Orioles at White Sox Series Preview

Sports and Bets — July 3, 2015 at 2:46 pm by

After getting outscored 20-11 and dropping three out of four in an ugly series against the Rangers, the Birds will head to Chicago for three games with the White Sox. The Pale Hose are the worst team in the American League, so I’m expecting the O’s to get right back to racking up the Ws. Hope the Sox are ready for some fireworks, babes.

The Breakdown
Baltimore Orioles (42-37) at Chicago White Sox (34-42)
Season Series: Baltimore leads 2-1
Last 10 Games: Baltimore’s 6-4, Chicago’s 6-4
Runs: Baltimore’s tied for 5th, Chicago’s 30th
Home Runs: Baltimore’s 5th, Chicago’s tied for 27th
Batting Average: Baltimore’s 8th, Chicago’s 25th
On-Base Percentage: Baltimore’s 19th, Chicago’s 26th
Team ERA: Baltimore’s 13th, Chicago’s 23rd
Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 19th, Chicago’s 20th
Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 5th, Chicago’s 26th
Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s tied for 3rd, Chicago’s 23rd

Baltimore’s Injury Report
P Jason Garcia: 60-day DL (right shoulder)
P Wesley Wright: 60-day DL (left shoulder; currently on rehab assignment)
INF Jonathan Schoop: 60-day DL (right knee; currently on rehab assignment)

Chicago’s Injury Report
P Matt Albers: 15-day DL (right pinkie finger; currently on rehab assignment)
P Nate Jones: 60-day DL (Tommy John surgery)

Friday, July 3 at 8:10 p.m. on MASN 2
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (7-3) vs. LHP John Danks (3-8)
Jimenez’s 2015: 15 GS, 87.1 IP, 89 Ks, 3.09 ERA, 1.24 WHIP
Jimenez’s Last Three Starts: 3-0, 19.2 IP, 23 Ks, 2.75 ERA, 1.07 WHIP
Danks’ 2015: 14 GS, 80.1 IP, 55 Ks, 5.38 ERA, 1.48 WHIP
Danks’ Last Three Starts: 0-3, 17.2 IP, 9 Ks, 6.11 ERA, 1.36 WHIP

Jimenez has won his last four starts, and he’s really been throwing the ball well as of late. In the month of June, Jimenez went 4-0 in six starts with a 3.03 ERA and 1.32 WHIP while striking out 42 batters over 35.2 innings. His most recent start was the best of the season. He earned the win against Cleveland after pitching eight scoreless innings, giving up four hits and no walks while striking out seven. Jimenez will look to keep the ball rolling against a familiar foe. In 11 career starts against the White Sox, Jimenez is 3-3 with a 4.48 ERA and 1.52 WHIP, and he’s struck out 57 batters over 66.1 innings. This season, Jimenez is 1-0 in one start against Chicago. He held them to two runs (none earned) on three hits and a walk while striking out six over seven innings.

Danks had a miserable June, going 0-4 in four starts with a 6.85 ERA and 1.66 WHIP while striking out 12 batters over 22.1 innings. Danks throws in the high 80s to low 90s with a changeup, a cutter, and a curveball. His changeup has been his best pitch over his career, and he’s been throwing it a whopping 30.6% of the time this season. The 30-year-old is very prone to the long ball, as he’s given up 14 taters over 80.1 innings. In 12 career starts against the Birds, Danks is 5-5 with a 4.28 ERA and 1.21 WHIP, and he’s struck out 45 batters over 73.2 innings. This will be Danks’ first start against the O’s since 2013.

Good News: Matt Wieters is 6-for-24 with 2 HRs, J.J. Hardy is 8-for-23 with a HR, Nolan Reimold is 7-for-16 with a HR, Chris Parmelee is 1-for-3, and Travis Snider is 2-for-2 off Danks. Alexei Ramirez is 7-for-31, Emilio Bonifacio is 3-for-17, Melky Cabrera is 4-for-17, and Geovany Soto is 0-for-11 off Jimenez.

Bad News: Adam Jones is 1-for-30, Chris Davis is 2-for-14 with a HR, and Manny Machado is 1-for-6 off Danks. Gordon Beckham is 7-for-25 with a HR, Adam LaRoche is 7-for-22 with a HR, Tyler Flowers is 4-for-14, Conor Gillaspie is 5-for-14, Avisail Garcia is 5-for-10, Adam Eaton is 3-for-7, Jose Abreu is 1-for-6 with a HR, and J.B. Shuck is 1-for-2 off Jimenez.

Saturday, July 4 at 2:10 p.m. on MASN 2 & WJZ
RHP Chris Tillman (6-7) vs. RHP Jeff Samardzija (5-4)
Tillman’s 2015: 15 GS, 79.1 IP, 56 Ks, 5.67 ERA, 1.51 WHIP
Tillman’s Last Three Starts: 2-0, 14.1 IP, 10 Ks, 5.65 ERA, 1.19 WHIP
Samardzija’s 2015: 16 GS, 108.2 IP, 88 Ks, 4.56 ERA, 1.32 WHIP
Samardzija’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 21.1 IP, 18 Ks, 3.38 ERA, 1.27 WHIP

Tillman is coming off his best start of the season. He picked up the win against the Indians after pitching seven scoreless innings, giving up four hits and no walks while striking out six. Man, was that a sight for sore eyes. If the Birds can get 2012-2014 Chris Tillman for the second half of the season, you might as well wrap the AL East in a bow and give it to them. In four career starts against Chicago, Tillman is 3-1 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.24 WHIP, and he’s struck out 17 batters over 22.2 innings. This will be Tillman’s first start against the White Sox this season, but last season, he pitched a gem in his lone start against them. He earned the win after holding the Sox to one run on three hits and a walk while striking out nine over eight innings.

Samardzija has been a major disappointment for the White Sox. Last season, Samardzija posted a 2.99 ERA with the Cubs and A’s, and he made his first All-Star team. This season, Samardzija has recorded a 4.56 ERA, and he leads the MLB with 123 hits allowed. The only real positive that the 30-year-old has brought to the club is his ability to eat innings. His 108.2 innings is the 6th most in baseball, and he’s thrown at least seven innings in eight of his last nine starts. The impending free agent is sure to get a lot of attention at the trade deadline, as he still throws in the mid 90s with a cutter, a slider, and a split. In two career starts against the O’s, Samardzija is 0-1 with an 8.25 ERA and 1.50 WHIP, and he’s struck out nine batters over 12 innings. This season, Samardzija was pummeled in his first start against the Birds. He took the loss after allowing eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits and a walk while striking out five over five innings.

Good News: Davis is 2-for-6 with a HR, Machado is 5-for-6 with 2 HRs, Hardy is 2-for-5, Caleb Joseph is 2-for-5, and Parmelee is 1-for-3 off Samardzija. Beckham is 0-for-9, LaRoche is 1-for-5, Flowers is 0-for-3, Garcia is 0-for-3, and Shuck is 0-for-3 off Tillman. Over three games against the White Sox this season, Davis is hitting .300/.417/1.000 with 2 HRs, 6 RBIs, and 3 runs scored.

Bad News: Snider is 2-for-11, Steve Pearce is 1-for-7, Jones is 0-for-5, and Jimmy Paredes is 0-for-3 off Samardzija. Cabrera is 7-for-22 with a HR, Ramirez is 4-for-9 with a HR, Bonifacio is 2-for-3, Gillaspie is 1-for-3, Soto is 1-for-3 with a HR, and Abreu is 1-for-2 with a HR off Tillman. The Birds are 16-21 on the road, and the Sox are 18-15 at home.

Sunday, July 5 at 2:10 p.m. on MASN
RHP Miguel Gonzalez (6-5) vs. LHP Chris Sale (6-4)
Gonzalez’s 2015: 14 GS, 82.1 IP, 64 Ks, 4.04 ERA, 1.23 WHIP
Gonzalez’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 13.2 IP, 6 Ks, 6.59 ERA, 1.83 WHIP
Sale’s 2015: 15 GS, 103.1 IP, 141 Ks, 2.87 ERA, 0.97 WHIP
Sale’s Last Three Starts: 0-1, 22.2 IP, 36 Ks, 2.38 ERA, 0.84 WHIP

Gonzalez has struggled in his two starts since coming off the DL, going 1-1 while giving up 10 runs over 9.1 innings. Hopefully, the third time will be the charm for Gonzo because runs will most likely be at a premium for the Birds with Sale on the hill. In two career starts against the White Sox, Gonzalez is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.42 WHIP, and he’s struck out seven batters over 12 innings. His most recent start against Chicago came last season, and he took the loss after surrendering three runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out one over five innings.

Sale is in the midst of a historically dominant stretch of pitching. After striking out 12 Cardinals in his last outing, Sale joined Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers to ever strike out 10 or more batters in eight straight starts (Orioles/MLB). Sale was named the AL Pitcher of the Month for June after he went 2-2 in six starts with a 1.83 ERA and 0.81 WHIP while striking out a ridiculous 75 batters over 44.1 innings. Sale’s 141 strikeouts are tied for 1st in all of baseball with Corey Kluber, and his 12.3 K/9 is the best in the MLB. The 26-year-old throws a mid 90s fastball, a changeup, and a slider, and all three of his pitches are considered well above average. In four career starts (10 appearances) against the O’s, Sale is 1-2 with a 3.72 ERA and 1.59 WHIP, and he’s struck out 33 batters over 29 innings. This season, Sale was absolutely filthy in his first start against the Birds, picking up the win after throwing 7.2 scoreless innings. He gave up four hits and no walks while striking out 12.

Good News: Jones is 4-for-11 with a HR, Hardy is 3-for-11 with a HR, Pearce is 3-for-9, and Joseph is 2-for-7 off Sale. Cabrera is 1-for-10, Bonifacio is 0-for-5, and Eaton is 0-for-4 off Gonzalez.

Bad News: Davis is 0-for-7, Machado is 1-for-7, Paredes is 0-for-6, Wieters is 1-for-5, David Lough is 0-for-4, and Parmelee is 0-for-3 off Sale. Beckham is 1-for-6 with a HR, Garcia is 2-for-6 with a HR, Gillaspie is 3-for-6, Ramirez is 2-for-6, Abreu is 1-for-3, Shuck is 1-for-3, Flowers is 1-for-2, and Soto is 1-for-2 off Gonzalez.

Have a great 4th of July weekend, and let’s go O’s!

cover pic: Birds Watcher
stats: Baseball-Reference

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