Orioles at Rays Series Preview

Sports and Bets — June 16, 2014 at 3:28 pm by

The Birds finished their home stand with a disappointing 5-5 record with yesterday’s 5-2 loss. The pitching was sensational over the home stand, with Oriole starters recording nine quality starts out of the 10 games. Unfortunately, the bats went cold, and the Birds only averaged 2.9 runs per game. Splitting with Toronto was especially frustrating because the Birds had a golden opportunity to make up some ground in the division race. The O’s starting pitchers were great, recording a 3.00 ERA over the series, but the offense was only able to muster 2.25 runs per game. The lack of hitting with runners in scoring position was a big problem for the Birds in the series. They only went 6-for-29 against Toronto, good for a .207 batting average. It seems like this has been the story for the O’s all season long, inconsistencies with their pitching and hitting that prevents them from ever rattling off a substantial stretch of winning baseball.

Now it’s off to Tampa Bay for a three-game series against the Rays. The Rays have been absolutely awful this year, looking like the Devil Ray version of their ball club. They have the worst record in the major leagues, and are on pace to win roughly 63 games, which would be their worst season since 2006. Let’s run right through these bums.

adam jones

The Breakdown

Baltimore Orioles (35-33) at Tampa Bay Rays (27-43)

Season Series: Baltimore leads 5-0

Baltimore’s Last 10 Games: 5-5, Tampa Bay’s Last 10 Games: 4-6

Runs: Baltimore 15th, Tampa Bay 26th

Home Runs: Baltimore 6th, Tampa Bay 26th

Batting Average: Baltimore tied for 3rd, Tampa Bay tied for 22nd

On-base Percentage: Baltimore tied for 16th, Tampa Bay 15th

Team ERA: Baltimore 22nd, Tampa Bay 19th

Starting Pitcher ERA: Baltimore 24th, Tampa Bay 20th

Bullpen ERA: Baltimore 18th, Tampa Bay 22nd

Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore tied for 5th, Tampa Bay 2nd

Game 1: Monday, June 16, 7:10 on MASN

Wei-Yin Chen LHP (7-2) vs. Jake Odorizzi RHP (2-7)

Chen’s Season Stats: 76 2/3 IP, 57 Ks, 3.76 ERA, 1.25 WHIP

Chen’s Last Three Starts: 2-0, 18 2/3 IP, 17 Ks, 1.45 ERA, .75 WHIP

Odorizzi’s Season Stats: 65 IP, 76 Ks, 4.85 ERA, 1.42 WHIP

Odorizzi’s Last Three Starts: 0-3, 15 2/3 IP, 19 Ks, 5.74 ERA, 1.15 WHIP

In nine career starts against the Rays, Chen has pitched very well. He’s 3-3 with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP, with 40 strikeouts over 56 2/3 innings. Five of those starts have came at Tropicana Field, where Chen has a lifetime 3.07 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. Chen has made one start against Tampa Bay this year, and he earned the victory after throwing 6 1/3 innings of one run ball. He struck out four, while allowing five hits and a walk. Those are quality numbers across the board against the Rays for the 28-year-old southpaw.

Odorizzi is a 24-year-old former first round pick. He was acquired from the Royals, along with Wil Myers, in the trade that sent James Shields and Wade Davis to Kansas City. Odorizzi has made two appearances (one start) against the Birds, and has recorded a 3.12 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. He’s 0-1 with six strikeouts over those 8 2/3 innings. The O’s were able to knock him around a bit in his start earlier this season. He took the loss after allowing three runs on five hits and three walks, with four strikeouts over five innings.

Good News: Adam Jones is 2-for-5, Chris Davis is 1-for-2 with two walks, and Nick Markakis is 3-for-4 off Odorizzi. Desmond Jennings is 3-for-20, Sean Rodriguez is 2-for-15 with a home run, Evan Longoria is 3-for-15, and Yunel Escobar is 1-for-12 off Chen. In 47 career games against the Rays, Davis is slashing .274/.357/.567 with 12 home runs and 34 RBIs.

Bad News: J.J. Hardy is 0-for-3 off Odorizzi. Ben Zobrist is 10-for-25 with a home run, Jose Molina is 2-for-5, and James Loney is 2-for-3 off Chen. In 108 career games against the O’s, Zobrist is hitting .287/.390/.509 with 14 home runs and 58 RBIs.

Game 2: Tuesday, June 17, 7:10 on MASN

Miguel Gonzalez RHP (3-4) vs. Erik Bedard LHP (3-4)

Gonzalez’s Season Stats: 58 1/3 IP, 50 Ks, 4.17 ERA, 1.37 WHIP

Gonzalez’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 18 2/3 IP, 15 Ks, 2.89 ERA, 1.18 WHIP

Bedard’s Season Stats: 56 1/3 IP, 46 Ks, 3.83 ERA, 1.46 WHIP

Bedard’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 14 2/3 IP, 16 Ks, 3.68 ERA, 1.57 WHIP

Gonzalez will be making his first start since May 30 due to an oblique injury. The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for Gonzalez, who appeared to be finally settling in after a rough start to the season. Gonzalez has gone 3-3 against Tampa Bay over nine career starts. He’s struck out 34 batters over 50 2/3 innings, and posted a 3.55 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. He’s been even better at Tropicana Field, pitching to a 1.75 ERA and a .94 WHIP over four career starts. He earned the win in his only start against the Rays this season, after allowing three hits and three walks, with six strikeouts over five scoreless innings. This is another favorable matchup for the Birds.

Well, well, well, look what the cat dragged in, our old pal Erik Bedard. Bedard has struggled against his former club over his six career starts, recording a 5.54 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP. He has been able to strikeout his fair share of Orioles though, racking up 29 Ks over 26 innings. This will be Bedard’s first time seeing the O’s this year.

Good News: Nelson Cruz is 7-for-21 with two home runs, Jones is 6-for-12, Markakis is 3-for-9, and Davis is 3-for-8 off Bedard. Zobrist is 3-for-21, Matt Joyce is 3-for-15, and Loney is 3-for-15 off Gonzalez.

Bad News: Delmon Young is 2-for-21 and Hardy is 1-for-8 off Bedard. Jennings is 5-for-19 with three home runs, Longoria is 5-for-18 with a home run, and Molina is 4-for-14 with a home run off Gonzalez.

Game 3: Wednesday, June 18, 1:10 on MASN

Kevin Gausman RHP (2-1) vs. Alex Cobb RHP (2-4)

Gausman’s Season Stats: 17 IP, 11 Ks, 3.71 ERA, 1.24 WHIP

Cobb’s Season Stats: 47 1/3, 45 Ks, 3.99 ERA, 1.16 WHIP

Cobb’s Last Three Starts: 1-2, 16 2/3 IP, 18 Ks, 5.94 ERA, 1.38 WHIP

Gausman has made two appearances (one start) against Tampa Bay over his young career and the results have been undesirable to say the least. Over 5 1/3 innings, he’s struck out eight batters, but posted a 13.50 ERA and a 2.44 WHIP. Those ugly ratios are from last year, though. Gausman has looked a lot more polished in the three starts he’s made this season. On paper, this will be the toughest game of the series for the Birds.

Cobb has had some trouble regaining his form from a breakout 2013 season, where he had a 2.76 ERA over 22 starts. Some of that can probably be attributed to an oblique strain that has caused him to miss over a month of action this season. He’s had his way with the Orioles over four career starts, going 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. He’s also struck out 30 batters over those 26 innings. Cobb and his Bugs Bunny changeup will be making his first start against the O’s this season.

Good News: Hardy is 3-for-11 off Cobb. Joyce is 0-for-3 and Jennings is 0-2 off Gausman.

Bad News: Jones is 3-for-12, Manny Machado is 0-for-10, Cruz is 1-for-6, and Markakis is 1-for-6 off Cobb. Zobrist is 4-for-4, Escobar is 3-for-3, Longoria is 1-for-3, and Loney is 1-for-3 off Gausman

Enjoy the games everybody, and let’s go O’s!

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