Orioles at Red Sox Series Preview

Sports and Bets — April 17, 2015 at 5:26 pm by

The Birds will begin a seven-game road trip with a four-game series against those bearded pricks up in Boston. The Red Sox made a ton of acquisitions after their disastrous 2014 campaign, bringing in Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, and Justin Masterson. It’s been so far, so good for the new look Sox, as they are in first in the AL East. With both teams currently mashing the baseball and struggling to record outs, this series might end up being one big slugfest. It’s a good thing the O’s still have that ace up their sleeve.

Baltimore’s Injury Report
P Wesley Wright: 15-day DL (left shoulder)
C Matt Wieters: 15-day DL (elbow)
INF J.J. Hardy: 15-day DL (left shoulder)
INF Jimmy Paredes: 15-day DL (lower back)

Boston’s Injury Report
P Brandon Workman: 15-day DL (right elbow)
C Christian Vazquez (Tommy John; out for season)

The Breakdown
Baltimore Orioles (5-4) at Boston Red Sox (6-3)
Runs: Baltimore’s 6th, Boston’s tied for 2nd
Home Runs: Baltimore’s 1st, Boston’s tied for 5th
Batting Average: Baltimore’s 7th, Boston’s 9th
On-Base Percentage: Baltimore’s 5th, Boston’s 6th
Team ERA: Baltimore’s 28th, Boston’s 25th
Starting Pitching ERA: Baltimore’s 21st, Boston’s 29th
Relief Pitching ERA: Baltimore’s 30th, Boston’s 17th
Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s tied for 2nd, Boston’s tied for 22nd

Friday, April 17 at 7:10 p.m. on MASN & MLBN
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (1-0) vs. RHP Joe Kelly (1-0)
Jimenez’s 2015 Stats: 7 IP, 8 Ks, 0.00 ERA, 0.29 WHIP
Jimenez’s 2014 Stats: 6-9, 125.1 IP, 116 Ks, 4.81 ERA, 1.52 WHIP
Kelly’s 2015 Stats: 7 IP, 8 Ks, 1.29 ERA, 0.43 WHIP
Kelly’s 2014 Stats: 6-4, 96.1 IP, 66 Ks, 4.20 ERA, 1.35 WHIP

Jimenez will look to keep the ball rolling after his scintillating 2015 debut against Toronto. Man, was that ever a pleasant surprise. I felt like I was on hallucinogens watching Ubaldo dominant so effortlessly. Jimenez will have his work cut out for him in his encore performance, as Boston has really hammered the righty over his career. In seven starts, Jimenez has gone 1-3 with a 9.37 ERA and 2.02 WHIP while striking out 37 batters over 32.2 innings. Last season wasn’t much better, as Jimenez went 0-1 in three starts with a 6.60 ERA and 1.73 WHIP while striking out 15 batters over 15 innings.

Kelly and Allen Craig were acquired by the Red Sox last July from the Cardinals in exchange for colossal doucher John Lackey, Corey Littrell, and cash. Kelly is 26 years old, and boasts a career record of 22-16 with a 3.36 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. The hard-throwing righty can be prone to wildness, as he surrendered 4.7 walks per nine innings in his 10 starts with Boston last season. Kelly has pitched very well against the O’s in two career starts (both in 2014), going 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA and 1.13 WHIP while striking out 11 batters over 13.1 innings.

Good News: Travis Snider is 3-for-11, Everth Cabrera is 1-for-3, David Lough is 2-for-3, Professional Hitter Steve Pearce is 2-for-3, Delmon Young is 1-for-3, and Chris Davis is 1-for-2 off Kelly. David Ortiz is 2-for-13 with a HR, and Hanley Ramirez is 1-for-9 off Jimenez. Last season, the O’s went 11-8 against the Sox.

Bad News: Alejandro de Aza is 1-for-6, Ryan Flaherty is 0-for-5, Caleb Joseph is 0-for-5, Jonathan Schoop is 0-for-5, and Adam Jones is 0-for-3 off Kelly. Pablo Sandoval is 11-for-34 with 2 HRs, Dustin Pedroia is 7-for-19, Shane Victorino is 6-for-17 with 2 HRs, Daniel Nava is 4-for-12, Mike Napoli is 4-for-10 with 2 HRs, Allen Craig is 3-for-9, and Xander Bogaerts is 2-for-3 off Jimenez.

Saturday, April 18 at 4:05 p.m. on MASN 2 & FS1
RHP Chris Tillman (1-1) vs. RHP Clay Buchholz (1-1)
Tillman’s 2015 Stats: 9.1 IP, 5 Ks, 3.86 ERA, 1.71 WHIP
Tillman’s 2014 Stats: 13-6, 207.1 IP, 150 Ks, 3.34 ERA, 1.23 WHIP
Buchholz’s 2015 Stats: 10.1 IP, 12 Ks, 7.84 ERA, 1.45 WHIP
Buchholz’s 2014 Stats: 8-11, 170.1 IP, 132 Ks, 5.34 ERA, 1.39 WHIP

After a strong start against Tampa Bay, Tillman got shelled by the Blue Jays. Tillman took the loss after giving up seven runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out one over 2.2 innings. He’ll look to get back on track against a Boston club that he’s had great success against over his career. In 16 starts, Tillman is 7-3 with a 2.69 ERA and 1.34 WHIP, and he’s struck out 77 batters over 90.1 innings. Last season was much of the same for Tilly, as he went 3-1 in five starts with a 2.57 ERA and 1.57 WHIP while striking out 23 batters over 28 innings.

Buchholz is a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma. Some seasons he’s lights out, some seasons he’s total dogshit, and some seasons are marred by injury. The unpredictable greaseball does have solid career numbers against the O’s. In 16 starts (17 appearances), he’s 9-4 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. However, he did get pummeled by the Birds in his only start against them last season. Buchholz took the loss after surrendering six runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out one over 2.1 innings. And the plot thickens, babes.

Good News: Jones currently leads the MLB in RBIs, slugging, and OPS. Davis is 6-for-19 with 2 HRs, De Aza is 4-for-13, Manny Machado is 2-for-5, and Lough is 1-for-1 off Buchholz. Ortiz is 3-for-27 with a HR, Bogaerts is 2-for-14 with a HR, and Mookie Betts is 1-for-6 off Tillman.

Bad News: Jones is 6-for-29 with 2 HRs, Snider is 1-for-17, Flaherty is 3-for-12, Young is 1-for-9, Schoop is 1-for-5, and Pearce is 0-for-3 off Buchholz. Pedroia is 10-for-35, Nava is 8-for-31, Napoli is 6-for-22, Victorino is 4-for-11 with a HR, Brock Holt is 3-for-5, Sandoval is 1-for-3, and Craig is 1-for-3 off Tillman.

Sunday, April 19 at 1:35 p.m. on MASN & MLBN
LHP Wei-Yin Chen (0-0) vs. RHP Rick Porcello (1-1)
Chen’s 2015 Stats: 10.1 IP, 8 Ks, 4.35 ERA, 1.06 WHIP
Chen’s 2014 Stats: 16-6, 185.2 IP, 136 Ks, 3.54 ERA, 1.23 WHIP
Porcello’s 2015 Stats: 14 IP, 10 Ks, 3.86 ERA, 0.93 WHIP
Porcello’s 2014 Stats: 15-13, 204.2 IP, 129 Ks, 3.43 ERA, 1.23 WHIP

Chen got knocked around by the Rays in his first start, but he pitched pretty well against the Yankees in his second turn. He took a no-decision after allowing two runs on four hits and a walk, and he struck out four over six innings. Chen will look to build on that quality outing against a team that’s given him some trouble over his career. In 11 starts, Chen is 5-3 with a 4.24 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, and he’s struck out 51 batters over 63.2 innings. But last season, Chen was exceptional against Boston, going 3-1 in four starts with a 2.92 ERA and 1.05 WHIP while striking out 21 batters over 24.2 innings.

The Red Sox acquired Porcello last December from Detroit in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes, Gabe Speier, and Alex Wilson. Over his career, the 26-year-old sinkerballer has had trouble against the Birds, going 3-5 in nine starts with a 4.28 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. Porcello bucked that trend last season, though, going 2-0 in two starts with a 1.42 ERA and 0.79 WHIP.

Good News: Young is 8-for-24 with a HR, Davis is 5-for-18 with 3 HRs, Machado is 3-for-10, Lough is 2-for-7, Flaherty is 2-for-5, and Cabrera is 1-for-3 off Porcello. Napoli is 3-for-17 with 2 HRs, Ryan Hanigan is 1-for-9 with a HR, Holt is 0-for-5, Betts is 0-for-3, Craig is 0-for-3, and Sandoval is 0-for-3 off Chen.

Bad News: De Aza is 7-for-34, Jones is 4-for-24, Snider is 1-for-10, Schoop is 0-for-4, and Pearce is 0-for-3 off Porcello. Pedroia is 14-for-27, Ortiz is 8-for-21 with a HR, Nava is 7-for-16 with a HR, Victorino is 4-for-10 with a HR, and Bogaerts is 3-for-10 with a HR off Chen.

Monday, April 20 at 11:05 a.m. on MASN & MLBN
RHP Miguel Gonzalez (1-1) vs. RHP Justin Masterson (1-0)
Gonzalez’s 2015 Stats: 12.2 IP, 15 Ks, 1.42 ERA, 1.03 WHIP
Gonzalez’s 2014 Stats: 10-9, 159 IP, 111 Ks, 3.23 ERA, 1.30 WHIP
Masterson’s 2015 Stats: 10.2 IP, 11 Ks, 7.59 ERA, 1.50 WHIP
Masterson’s 2014 Stats: 7-9, 128.2 IP, 116 Ks, 5.88 ERA, 1.63 WHIP

Gonzalez was sensational in his last start against the Yankees, earning the win after surrendering only one run on four hits and one walk while striking out a career-high 10 batters over seven innings. When Miggy has that splitter dancing, he’s an absolute joy to watch. Gonzalez has been very successful against the Red Sox over his career, going 4-1 in six starts (eight appearances) with a 2.51 ERA and 1.28 WHIP while striking out 26 batters over 43 innings. Last season was even better for Gonzo, as he went 1-1 in three starts with a 1.80 ERA and 1.40 WHIP while striking out 17 batters over 20 innings.

Masterson signed with the Red Sox this winter after a horrid 2014 season that he spent with the Indians and Cardinals. Just two seasons ago, Masterson made the All-Star team, and went 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA and 1.20 WHIP while striking out 195 batters in 193 innings. Masterson has been bombarded by the O’s over his career, going 6-6 in 12 starts (16 appearances) with a 5.53 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. Last season was even worse for Masterson, as he went 0-1 in two starts with an 11.74 ERA and 2.74 WHIP.

Good News: De Aza is 11-for-34 with a HR, Flaherty is 5-for-8 with a HR, Lough is 3-for-8, and Machado is 3-for-8 with a HR off Masterson. Pedroia is 3-for-14, Bogaerts is 1-for-8, Napoli is 1-for-7, and Ortiz is 0-for-6 off Gonzalez.

Bad News: Jones is 7-for-28, Young is 3-for-21, and Davis is 4-for-18 with a HR off Masterson. Nava is 5-for-15, and Betts is 2-for-5 with a HR off Gonzalez. In 133 career games against the O’s, Pedroia is batting .325/.390/.477 with 88 runs scored, 12 home runs, and 73 RBIs.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

cover pic: Bleacher Report
stats: Baseball-Reference

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