for-1 off Karns. Guyer is 1-for-8, Asdrubal Cabrera is 0-for-8, Souza is 0-for-2, and Rivera is 0-for-2 off Chen.

Bad News: Machado is 0-for-4, Jones is 1-for-5, Everth Cabrera is 0-for-2, and Joseph is 0-for-1 off Karns. Jennings is 8-for-30 with a HR, Longoria is 8-for-25, Forsythe is 4-for-14 with 2 HRs, Loney is 4-for-13, Kiermaier is 3-for-7 with a HR, and Tim Beckham is 1-for-3 off Chen.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

stats: Baseball Reference
cover pic: CNN

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