Orioles at Red Sox Series Preview

Sports and Bets — July 5, 2014 at 12:48 pm by

The Birds completed a four-game sweep against the Rangers, their first four-game sweep since 2011 against the Twins, to end the home stand with a solid 7-4 mark. The Birds are now a season high seven games over .500. The O’s were firing on all cylinders during the Texas series, scoring 6.5 runs per game while only allowing 2.5 runs per game. The bullpen was especially terrific, posting a .79 ERA over 11 1/3 innings. The Birds are now in first place in the division by a half of a game. Even if it’s by an eyelash, it feels pretty great to be back on top in the East.

Now the Birds will begin a five-game road trip with a three-game series against the Red Sox. Boston has really been scuffling this season, and they are currently in fourth place in the division. The Sox haven’t shown any signs recently of turning things around either. They were 12-16 in June, and were just swept by the Cubs at home.

lackey

Nope, I’m not shitting you, Johnny. You’re team sucks, and I fucking love it.

The Breakdown

Baltimore Orioles (46-39) at Boston Red Sox (38-47)

Season Series: Tied 5-5

Baltimore’s Last 10 Games: 6-4, Boston’s Last 10 Games: 4-6

Runs: Baltimore 11th, Boston 27th

Home Runs: Baltimore 2nd, Boston tied for 25th

Batting Average: Baltimore 3rd, Boston 24th

On-base Percentage: Baltimore tied for 11th, Boston tied for 8th

Team ERA: Baltimore tied for 19th, Boston tied for 16th

Starting Pitcher ERA: Baltimore 23rd, Boston 24th

Bullpen ERA: Baltimore 15th, Boston 9th

Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore 6th, Boston 8th

Game 1: Saturday, July 5, 1:05 PM on MASN 2, MLBN

Miguel Gonzalez RHP (4-5) vs. Jon Lester LHP (9-7)

Gonzalez’s Season Stats: 73 IP, 58 Ks, 4.56 ERA, 1.56 WHIP

Gonzalez’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 14 2/3 IP, 8 Ks, 6.14 ERA, 2.32 WHIP

Lester’s Season Stats: 114 IP, 115 Ks, 2.92 ERA, 1.18 WHIP

Lester’s Last Three Starts: 2-0, 22 IP, 16 Ks, 1.23 ERA, .82 WHIP

Gonzalez has made three starts since returning from an oblique injury, and as you can see in the stats above, he’s been really struggling. He’ll look to get back on track today against a Boston team that he’s pitched well against in the past. In five career appearances (three starts) against the Red Sox, Gonzalez is 3-0 with a 3.13 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.

Lester is in the midst of his best season in terms of ERA and WHIP, and he is coming off a sensational month of June. Over six June starts, Lester was 4-1 with a 1.98 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. Lester has also been a thorn in the O’s side for as long as I can remember. In 26 career starts against the O’s, Lester is 15-4 with a 2.92 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. Lester has pitched against the Birds once this year, and we all remember how that turned out.

Good News: Adam Jones is 18-for-56, J.J. Hardy is 9-for-30 with a home run, and Nelson Cruz is 11-for-24 with three home runs off Lester. Dustin Pedroia is 2-for-8, and Davis Ortiz is 0-for-4 off Gonzalez. In 51 career games against Boston, Cruz is slashing .335/.410/.665 with 15 home runs and 42 RBIs.

Bad News: Nick Markakis is 16-for-69, Delmon Young is 7-for-37, Chris Davis is 3-for-27 with a home run, and Professional Hitter Steve Pearce is 1-for-8 off Lester. Daniel Nava is 2-for-7, and A.J. Pierzynski is 2-for-6 off Gonzalez. In 87 career games against the O’s, Pierzynski is hitting .320/.351/.460 with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs.

Game 2: Saturday, July 5, 7:15 PM on FOX

Ubaldo Jimenez RHP (3-8) vs. John Lackey RHP (9-5)

Jimenez’s Season Stats: 96 IP, 84 Ks, 4.31 ERA, 1.48 WHIP

Jimenez’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 20 IP, 16 Ks, 2.25 ERA, 1.35 WHIP

Lackey’s Season Stats: 112 IP, 95 Ks, 3.62 ERA, 1.21 WHIP

Lackey’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 17 2/3 IP, 14 Ks, 5.60 ERA, 1.13 WHIP

Jimenez is coming off arguably his best start of the year. The O’s finally staked him with an early lead against Texas, and he never looked back. He earned the win after allowing only one unearned run on four hits and a walk, with seven strikeouts over eight innings. Jimenez will look to keep things rolling against a ball club that has had his number over the years. In six career starts against Boston, Jimenez is 1-3 with a 9.31 ERA and 1.90 WHIP. He’s been better against the Sox this year, pitching to a 5.56 ERA and 1.32 WHIP over two starts. But those numbers are still pretty ugly, and the O’s went on to lose both games.

Lackey has also had a lot of success against the O’s over his career. In his 25 career starts, he’s 14-6 with a 3.55 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. Fortunately for the Birds, they’ve been able to put some runs on the board against Lackey this season. He’s gone 1-1 with a 6.35 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in his two starts against them.

Good News: Markakis is 21-for-61, Jones is 12-for-48 with three home runs, Davis is 11-for-34 with two home runs, Cruz is 9-for-33 with a home run, Young is 7-for-22, and Jonathan Schoop is 2-for-3 off Lackey. Pierzynski is 4-for-22 with a home run, and Ortiz is 2-for-12 with a home run off Jimenez.

Bad News: Hardy is 4-for-23, and Ryan Flaherty is 0-for-5 off Lackey. Stephen Drew is 9-for-36 with a home run, Jonny Gomes is 7-for-18 with three home runs, Pedroia is 7-for-18, Nava is 3-for-10, and Mike Napoli is 4-for-9 with two home runs off Jimenez. In 65 career games against Boston, Hardy is hitting .213/.259/.333 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs.

 Game 3: Sunday, July 6, 1:35 PM on MASN

Kevin Gausman RHP (3-2) vs. Jake Peavy RHP (1-7)

Gausman’s Season Stats: 28 IP, 17 Ks, 3.86 ERA, 1.36 WHIP

Gausman’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 17 IP, 9 Ks, 3.18 ERA, 1.47 WHIP

Peavy’s Season Stats: 104 2/3 IP, 81 Ks, 4.82 ERA, 1.44 WHIP

Peavy’s Last Three Starts: 0-3, 17 1/3 IP, 14 Ks, 6.23 ERA, 1.44 WHIP

Gausman has pitched very well against Boston in limited opportunities, posting a 1.86 ERA and .62 WHIP over four appearances, and winning his only start. I really hope the Orioles stop jerking Gausman around, and give him a permanent spot in the starting rotation. I can’t see how this constant back and forth routine from the big leagues to the minors is helping his development as a player. He clearly has the stuff to excel in the majors, so let’s stop this ridiculous carousel, and give him a chance to develop a consistent routine.

Peavy hasn’t pitched great against the O’s over his career, but he is 2-1 against them. He’s recorded a 4.41 ERA and 1.29 WHIP over his five career starts. The Birds have done even better against Peavy this season. In Peavy’s two starts against the Birds this year, he’s 0-1 with a 6.39 ERA and 1.82 WHIP. He’s given up four home runs over those 12 2/3 innings.

Good News: Markakis is 5-for-14 with a home run, Cruz is 4-for-13 with a home run, Jones is 7-for-12 with a home run, and Flaherty is 3-for-6 with a home run off Peavy. Young is only 3-for-13, but he has a home run, a double, and a walk off Peavy. Pedroia is 1-for-5, Nava is 0-for-3, and Drew is 0-for-2 off Gausman. In 57 career games against the O’s, Napoli is batting .228/.321/.425 with eight home runs and 29 RBIs.

Bad News: Hardy is 2-for-22, and Davis is 1-for-10 off Peavy. Ortiz is 1-for-3 with a home run, and Napoli is 1-for-2 off Gausman. In 129 career games against the Birds, Pedroia is slashing .328/.392/.484 with 12 home runs, 73 RBIs, and 88 runs.

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

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