Orioles vs. Blue Jays Series Preview

Sports and Bets — June 12, 2014 at 4:35 pm by

The Birds took two out of three from those bearded Boston assholes to improve to 3-3 on their current home stand. Their pitching was sensational in the series, holding the Red Sox to only one total run. Now the AL East Division leading Toronto Blue Jays are coming to town for a four-game series. This is a big one. If the O’s want to take this wide open division, this series would be the perfect time to start making their move. Show ’em how to deal with Canadian slapdicks, Shawn.

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The Breakdown

Toronto Blue Jays (39-28) at Baltimore Orioles (33-31)

Season Series: 3-3

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

Runs: Toronto 3rd, Baltimore 14th

Home Runs: Toronto 1st, Baltimore 5th

Batting Average: Toronto 5th, Baltimore 4th

On-base Percentage: Toronto 4th, Baltimore 16th

Team ERA: Toronto 19th, Baltimore 22nd

Starting Pitcher ERA: Toronto 11th, Baltimore 24th

Bullpen ERA: Toronto 28th, Baltimore 17th

Fewest Errors Made: Toronto Tied for 3rd, Baltimore Tied for 4th

Game 1: Thursday, June 12, 7:05 on MASN 2

Mark Buehrle LHP (10-2) vs. Kevin Gausman RHP (1-1)
Buehrle’s Season Stats: 88 1/3 IP, 52 Ks, 2.04 ERA, 1.21 WHIP
Buehrle’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 21 2/3 IP, 12 Ks, 1.66 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
Gausman’s Season Stats: 11 IP, 8 Ks, 4.91 ERA, 1.18 WHIP

Buehrle has made 22 appearances (20 starts) against the O’s in his career, recording an 8-8 record against the club. He has pitched much better than his record indicates, posting a lifetime 3.31 ERA and 1.23 WHIP against the Birds. He made one start against the O’s earlier this season, and he earned the win after pitching seven strong innings. He allowed only one run on five hits with two strikeouts. Despite these impressive performances, the current Orioles roster boasts excellent numbers off the crafty southpaw. As a team, they have hit .302/.340/.503 with nine home runs in 189 at-bats off Buehrle.

Gausman will look to carry the momentum over from his last start, where he was very sharp in seven innings against the A’s. He earned the win after allowing only one run on four hits and a walk, with six strikeouts. Gausman hasn’t pitched well in limited action against Toronto. He’s 0-1 over four appearances (one start) with a 6.14 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP. A strong start tonight from Gausman would create some interesting questions in the starting rotation with Miguel Gonzalez scheduled to rejoin the club early next week. Would Gausman still get sent down? Would the Birds use a six-man rotation? Would someone get bumped to the bullpen? Hopefully, Gausman will bring his best stuff to the yard tonight and force Buck Showalter to have to make a tough call.

Good News: Delmon Young is 17-for-45 with three home runs, Nick Markakis is 18-for-42 with two home runs, Adam Jones is 10-for-26 with a home run, and Chris Davis is 6-for-16 with two home runs off Buehrle. Edwin Encarnacion is 0-for-4 off Gausman. Toronto has been shut out in three of their last five games.

Bad News: J.J. Hardy is 3-for-25 with a home run and Nelson Cruz is 0-for-14 off Buehrle. Manny Machado is in an 0-for-18 slump. Adam Lind is 2-for-3 off Gausman. In 81 career games against the O’s, Encarnacion is hitting .270 with 24 home runs and 53 RBIs.

Game 2: Friday, June 13, 7:05 on MASN

Drew Hutchison RHP (4-4) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez RHP (2-7)
Hutchison’s Season Stats: 75 IP, 67 Ks, 3.96 ERA, 1.23 WHIP
Hutchison’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 15 IP, 8 Ks, 6.00 ERA, 1.40 WHIP
Jimenez’s Season Stats: 70 IP, 66 Ks, 5.01 ERA, 1.53 WHIP
Jimenez’s Last Three Starts: 0-1, 14 IP, 15 Ks, 5.14 ERA, 1.50 WHIP

The 23-year-old Hutchison has had the Orioles number so far in his young career. Over four starts against the Birds, he’s gone 1-0 with a sterling 1.50 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. He’s struck out 25 Oriole batters over 24 innings. He’s pitched twice against the O’s this season and has not recorded a decision, even though he’s been lights out. Over 12 innings, he’s stuck out 14 batters and posted a 1.50 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. Nope, that’s not a misprint; he’s been bizarrely consistent in his small sample size against the Birds.

Jimenez has struggled against the Blue Jays over his career, pitching to a 5.23 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP over 32 2/3 innings. He’s pitched against Toronto once this year, and took the loss after getting shellacked for five runs over 5 1/3 innings. He gave up 10 hits and two walks, while striking out three.

Good News: Markakis is 4-for-12 off Hutchison. In 66 career games against Toronto, Davis is hitting .313 with 21 home runs and 54 RBIs. Bautista is 2-for-22 and Melky Cabrera is 2-for-11 off Jimenez.

Bad News: Jones is 2-for-12 and Hardy is 1-for-10 off Hutchison. Encarnacion is 5-for-16 with a home run, Lind is 4-for-13, and Brett Lawrie is 3-for-7 with a home run off Jimenez.

Game 3: Saturday, June 14, 4:05 on MASN and WJZ

R.A. Dickey RHP (6-4) vs. Bud Norris RHP (5-5)
Dickey’s Season Stats: 83 2/3 IP, 68 Ks, 4.20 ERA, 1.41 WHIP
Dickey’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 15 1/3 IP, 14 Ks, 5.28 ERA, 1.89 WHIP
Norris’ Season Stats: 75 1/3 IP, 51 Ks, 3.94 ERA, 1.17 WHIP
Norris’ Last Three Starts: 2-1, 19 IP, 12 Ks, 4.26 ERA, 1.16 WHIP

Dickey has had some trouble with the Birds over the years, going 2-4 in 11 career appearances (eight starts) against the O’s. Over these 58 innings, he’s struck out 51 batters and posted a 4.66 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Dickey has pitched once against the O’s this season. He was credited with a no-decision after allowing three runs on six hits and three walks, with six strikeouts over six innings. Dickey is prone to giving up the long ball. Last year he gave up 35 homers, which was the 2nd  most in the MLB.

Norris has pitched well against Toronto in his career, going 1-0 in three career starts with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Unfortunately, current Blue Jays are slashing .319/.410/.451 with two home runs over 91 at-bats off the righty. Norris was decent in his start against the Blue Jays earlier this season. He earned the win after allowing three runs on five hits and a walk, with four strikeouts over six innings.

Good News: Hardy is 5-for-15 with a home run, Young is 3-for-11 with a home run, Machado is 3-for-10, and Cruz is 2-for-7 with a home run off Dickey. Lawrie is 0-for-6 and Bautista is 0-for-5 off Norris.

Bad News: Jones is 3-for-19 with a home run off Dickey. Reyes is 6-for-19, Josh Thole is 5-for-13 with a home run, Dioner Navarro is 4-for-11 with a home run, and Cabrera is 4-for-9 off Norris.

Game 4: Sunday, June 15, 1:35 on MASN and WJZ

J.A. Happ LHP (5-3) vs. Chris Tillman RHP (5-3)
Happ’s Season Stats: 47 1/3 IP, 38 Ks, 4.37 ERA, 1.61 WHIP
Happ’s Last Three Starts: 1-2, 17 2/3 IP, 11 Ks, 6.11 ERA, 1.64 WHIP
Tillman’s Season Stats: 77 IP, 58 Ks, 4.91 ERA, 1.52 WHIP
Tillman’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 13 2/3 IP, 7 Ks, 4.61 ERA, 1.83 WHIP

Happ has pitched very well against the O’s in his career, recording a 2.75 ERA in four appearances (three starts), and striking out 22 batters over 19 2/3 innings. However, he does have a 1.68 WHIP against the Birds, so it’s safe to say that the O’s have let him off the hook on a few occasions. When the Orioles faced Happ earlier this season, he was pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up one run on two hits and two walks, with three strikeouts over 2 2/3 innings. Matt Wieters took him deep. God dammit, do I miss having that lanky bastard around.

Tillman has solid lifetime numbers against the Blue Jays. He’s 4-4 over 12 career starts, struck out 61 batters over 76 2/3 innings, and posted a 3.99 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. Tillman was great in his first start against Toronto this season, giving up two unearned runs over eight innings. But all hell broke loose in his second turn, and he surrendered seven runs in 5 2/3 innings. For Tillman to experience any consistent success during the remainder of this season, he has to cut down on the walks. He’s averaging 4.1 walks per nine innings this season, a number that makes it almost impossible to pitch effectively in the big leagues.

Good News: Professional Hitter Steve Pearce is 3-for-9, Jones is 5-for-10, Markakis is 4-for-10, and Nick Hundley is 3-for-7 off Happ. Lawrie is 4-for-19 off Tillman.

Bad News: Hardy is 1-for-7 and Young is 1-for-7 off Happ. Encarnacion is 9-for-31 with a home run, Bautista is 7-for-22 with two home runs, Cabrera is 7-for-19 with a home run, and Reyes is 4-for-14 with a home run off Tillman.

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

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