Orioles vs. Athletics Series Preview

Sports and Bets — August 14, 2015 at 6:47 pm by

The O’s are back home after a brutally disappointing road trip that saw them go 4-5, get no-hit, and fall to 4th in the AL East standings. Ugly, ugly, stuff. Hopefully, some home cooking is just what the doctor ordered for our floundering Birds. The O’s will kick off a 10-game homestand with a four-game series against Oakland. The A’s are the 2nd worst team in the AL, and I’m going to go ahead and call this a must-win series for the Birds. It’s gut check times, fellas.

The Breakdown
Baltimore Orioles (57-56) vs. Oakland A’s (51-65)
Season Series: Baltimore leads 2-1
Last 10 Games: Baltimore’s 4-6, Oakland’s 4-6
Runs: Baltimore’s 9th, Oakland’s 16th
Home Runs: Baltimore’s 4th, Oakland’s tied for 26th
Batting Average: Baltimore’s 15th, Oakland’s 19th
On-Base Percentage: Baltimore’s 23rd, Oakland’s 18th
Team ERA: Baltimore’s 13th, Oakland’s 5th
Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 22nd, Oakland’s 2nd
Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 4th, Oakland’s 26th
Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s 1st, Oakland’s 30th

Baltimore’s Injury Report
P Chaz Roe: 15-day DL (right shoulder)
P Mike Wright: 15-day DL (left calf)
C Matt Wieters: day-to-day (right hamstring)
OF Steve Pearce: 15-day DL (left oblique)

Oakland’s Injury Report
P Sean Doolittle: 60-day DL (left shoulder; currently on rehab assignment)
P Sonny Gray: day-to-day (back)
P Jesse Hahn: 15-day DL (right forearm)
P Jarrod Parker: 60-day DL (right elbow surgery; out for season)
INF Tyler Ladendorf: 60-day DL (left ankle surgery)

Friday, August 14 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (9-7) vs. LHP Brad Mills (0-0)
Jimenez’s 2015: 22 GS, 126 IP, 116 Ks, 3.79 ERA, 1.28 WHIP
Jimenez’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 19.2 IP, 11 Ks, 3.66 ERA, 0.86 WHIP
Mills’ 2015 (Minors): 4-11, 22 GS, 127.1 IP, 84 Ks, 4.45 ERA, 1.37 WHIP

Jimenez was sensational in his last start, picking up the win after pitching eight scoreless innings against the Angels. He gave up only two hits and a walk while striking out six. Jimenez needed an outing like that in the worst way, as he had a 10.61 ERA over his first four second half starts. He’ll look to build on that strong performance against an Oakland club that’s given him trouble over the years. In five career starts against A’s, Jimenez is 3-1 with a 4.91 ERA and 1.52 WHIP, and he’s struck out 27 batters over 25.2 innings. Jimenez’s most recent start against Oakland came last season, and the 31-year-old righty was hammered. He took the loss after allowing six runs on two hits and five walks while striking out two over 2.1 innings.

Due to Sonny Gray’s back spasms, Mills has been called up from Triple-A Nashville to make his first MLB start of the season. Over parts of five seasons with the Blue Jays, Angels, and A’s, Mills is 4-4 in 20 career appearances (13 starts) with an 8.15 ERA and 1.77 WHIP while striking out 70 batters over 74 innings. Mills is a 30-year-old finesse pitcher, who throws in the mid to high 80s with a changeup, a curveball, and a cutter. Somehow, this goddamn bum boasts sterling career numbers against the Birds. In three career starts against the O’s, Mills is 3-0 with a 1.56 ERA and 0.92 WHIP, and he’s struck out 15 batters over 17.1 innings. This will be the southpaw’s first start against the Birds since 2012.

Good News: Chris Davis is 2-for-5 off Mills. Danny Valencia is 1-for-8, Eric Sogard is 0-for-6, Sam Fuld is 1-for-4, Ike Davis is 0-for-3, and Stephen Vogt is 0-for-3 off Jimenez.

Bad News: Adam Jones is 1-for-8 with a HR, Matt Wieters is 1-for-5, J.J. Hardy is 0-for-2, and Nolan Reimold is 0-for-2 off Mills. Billy Butler is 9-for-28 with a HR, Josh Reddick is 3-for-10 with a HR, Brett Lawrie is 3-for-8 with a HR, Josh Phegley is 3-for-4, and Marcus Semien is 1-for-3 off Jimenez.

Saturday, August 15 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN
RHP Miguel Gonzalez (9-8) vs. RHP Chris Bassitt (1-4)
Gonzalez’s 2015: 21 GS, 119.1 IP, 92 Ks, 4.45 ERA, 1.32 WHIP
Gonzalez’s Last Three Starts: 0-2, 13.1 IP, 12 Ks, 8.10 ERA, 2.10 WHIP
Bassitt’s 2015: 12 G, 7 GS, 54.1 IP, 44 Ks, 2.48 ERA, 1.05 WHIP
Bassitt’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 20.2 IP, 23 Ks, 1.74 ERA, 0.92 WHIP

Gonzalez was roughed up in his last start, taking the loss against the Angels after giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out six over 4.2 innings. I was hoping that the All-Star break would provide Gonzalez with the rest he needed to start pitching like he did before suffering a groin injury, but he’s continued to pitch like total dogshit. In five second half starts, Gonzo is 2-2 with a 5.19 ERA and 1.58 WHIP, and he’s struck out 21 batters over 26 innings. In three career appearances (two starts) against Oakland, Gonzalez is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.46 WHIP, and he’s struck out nine batters over 11.2 innings. Gonzalez last faced the A’s on August 4, and he took the loss after surrendering three runs on five hits and three walks while striking out five batters over 5.1 innings.

Bassitt opposed Gonzalez on August 4, and the 26-year-old righty picked up the win after pitching seven scoreless innings. He gave up five hits and two walks while striking out seven in a masterful outing. Bassitt has been a model of consistency since joining Oakland’s rotation, giving up three runs or less in all seven of his starts. In Bassitt’s last start, he took a no-decision after an impressive performance against the AL West-leading Astros. He gave up one run on three hits and two walks while striking out 10 over 6.2 innings.

Good News: Manny Machado is 1-for-3, Gerardo Parra is 1-for-3, Jonathan Schoop is 2-for-3, and Chris Davis is 1-for-2 off Basitt. Lawrie is 3-for-20, Butler is 2-for-13, Sogard is 1-for-5, Valencia is 0-for-4, Vogt is 0-for-3, Mark Canha is 0-for-2, Fuld is 0-for-2, and Semien is 0-for-2 off Gonzalez.

Bad News: Hardy is 0-for-3, Jones is 0-for-3, Jimmy Paredes is 0-for-3, and Wieters is 0-for-3 off Bassitt. Ike Davis is 1-for-6 with a HR, Coco Crisp is 3-for-5, and Billy Burns is 1-for-2 off Gonzalez.

Sunday, August 16 at 1:35 p.m. on MASN
LHP Wei-Yin Chen (6-6) vs. RHP Kendall Graveman (6-8)
Chen’s 2015: 22 GS, 137.1 IP, 111 Ks, 3.21 ERA, 1.17 WHIP
Chen’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 15.2 IP, 15 Ks, 5.74 ERA, 1.47 WHIP
Graveman’s 2015: 19 GS, 106.1 IP, 70 Ks, 3.89 ERA, 1.42 WHIP
Graveman’s Last Three Starts: 0-1, 17 IP, 13 Ks, 2.65 ERA, 1.18 WHIP

Chen was excellent in his last outing, earning the win against the Mariners after holding them to one run on three hits and two walks while striking out five over 7.1 innings. It was Chen’s first quality start since July 21, but his 14 quality starts on the season are still easily the most of any Oriole starter. Chen couldn’t pick a better opponent to go for number 15 against. In six career starts against the A’s, Chen is 4-0 with a 2.19 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, and he’s struck out 33 batters over 37 innings. In Chen’s start against Oakland on August 5, he took a no-decision after giving up three runs on four hits and four walks while striking out four over five innings.

After a very respectable first half, Graveman has fell on hard times since the All-Star break. In 14 first half starts, Graveman went 6-5 with a 3.38 ERA and 1.37 WHIP while striking out 51 batters over 82.2 innings. In five second half starts, Graveman is 0-3 with a 5.70 ERA and 1.61 WHIP, and he’s struck out 19 batters over 23.2 innings. Graveman matched up against Chen on August 5 in his first career start (third appearance) against the Orioles. He took a no-decision after surrendering three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out three over 5.2 innings. The Birds went on to win that game, 7-3.

Good News: Hardy is 2-for-4, Paredes is 1-for-3, Parra is 1-for-3, Chris Davis is 1-for-2, Reimold is 1-for-2, and Schoop is 1-for-1 off Graveman. Fuld is 3-for-18, Valencia is 4-for-17, Crisp is 3-for-11, Reddick is 0-for-9, Lawrie is 0-for-4, Phegley is 0-for-3, and Burns is 0-for-2 off Chen. In 11 games in August, Chris Davis is batting .316/.435/.842 with 6 HRs, 13 RBIs, and 11 runs scored.

Bad News: Jones is 0-for-4, Machado is 0-for-3, Caleb Joseph is 0-for-2, and Ryan Flaherty is 0-for-1 off Graveman. Butler is 9-for-21 with 2 HRs, Semien is 1-for-3, Canha is 1-for-2, and Ike Davis is 1-for-2 off Chen.

Monday, August 17 at 7:05 p.m. MASN
RHP Chris Tillman (8-7) vs. RHP Aaron Brooks (1-1)
Tillman’s 2015: 21 GS, 116 IP, 82 Ks, 4.66 ERA, 1.37 WHIP
Tillman’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 18 IP, 8 Ks, 3.00 ERA, 0.94 WHIP
Brooks’ 2015: 5 G, 3 GS, 20.1 IP, 17 Ks, 5.75 ERA, 1.18 WHIP

Tillman was shellacked in his first start back from a sprained left ankle. He took a no-decision against the Mariners after giving up five runs on eight hits and no walks while striking out two over 2.1 innings. Tillman’s ankle injury couldn’t have come at a worst time, as he was really in a groove. In his last four starts before facing Seattle, Tillman had only given up three runs over 29.2 innings. Hopefully, Tillman’s ankle injury is behind him, and he’ll be able to get back on track against one of his favorite opponents. In four career starts against Oakland, Tillman is 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA and 1.12 WHIP, and he’s struck out 24 batters over 25 innings. Tillman’s most recent start against the A’s came last season, and he pitched well in a no-decision. He gave up two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out six over 6.2 innings.

At the trade deadline, Oakland acquired Brooks and Sean Manaea from Kansas City in exchange for Ben Zobrist and cash. Brooks hasn’t exactly lit up the minors, going 42-32 with a 4.21 ERA and 1.29 WHIP while striking out 492 batters over 639 career innings. Brooks is 25-years-old, and he throws in the low 90s with a changeup, a slider, and a curveball. His changeup is his best pitch, and he’s been throwing it 28.9% of the time this season. Brooks got off to a fantastic start with the A’s, allowing only two runs over 14.1 innings in his first two starts with his new squad. The honeymoon ended in abrupt fashion, though, as Brooks was absolutely pummeled in his last start. Brooks took the loss against the Blue Jays after giving up eight runs on six hits and two walks while striking out two over 1.2 innings. This will be Brooks’ first time facing the Birds or any of their hitters.

Good News: Lawrie is 4-for-22 with 2 HRs, Crisp is 1-for-8, Reddick is 0-for-5, Sogard is 0-for-5, and Vogt is 0-for-5 off Tillman. The Birds are only 15-19 in one-run games, but the A’s are an atrocious 13-26 in one-run games.

Bad News: Butler is 4-for-16 with a HR, Valencia is 2-for-7, Fuld is 2-for-5, and Ike Davis is 2-for-4 off Tillman.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

stats: Baseball-Reference
cover pic: Oregon Live