Orioles at Red Sox Series Preview

Sports and Bets — September 25, 2015 at 6:08 pm by

The O’s will wrap up their final road trip of the season with a three-game series in Boston. It might be too little, too late, but the Birds are on a roll. They’ve won 11 out of their last 15, and they’re now 3.5 games behind the Astros for the second AL Wild Card spot. It’s time to win the fuck out!

The Breakdown
Baltimore Orioles (76-76) at Boston Red Sox (72-80)
Season Series: Baltimore leads 11-5
Last 10 Games: Baltimore’s 7-3, Boston’s 4-6
Runs: Baltimore’s 9th, Boston’s 3rd
Home Runs: Baltimore’s 4th, Boston’s 15th
Batting Average: Baltimore’s 18th, Boston’s 4th
On-Base Percentage: Baltimore’s 26th, Boston’s 4th
Team ERA: Baltimore’s 18th, Boston’s 26th
Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 26th, Boston’s 25th
Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 4th, Boston’s 26th
Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s 1st, Boston’s tied for 21st

Baltimore’s Injury Report
P Zach Britton: day-to-day (left lat)
P Miguel Gonzalez: 15-day DL (right shoulder, elbow)
OF Adam Jones: day-to-day (back)

Boston’s Injury Report
P Clay Buchholz: 60-day DL (right elbow; out for season)
P Koji Uehara: 60-day DL (right wrist; out for season)
P Anthony Varvaro: 60-day DL (right elbow; out for season)
P Brandon Workman: 60-day DL (Tommy John surgery; out for season)
P Steven Wright: 15-day DL (concussion)
C Christian Vazquez: 60-day DL (Tommy John surgery; out for season)
INF Pablo Sandoval: day-to-day (pneumonia)
OF Hanley Ramirez: 15-day DL (right shoulder; out for season)

Friday, September 25 at 7:10 p.m. on MASN
RHP Kevin Gausman (3-6) vs. LHP Rich Hill (1-0)
Gausman’s 2015: 23 G, 15 GS, 99.1 IP, 88 Ks, 4.26 ERA, 1.26 WHIP
Gausman’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 17 IP, 18 Ks, 2.65 ERA, 1.29 WHIP
Hill’s 2015: 2 GS, 14 IP, 20 Ks, 1.93 ERA, 0.64 WHIP

Gausman wasn’t particularly sharp in his last start, taking a no-decision against the Rays after giving up four runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out six over six innings. He’ll look to bounce back with a strong effort on the road, which has proven to be a tall task for Gausman this season. When pitching out of a suitcase, Gausman is 1-5 with a 5.83 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 13 appearances (eight starts). At Camden Yards, Gausman has gone 2-1 with a 2.38 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 10 appearances (seven starts). On a positive note, Gausman boasts sterling career numbers against the Red Sox. In nine appearances (four starts) against Boston, Gausman is 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA and 1.01 WHIP, and he’s struck out 31 batters over 29.2 innings. Gausman’s only start against Boston in 2015 came on September 14, and the 24-year-old earned the win after pitching six scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and four walks while striking out seven batters.

Hill has inexplicably pitched his ass off in his first two starts this season, striking out 10 batters in each of his outings while recording a 1.93 ERA. Nope, that’s not a misprint. It’s the same Rich Hill who posted a 7.80 ERA in 57.2 innings with the Orioles in 2009, and the same Rich Hill who is a 35-year-old journeyman with a career 4.64 ERA. Baseball is a weird fucking game. Hill throws in the low 90s with a curveball, a changeup, and a rarely used slider. In 2015, he’s gone to his curveball a whopping 44.9% of the time. This will be Hill’s first career start against the Birds, but he has pitched well against them in limited action out of the bullpen. In 10 appearances against the O’s, Hill is 0-0 with a 1.50 ERA and 1.33 WHIP, and he’s struck out six batters over six innings.

Good News: J.J. Hardy is 4-for-10, Steve Pearce is 2-for-5, David Lough is 1-for-3, Ryan Flaherty is 1-for-2, Adam Jones is 1-for-1, and Matt Wieters is 1-for-1 off Hill. Rusney Castillo is 1-for-4, Brock Holt is 0-for-3, Jackie Bradley is 0-for-2, Josh Rutledge is 0-for-2, Travis Shaw is 0-for-2, Allen Craig is 0-for-2, Blake Swihart is 0-for-2, and Sandy Leon is 0-for-1 off Gausman. In 17 September games, Pearce is batting .233/.324/.567 with 5 HRs, 11 RBIs, and 11 runs scored.

Bad News: Chris Davis is 0-for-2 off Hill. Xander Bogaerts is 3-for-11, David Ortiz is 4-for-10 with 2 HRs, Dustin Pedroia is 3-for-9, Mookie Betts is 2-for-7, and Ryan Hanigan is 2-for-5 with a HR off Gausman.

Saturday, September 26 at 4:05 p.m. on MASN & MLBN
LHP Wei-Yin Chen (10-7) vs. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (9-6) or a Spot Start from a Reliever
Chen’s 2015: 29 GS, 179.2 IP, 143 Ks, 3.36 ERA, 1.22 WHIP
Chen’s Last Three Starts: 2-0, 19 IP, 14 Ks, 3.32 ERA, 1.16 WHIP
Rodriguez’s 2015: 20 GS, 115.2 IP, 93 Ks, 3.97 ERA, 1.29 WHIP
Rodriguez’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 18.1 IP, 20 Ks, 2.45 ERA, 1.36 WHIP

Chen has been dealing over his last two starts, going 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 0.86 WHIP while striking out nine batters over 14 innings. Chen didn’t surrender a walk in either of these starts, and he’s going to need that pinpoint control to stymie Boston’s dangerous bats. In 14 career starts against the Sox, Chen is 6-4 with a 3.78 ERA and 1.37 WHIP, and he’s struck out 64 batters over 81 innings. This season, Chen has gone 1-1 in three starts against Boston with a 2.08 ERA and 1.21 WHIP while striking out 13 batters over 17.1 innings.

As of this writing, the Sox have yet to announce a starter for Saturday’s game. According to MLB.com, “The Red Sox will have a “bullpen” day on Saturday, and the starter will depend on who is most rested and stretched out going into the game.” It’s Rodriguez’s turn in the rotation, but it looks like the Sox might skip him in an effort to monitor the 22-year-old rookie’s innings. In three career starts against the O’s, Rodriguez is 0-2 with a 4.20 ERA and 1.40 WHIP, and he’s struck out 21 batters over 15 innings. All I know is that whoever takes the bump is in for an ass-kicking of epic proportions.

Good News: Nolan Reimold is 2-for-7, Hardy is 2-for-5, Wieters is 2-for-5 with a HR, Jonathan Schoop is 1-for-3, Dariel Alvarez is 1-for-2, and Caleb Joseph is 2-for-2 off Rodriguez. Hanigan is 2-for-13 with a HR, Betts is 1-for-12, Holt is 2-for-9, Craig is 1-for-7, Castillo is 0-for-2, and Swihart is 0-for-1 off Chen. The O’s are 34-32 vs. the AL East, while the Sox are 29-40.

Bad News: Davis is 1-for-8, Manny Machado is 1-for-7, Jones is 0-for-5, Pearce is 1-for-5, and Flaherty is 0-for-2 off Rodriguez. Pedroia is 17-for-35, Ortiz is 8-for-26 with a HR, Bogaerts is 4-for-16 with a HR, and Bradley is 3-for-6 off Chen. Since being acquired by the Orioles, Gerardo Parra has batted a putrid .221/.247/.347 in 42 games.

Sunday, September 27 at 1:35 p.m. on MASN
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (12-9) vs. LHP Henry Owens (3-3)
Jimenez’s 2015: 30 GS, 171 IP, 155 Ks, 4.16 ERA, 1.37 WHIP
Jimenez’s Last Three Starts: 2-0, 18 IP, 17 Ks, 3.50 ERA, 1.17 WHIP
Owens’ 2015: 9 GS, 51 IP, 41 Ks, 4.41 ERA, 1.33 WHIP
Owens’ Last Three Starts: 1-1, 20.1 IP, 12 Ks, 2.21 ERA, 1.08 WHIP

Jimenez was wild, but very effective in his last start against the Nationals. He picked up his team-leading 12th win after holding them to one unearned run on three hits and five walks while striking out five over six innings. It was a nice rebound performance after Jimenez was knocked around by the Red Sox in his previous start. He faced them on September 15, and he took a no-decision after allowing four runs on six hits and three walks while striking out four over five innings. Unfortunately, outings like that have been the norm for Jimenez over his career against Boston. In 10 starts against the Sox, Jimenez is 2-3 with a 7.96 ERA and 1.88 WHIP, and he’s struck out 51 batters over 46.1 innings. This season, Jimenez has gone 1-0 in three starts against Boston with a 4.61 ERA and 1.54 WHIP while striking out 14 batters over 13.2 innings.

Owens has experienced some struggles in his rookie season, but the 23-year-old former first round pick certainly has the pedigree to succeed in the big leagues. In the minors, Owens has gone 43-24 with a 3.30 ERA and 1.20 WHIP while striking out 572 batters over 518 innings. Owens was also ranked as the 44th best prospect by Baseball America coming into the 2015 season. Even though he’s posted impressive numbers in the minors and drawn praise from scouts, Owens doesn’t light up the radar gun. He throws in the high 80s to low 90s with a changeup, a curveball, and a slider. Owens’ changeup is his best pitch, and he’s been throwing it 21.6% of the time this season. Owens made his first career start against the O’s on September 16, and the young southpaw earned the win after totally flummoxing the Birds over 7.2 scoreless innings. He gave up six hits and no walks while striking out four batters.

Good News: Machado is 1-for-3, Parra is 1-for-3, Schoop is 1-for-3, Joseph is 1-for-2, and Steve Clevenger is 1-for-1 off Owens. Ortiz is 2-for-18 with a HR, Hanigan is 1-for-6, Holt is 1-for-5, Bradley is 0-for-2, Castillo is 0-for-2, and Shaw is 0-for-1 off Jimenez. In 16 games against the Red Sox this season, Davis is slashing .317/.377/.533 with 3 HRs, 11 RBIs, and 13 runs scored.

Bad News: Reimold is 1-for-4, Davis is 0-for-3, Jones is 0-for-3, Pearce is 0-for-3, Hardy is 0-for-2, and Christian Walker is 0-for-1 off Owens. Pedroia is 9-for-26, Betts is 4-for-9, Bogaerts is 3-for-9, Craig is 3-for-9, and Leon is 1-for-2 off Jimenez.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

cover pic: The Baltimore Sun
stats: Baseball-Reference

One Comment

  1. Got to sweep these pricks. Only way we stay in the wild card game…..

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