Orioles at Twins Series Preview

Sports and Bets — July 6, 2015 at 7:57 pm by

The Birds will wrap up their six-game road trip with a three-game series against the Twins. Minnesota’s strong play has been one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season, but it looks their magic is wearing off. Since the calendar turned to June, the Twins have gone 13-20. They sound like the perfect team for the O’s to kick the shit out of and bounce back from their recent struggles. The Birds have lost five of their last seven, and they are now a game behind the Yankees for 1st in the division. Those assclowns better enjoy that lead while they can because the O’s are 1-0 since Jonathan Schoop rejoined the team. Welcome back Johnny Baseball!


The Breakdown
Baltimore Orioles (43-39) at Minnesota Twins (43-39)
Last 10 Games: Baltimore’s 5-5, Minnesota’s 4-6
Runs: Baltimore’s 6th, Minnesota’s 14th
Home Runs: Baltimore’s 5th, Minnesota’s 23rd
Batting Average: Baltimore’s 11th, Minnesota’s 17th
On-Base Percentage: Baltimore’s 19th, Minnesota’s 25th
Team ERA: Baltimore’s 13th, Minnesota’s 14th
Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 19th, Minnesota’s 12th
Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 6th, Minnesota’s 22nd
Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s 3rd, Minnesota’s tied for 11th

Baltimore’s Injury Report
P Jason Garcia: 60-day DL (right shoulder; currently on rehab assignment)
P Wesley Wright: 60-day DL (left shoulder; currently on rehab assignment)
OF Nolan Reimold: 3-day paternity leave

Minnesota’s Injury Report
P Ricky Nolasco: 15-day DL (right ankle)
P Ryan Pressly: 15-day DL (right lat)
OF Bryon Buxton: 15-day DL (left thumb)

Monday, July 6 at 8:10 p.m. on MASN 2
LHP Wei-Yin Chen (4-4) vs. RHP Phil Hughes (7-6)
Chen’s 2015: 15 GS, 95 IP, 78 Ks, 2.84 ERA, 1.11 WHIP
Chen’s Last Three Starts: 2-0, 22 IP, 16 Ks, 1.64 ERA, 0.86 WHIP
Hughes’ 2015: 16 GS, 105.1 IP, 64 Ks, 4.27 ERA, 1.22 WHIP
Hughes’ Last Three Starts: 3-0, 22.2 IP, 13 Ks, 2.38 ERA, 0.75 WHIP

Chen was fantastic in his last start, earning the win against the Rangers after holding them to two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out two over eight innings. Over his last five starts, Chen is 3-0, and he’s given up two runs or less in all five of his outings. Standing in Chen’s way of keeping that streak alive is a Twins team that he’s been very successful against over the years. In four career starts against Minnesota, Chen is 3-1 with a 3.42 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, and he’s struck out 20 batters over 23.2 innings. Last season, Chen went 1-1 in two starts against the Twins with a 4.63 ERA and 1.29 WHIP while striking out 12 batters over 11.2 innings.

Hughes came out of nowhere in 2014 to have a historically great season in his first year with Minnesota. Hughes struck out 186 batters over 209.2 innings while surrendering only 16 walks, which averaged out to a new single-season record of 11.63 strikeouts for every walk. This season, Hughes is still doing an excellent job of limiting walks, but serving up too many home runs and not striking out enough batters has caused his ERA to skyrocket. Over the past year, his HR/9 has jumped from 0.7 to 1.6, and his K/9 has dropped from 8.0 to 5.5. Hughes has been victimized by the long ball 19 times this season, which is tied for the most in the AL. The 29-year-old’s best pitch is his low 90s fastball, and he compliments it with a cutter, a knuckle curve, and an occasional changeup. In 19 career starts (22 appearances) against the O’s, Hughes is 8-5 with a 4.67 ERA and 1.38 WHIP, and he’s struck out 77 batters over 104 innings. Last season, Hughes went 2-0 in two starts against the Birds with a 1.26 ERA and 0.77 WHIP while striking out eight batters over 14.1 innings.

Good News: Chris Davis is 7-for-27 with a HR, Manny Machado is 6-for-15, Ryan Flaherty is 2-for-5 with a HR, Jimmy Paredes is 1-for-3, and David Lough is 1-for-1 off Hughes. Danny Santana is 0-for-3, and Eduardo Escobar is 0-for-2 off Chen.

Bad News: Adam Jones is 8-for-51 with 2 HRs, Matt Wieters is 7-for-37 with a HR, J.J. Hardy is 6-for-32 with a HR, Travis Snider is 3-for-12, Chris Parmelee is 2-for-10, Jonathan Schoop is 0-for-5, and Steve Pearce is 0-for-2 off Hughes. Eduardo Nunez is 5-for-14, Brian Dozier is 5-for-11 with a HR, Joe Mauer is 4-for-11, Trevor Plouffe is 4-for-11 with a HR, Torii Hunter is 2-for-6, and Kurt Suzuki is 2-for-5 off Chen.

Tuesday, July 7 at 8:10 p.m. on MASN 2
RHP Kevin Gausman (1-0) vs. RHP Kyle Gibson (6-6)
Gausman’s 2015: 10 G, 2 GS, 23.1 IP, 21 Ks, 3.09 ERA, 1.16 WHIP
Gibson’s 2015: 16 GS, 100.2 IP, 65 Ks, 3.04 ERA, 1.24 WHIP
Gibson’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 19.2 IP, 16 Ks, 1.83 ERA, 1.22 WHIP

Gausman is in the starting rotation, Bud Norris is in the bullpen, and I can sleep soundly once again. It’s about goddamn time! Gausman is 0-0 in his two starts, and he’s given up two runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out eight over 11.1 innings. Gausman’s lone career start against the Twins came last season, and the fireballing righty was saddled with the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits and two walks while striking out seven over 7.1 innings.

The 27-year-old, former 1st round pick is in the midst of a breakout campaign. After beginning his career with a 4.92 ERA over 230 innings in 2013 and 2014, Gibson has posted a 3.09 ERA over his first 100.2 innings of 2015. Gibson pitches to contact, and he’s been able to generate ground balls 54.2% of the time this season. He throws in the low 90s with a slider, a changeup, and an occasional curveball. Gibson’s only career start against the Birds came last season, and he took a no-decision after surrendering one run on four hits and three walks while striking out six over five innings.

Good News: Hardy is 1-for-2, Paredes is 1-for-2, and Schoop is 1-for-2 off Gibson. Dozier is 1-for-4, Santana is 1-for-4, Escobar is 0-for-3, and Plouffe is 0-for-2 off Gausman. Last season, the O’s went 4-3 against Minnesota.

Bad News: Jones is 0-for-2, and Davis is 0-for-1 off Gibson. Suzuki is 2-for-5, Hunter is 3-for-4, Mauer is 2-for-3, and Nunez is 1-for-3 off Gausman. The Twins are 25-15 at home, and the Birds are 17-23 on the road. In 56 career games against the O’s, Mauer is batting .343/.405/.505 with 5 HRs, 36 RBIs, and 34 runs scored.

Wednesday, July 8 at 1:10 p.m. on MASN
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (7-4) vs. LHP Tommy Milone (4-1)
Jimenez’s 2015: 16 GS, 94.1 IP, 93 Ks, 2.96 ERA, 1.23 WHIP
Jimenez’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 20 IP, 19 Ks, 1.80 ERA, 1.05 WHIP
Milone’s 2015: 10 GS, 59.2 IP, 40 Ks, 3.02 ERA, 1.27 WHIP
Milone’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 18 IP, 14 Ks, 1.50 ERA, 1.33 WHIP

Jimenez has been filthy over his last two starts, going 1-1 after giving up only one run on 10 hits and two walks while striking out 11 batters over 15 innings. When Jimenez is getting ahead of hitters with his fastball and putting them away with his split, it’s a thing of beauty. In seven career starts (eight appearances) against the Twins, Jimenez is 4-3 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.21 WHIP, and he’s struck out 53 batters over 48 innings. Last season, Jimenez faced off against the Twins once in a start and once in a relief appearance. In his relief appearance, he got shelled to the tune of three runs on one hit and three walks while striking out one over 0.1 inning of work. But he was masterful against Minnesota in his start, picking up the win after pitching 7.1 scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and a walk while striking out 10.

Milone got off to a rough start this season, going 2-1 in four April starts with a 4.76 ERA and 1.46 WHIP while striking out 13 batters over 22.2 innings. The Twins sent Milone down to the minors for about a month, and the 28-year-old came back to the big show as a completely new man. In his six starts since rejoining Minnesota’s rotation, he’s 2-0 with a 1.95 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, and he’s struck out 27 batters over 37 innings. Milone throws in the high 80s with a changeup, a cutter, and a curveball. His changeup is his best pitch, and he’s been throwing it 21.1% of the time this season. In three career starts against the O’s, Milone is 1-1 with a 1.89 ERA and 1.21 WHIP, and he’s struck out 10 batters over 19 innings. Last season, Milone took a no-decision in his only start against the Birds. He allowed three runs on eight hits and no walks while striking out three over six innings.

Good News: Hardy is 4-for-9, Davis is 2-for-8 with 2 HRs, Machado is 5-for-8 with a HR, Pearce is 4-for-6, Lough is 2-for-4, Schoop is 1-for-3, and Snider is 1-for-3 off Milone. Mauer is 1-for-11, Plouffe is 0-for-11, and Nunez is 1-for-5 off Jimenez. Zach Britton’s 23 saves are tied for the 2nd most in the AL.

Bad News: Jones is 2-for-9, Wieters is 0-for-4, Paredes is 0-for-3, and Parmelee is 0-for-1 off Milone. Hunter is 8-for-21, Dozier is 5-for-12, Chris Herrmann is 3-for-6, Suzuki is 1-for-5 with a HR, and Escobar is 1-for-2 off Jimenez. Glen Perkins’ 27 saves lead the AL, and they’re tied for 1st in all of baseball.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

cover pic: The Playoffs
stats: Baseball-Reference

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