Orioles vs. Blue Jays Series Preview

Sports and Bets — May 11, 2015 at 6:14 pm by

The Birds are kicking off a nine-game homestand with a three-game series against the Jays. Hopefully, some home cooking is just what the O’s need to get back to their winning ways. In the Birds’ first six games against Toronto, they scored 33 runs (5.5 per game). The only problem is that they allowed 47 runs (7.8 per game). But that’s all in the past now, babes. It’s time to crank up the Van Halen, and get this season turned around right the fuck now.

The Breakdown
Baltimore Orioles (13-16) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (16-16)
Season Series: Toronto leads 5-1
Last 10 Games: Baltimore’s 4-6, Toronto’s 6-4
Runs: Baltimore’s tied for 12th, Toronto’s 1st
Home Runs: Baltimore’s tied for 4th, Toronto’s 6th
Batting Average: Baltimore’s 5th, Toronto’s 9th
On-Base Percentage: Baltimore’s 6th, Toronto’s 5th
Team ERA: Baltimore’s 22nd, Toronto’s 26th
Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 23rd, Toronto’s 27th
Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 16th, Toronto’s 15th
Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s tied for 14th, Toronto’s tied for 10th

Baltimore’s Injury Report
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 Jonathan Schoop: 15-day DL (right knee)

Toronto’s Injury Report
P Marcus Stroman: 60-day DL (ACL; out for season)
INF Maicer Izturis: 60-day DL (groin)
INF Jose Reyes: 15-day DL (rib; eligible to return Tuesday)
OF Michael Saunders: 15-day DL (left knee)
DH Dioner Navarro: 15-day DL (left hamstring)

Monday, May 11 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (2-2) vs. RHP Marco Estrada (1-1)
Jimenez’s Season: 5 GS, 26.2 IP, 23 Ks, 2.36 ERA, 0.98 WHIP
Jimenez’s Last Three Starts: 1-2, 16 IP, 13 Ks, 3.94 ERA, 1.31 WHIP
Estrada’s Season: 7 G, 1 GS, 15.1 IP, 14 Ks, 2.93 ERA, 1.11 WHIP

Jimenez will look to get back on track after a rough start against the Mets. Ubaldo took the loss after giving up three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out one over four innings. It won’t be easy for Jimenez, as Toronto has the highest scoring offense in baseball. In 10 career starts (11 appearances) against the Blue Jays, Jimenez is 4-4 with a 4.29 ERA and 1.31 WHIP, and he’s struck out 49 batters over 56.2 innings. This season, Jimenez is 1-1 in two starts against Toronto with a 3.00 ERA and 0.92 WHIP, and he’s struck out 14 batters over 12 innings. Jimenez was knocked around in his start at the Rogers Centre, but he pitched seven shutout innings when he faced the Jays at Camden Yards back on April 11.

This past winter, the Jays traded Adam Lind to the Brewers for Estrada. Estrada had a couple nice seasons in Milwaukee before really struggling in 2014. He went 7-6 in 18 starts (39 appearances) with a 4.36 ERA while serving up an MLB-leading 29 home runs in just 150.2 innings. Estrada throws in the high 80s with a curveball and a changeup. He’s been relying heavily on his changeup this season, throwing it 34.3% of the time. The 31-year-old started the season in the bullpen and made his first start last week against the Yankees. He took the loss after giving up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and no walks while striking out three over 4.2 innings. Estrada’s made two relief appearances against the Birds in his career, and they both came earlier this season. Estrada gave up one run on two hits and no walks while striking out three in two innings. This will be his first career start against the O’s.

Good News: Professional Hitter Steve Pearce is 3-for-7 off Estrada. Jose Bautista is 2-for-29, Edwin Encarnacion is 6-for-28 with a HR, Justin Smoak is 2-for-17 with a HR, Josh Donaldson is 1-for-12, Danny Valencia is 1-for-8, Kevin Pillar is 1-for-5, Ryan Goins is 1-for-4, Josh Thole is 1-for-4, and Chris Colabello is 0-for-3 off Jimenez. In 78 career games against the Jays, Davis is slashing .303/.383/.657 with 25 HRs and 61 RBIs.

Bad News: Travis Snider is 1-for-12, Jimmy Paredes is 0-for-2, Delmon Young is 0-for-2, Chris Davis is 0-for-1, Caleb Joseph is 0-for-1, and David Lough is 0-for-1 off Estrada. Russell Martin is 9-for-34, and Devon Travis is 3-for-5 with a HR off Jimenez. In 97 career games against the O’s, Encarnacion is hitting .266/.328/.543 with 26 HRs, 60 RBIs, and 63 runs scored.

Tuesday, May 12 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN
RHP Chris Tillman (2-4) vs. LHP Mark Buehrle (4-2)
Tillman’s Season: 6 GS, 31.2 IP, 23 Ks, 6.25 ERA, 1.67 WHIP
Tillman’s Last Three Starts: 0-3, 17 IP, 13 Ks, 6.88 ERA, 1.65 WHIP
Buehrle’s Season: 6 GS, 33 IP, 14 Ks, 6.00 ERA, 1.85 WHIP
Buehrle’s Last Three Starts: 1-2, 15 IP, 7 Ks, 8.40 ERA, 2.27 WHIP

The Orioles’ ace is really having a hard time this season, and walking too many batters has been a major reason for Tillman’s sub par pitching. In 2013 and 2014, Tillman walked 3.0 and 2.9 batters per nine innings, respectively. This season, Tillman’s walking 5.1 batters per nine innings. Tilly has to get back to pounding the zone if he’s going to be the anchor of this staff. Tillman’s taken two relentless ass kickings in his two starts against the Blue Jays this season. He’s 0-2 with an 18.00 ERA and 2.86 WHIP, and he’s given up 12 hits, 14 runs, three homers, and eight walks over seven innings. In 16 career starts against the Jays, he’s 4-8 with a 5.12 ERA and 1.32 WHIP.

After giving up 13 runs in 10 innings in his two starts against the Rays and Indians, Buehrle rebounded nicely in his last start. He earned the win after allowing one run on six hits and a walk while striking out three Yankees over five innings. The 36-year-old vet throws a fastball, a cutter, a curveball, and a changeup. While Buehrle’s fastball and cutter have averaged 83 and 79 mph, respectively, he’s still thrown them a combined 70% of the time this season. In 24 starts (26 appearances) against the O’s, Buehrle is 10-10 with a 3.58 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. This season, he’s 2-0 in two starts against the Birds with a 3.75 ERA and 1.58 WHIP.

Good News: Young is 22-for-56 with 4 HRs, Adam Jones is 16-for-37 with 2 HRs, Davis is 8-for-25 with 2 HRs, Joseph is 4-for-8 with a HR, Snider is 5-for-9, Ryan Lavarnway is 3-for-6, Alejandro de Aza is 1-for-3, and Ryan Flaherty is 1-for-2 off Buehrle. Goins is 3-for-14 with a HR, Smoak is 2-for-10, and Devon Travis is 1-for-4 off Tillman.

Bad News: J.J. Hardy is 4-for-30 with a HR, Manny Machado is 4-for-16, and Pearce is 2-for-11 off Buehrle. Encarnacion is 12-for-41 with a HR, Bautista is 8-for-30 with 2 HRs, Donaldson is 5-for-13 with a HR, Martin is 2-for-5, Valencia is 2-for-7, and Pillar is 3-for-7 with a HR off Tillman.

Wednesday, May 13 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN 2
RHP Miguel Gonzalez (3-2) vs. RHP Aaron Sanchez (3-2)
Gonzalez’s Season: 6 GS, 35.1 IP, 29 Ks, 3.57 ERA, 1.22 WHIP
Gonzalez’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 17.2 IP, 9 Ks, 4.58 ERA, 1.19 WHIP
Sanchez’s Season: 6 GS, 32.1 IP, 24 Ks, 3.62 ERA, 1.55 WHIP
Sanchez’s Last Three Starts: 2-0. 18.1 IP, 15 Ks, 2.45 ERA, 1.31 WHIP

Gonzalez has been one of the Birds’ most consistent pitchers this season, but he turned in his first real stinker of a performance in his last start against the Yankees. He took the loss after giving up five runs on five hits and two walks while striking out two over four innings. This will be Gonzalez’s first start against the Jays this season, and it’s about damn time. In 10 career starts (11 appearances) against Toronto, he’s 6-2 with a 2.64 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. Last season, he went 2-0 in three starts with a 1.62 ERA and 1.02 WHIP while striking out 13 batters over 16.2 innings.

Sanchez is coming off his best start of the season. He earned the win after giving up no runs on two hits and five walks while striking out three Red Sox over seven innings. Sanchez is lucky to have such a low ERA, as he’s walked an MLB-leading 25 batters this season. That averages out to a ridiculously high 7.0 walks per nine innings. He’s also walked more batters than he’s struck out (24), which is almost impossible to do. Sanchez throws a fastball, a curveball, a changeup, and a slider. His fastball sits in the mid-90s, and he’s thrown it 74.1% of the time this season. The 22-year-old righty has made two starts (five appearances) against the O’s in his career, going 1-1 with a 4.73 ERA and 1.88 WHIP while striking out 10 batters over 13.1 innings. This season, Sanchez is 1-1 in two starts against the Birds with a 5.19 ERA and 2.08 WHIP, and he’s given up three homers and nine walks over 8.2 innings.

Good News: Bautista is 7-for-31 off Tommy Hunter, and Hunter’s also a judo master if that dickhead’s feeling froggy. Davis is 4-for-6 with 2 HRs, De Aza is 2-for-6 with a HR, Paredes is 1-for-3 with a HR, and Pearce is 1-for-3 off Sanchez. Encarnacion is 3-for-22 with 3 HRs, Bautista is 4-for-16, Goins is 2-for-11, Thole is 1-for-4, Colabello is 0-for-3, and Valencia is 0-for-3 off Gonzalez.

Bad News: Bautista is 5-for-15 with 4 HRs off Darren O’ Day. Joseph is 0-for-6, Jones is 0-for-5, Machado is 0-for-4, Snider is 0-for-3, Flaherty is 0-for-2, Hardy is 0-for-2, and Young is 0-for-1 off Sanchez. Martin is 3-for-5, Donaldson is 1-for-3, and Pillar is 1-for-2 off Gonzalez.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

cover pic: Zimbio/Getty Images
stats: Baseball-Reference

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