Orioles vs. Angels Series Preview

Sports and Bets — May 15, 2015 at 6:27 pm by

The Birds will continue their nine-game homestand with a three-game series against the Angels. It’ll be nice to see the O’s battle a new team for a change. Only three of the Birds’ first 32 games were against teams outside of the AL East. The O’s went 4-2 against the Angels last year, but all six ballgames were tightly contested. Four of the games were decided by one run, while the other two games were decided by two runs. A couple big defensive plays might make the difference this weekend, and as Buck would say, “I like our guys.”

The Breakdown
Baltimore Orioles (15-17) vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (17-17)
Last 10 Games: Baltimore’s 4-6, L.A.’s 6-4
Runs: Baltimore’s tied for 12th, L.A.’s 26th
Home Runs: Baltimore’s tied for 6th, L.A.’s 21st
Batting Average: Baltimore’s 8th, L.A.’s 28th
On-Base Percentage: Baltimore’s 8th, L.A.’s 28th
Team ERA: Baltimore’s 20th, L.A.’s 9th
Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 22nd, L.A.’s 7th
Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 14th, L.A.’s 9th
Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s tied for 16th, L.A.’s tied for 10th

Baltimore’s Injury Report
P Jason Garcia: 15-day DL (right shoulder)
P Kevin Gausman: 15-day DL (right shoulder)
P Wesley Wright: 15-day DL (left shoulder)
C Matt Wieters: 60-day DL (right elbow)
INF Everth Cabrera: 15-day DL (left foot)
INF Ryan Flaherty: 15-day DL (right groin)
INF Jonathan Schoop: 15-day DL (right knee)

Los Angeles’ Injury Report
P Cory Rasmus: 60-day DL (core)
P Tyler Skaggs: 60-day DL (Tommy John surgery; out for season)

Friday, May 15 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN
LHP Wei-Yin Chen (1-1) vs. RHP Jered Weaver (1-4)
Chen’s Season: 6 GS, 35.2 IP, 27 Ks, 2.52 ERA, 1.09 WHIP
Chen’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 21 IP, 16 Ks, 2.14 ERA, 0.95 WHIP
Weaver’s Season: 7 GS, 43.1 IP, 21 Ks, 4.98 ERA, 1.29 WHIP
Weaver’s Last Three Starts: 1-2, 21 IP, 9 Ks, 4.71 ERA, 1.10 WHIP

Chen was finally able to get that first win monkey off his back in his last start against the Yankees. It was one of Chen’s best starts on the season, as he held them to one run on five hits and a walk while striking out seven batters over seven innings. Chen’s only seen the Angels twice in his career, and they’ve given the southpaw some trouble. In his two starts, he’s 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA and 1.55 WHIP, and he’s struck out 10 batters over 10.1 innings. He’s also walked six batters and given up three home runs. Both of Chen’s starts against the Angels came in his rookie season, and this will be the first time that he’ll face them at Camden Yards. Speaking of firsts, this will be Chen’s first start outside of the meat grinder that is the AL East.

Weaver got off to a rough start this season, going 0-3 with a 5.83 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in his five April starts. He might be getting ready to turn things around, though, because his last start was an absolute gem. Weaver earned the win after throwing a complete game shutout against the Astros. He gave up six hits and no walks while striking out six in his first shutout since 2012. (MLB/Orioles). As dismal as Weaver’s stats look, he has done a great job of limiting his walks, giving up only five through 43.1 innings. The 32-year-old relies on his control and off-speed pitches to get batters out, as his fastball has averaged only 86.3 mph this season. He’s been throwing his curveball, changeup, or slider 51% of the time. Weaver’s pitched very well against the Birds over his career, going 7-4 in 12 starts with a 3.46 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. But last season was a different story for the three-time All-Star. He went 1-0 in two starts with a 5.54 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. Pitching at Camden Yards hasn’t been a walk in the park for Weaver, either, as he’s gone 2-2 with a 7.09 ERA and 1.69 WHIP in his five starts.

Good News: Jimmy Paredes is currently working on a 12-game hitting streak. Adam Jones is 7-for-23 with 2 HRs, Delmon Young is 7-for-18 with a HR, Alejandro De Aza is 4-for-9 with a HR, Ryan Lavarnway is 2-for-7, Manny Machado is 2-for-6, and David Lough is 2-for-4 off Weaver. Albert Pujols is 1-for-5 with a HR, and Matthew Joyce is 1-for-4 off Chen. In six games against the Angels last season, Jones hit .269/.296/.731 with 4 HRs, 8 RBIs, and 4 runs scored.

Bad News: Chris Davis is 7-for-34, J.J. Hardy is 3-for-23, Travis Snider is 2-for-11, Professional Hitter Steve Pearce is 0-for-5, and Paredes is 0-for-2 off Weaver. Erick Aybar is 2-for-4 with a HR, Johnny Giavotella is 1-for-3, and Mike Trout is 1-for-3 with a HR off Chen. In 27 career games against the O’s, Trout is hitting .272/.336/.563 with 9 HRs, 18 RBIs, 26 runs scored, and 5 steals.

Saturday, May 16 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN
RHP Bud Norris (1-4) vs. RHP Matt Shoemaker (2-3)
Norris’ Season: 6 GS, 27.1 IP, 18 Ks, 9.88 ERA, 1.87 WHIP
Norris’ Last Three Starts: 1-2, 17 IP, 8 Ks, 5.29 ERA, 1.59 WHIP
Shoemaker’s Season: 6 GS, 31.1 IP, 31 Ks, 6.61 ERA, 1.34 WHIP
Shoemaker’s Last Three Starts: 0-2, 16 IP, 17 Ks, 6.75 ERA, 1.19 WHIP

After turning in solid starts against the Red Sox and Mets, Norris took a big step back in his last start. He took the loss against the Yankees after giving up four runs on six hits and three walks while striking out two over 3.1 innings. Norris’ 9.88 ERA would easily be the worst in the majors, but he’s been so terrible that he hasn’t been able to throw enough innings to qualify. Hopefully, a matchup against the Angels is just what the doctor ordered for Norris. In six career starts against the Halos, Norris is 4-0 with a microscopic 0.43 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. Last season, Norris went 1-0 in two starts with a 0.66 ERA and 1.39 WHIP while striking out 12 batters over 13.2 innings.

Shoemaker came out of nowhere last season to finish 2nd in the AL Rookie of the Year balloting. He went 16-4 in 20 starts (27 appearances) with a 3.04 ERA and 1.07 WHIP while striking out 124 batters over 136 innings. Shoemaker hasn’t been able to capture that same magic so far this season, and home runs have been a major thorn in his side. The 28-year-old has given up an AL-leading 10 homers in just 31.1 innings. Shoemaker throws a splitter, a slider, and a curveball to go along with his high-80s, low-90s fastball. His best pitch is his splitter, and he’s been throwing it 24.3% of the time this season. This will be Shoemaker’s first career start at Camden Yards, and his second career start against the Birds. Last season, Shoemaker took the loss against the O’s after surrendering four runs on five hits and no walks while striking out 10 over 5.2 innings. He’s probably still having nightmares about Adam Jones, as the slugger went 2-for-3 with two HRs and four RBIs off the righty.

Good News: Jones is 2-for-3 with 2 HRs, and De Aza is 2-for-2 off Shoemaker. Pujols is 8-for-42, Kole Calhoun is 2-for-8, and Giavotella is 0-for-3 off Norris. “Darren O’Day hasn’t allowed an earned run over his last 11 appearances covering 10 innings. It’s his longest streak since going 14 games in a row from June 17-July 25, 2014” (Kubatko).

Bad News: Pearce is 0-for-3, Davis is 0-for-2, Hardy is 0-for-2, and Machado is 0-for-2 off Shoemaker. David Freese is 11-for-23, Trout is 6-for-18, Aybar is 4-for-12, Joyce is 4-for-12, Chris Iannetta is 3-for-10, and Marc Krauss is 1-for-2 with a HR off Norris.

Sunday, May 17 at 1:35 p.m. on MASN
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (3-2) vs. RHP Garrett Richards (3-1)
Jimenez’s Season: 6 GS, 33.2 IP, 32 Ks, 2.41 ERA, 1.01 WHIP
Jimenez’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 18 IP, 16 Ks, 2.50 ERA, 1.11 WHIP
Richards’ Season: 5 GS, 31.2 IP, 29 Ks, 2.27 ERA, 1.07 WHIP
Richards’ Last Three Starts: 2-0, 19.2 IP, 20 Ks, 1.37 ERA, 0.97 WHIP

Jimenez kept the 2015 revival tour going in his last start against Toronto, earning the win after giving up two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out nine over seven innings. Ubaldo has loved pitching at home this season, going 3-0 in three starts with a 0.86 ERA and 0.67 WHIP while striking out 23 batters over 21 innings. Jimenez might have to double up on his pregame Boog’s order for extra strength because the Angels have given him fits over the years. In four career starts against the Halos, Jimenez is 0-4 with a 6.12 ERA and 1.52 WHIP. This will be Jimenez’s first start against the Angels as a member of the Orioles.

Richards was enjoying a breakout season in 2014, until he suffered a torn patellar tendon in his left knee on August 20. He was 13-4 in 26 starts with a 2.61 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, and he struck out 164 batters over 168.2 innings. It looks like he’s been able to put his knee injury behind him, as he’s gotten off to an excellent start this season. He’s given up just one run in each of his last three starts. Richards throws a fastball, a slider, and a curveball, but he’s primarily a two-pitch pitcher. He’s thrown his mid-90s fastball or his mid-to-upper-80s slider 97.5% of the time this season. Richards was the best in baseball at limiting homers last year, giving up just five in 168.2 innings. But he can be prone to wildness at times, as he also lead the majors in wild pitches, and he’s currently walking 4.5 batters per nine innings. The 26-year-old has struggled against the O’s over his career, going 0-2 in two starts (six appearances) with a 7.31 ERA and 1.69 WHIP. He has fared better at Oriole Park, posting a 0-1 record in one start (three appearances) with a 4.35 ERA and 0.97 WHIP.

Good News: Jones is 3-for-8 with a HR, Pearce is 2-for-4, Paredes is 1-for-3, Davis is 1-for-1, and Lavarnway is 1-for-1 off Richards. Giavotella is 1-for-6, Joyce is 1-for-5, and Calhoun is 0-for-1 off Jimenez. Machado is slashing .316/.381/.579 with 2 HRs, 4 RBIs, and 8 runs scored in 10 games at the leadoff spot.

Bad News: Hardy is 1-for-8, Young is 1-for-5, Lough is 1-for-4, Machado is 1-for-4, De Aza is 0-for-3, and Caleb Joseph is 0-for-3 off Richards. Pujols is 6-for-19 with a HR, Aybar is 5-for-11 with a HR, Trout is 2-for-6, Freese is 1-for-3, Krauss is 2-for-3, and Iannetta is 2-for-2 off Jimenez.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

cover pic: ABC2 News
stats: Baseball Reference

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