Orioles vs. Braves Series Preview

Sports and Bets — July 27, 2015 at 6:39 pm by

The Birds are back home after a 4-5 road trip. They took two out of three from Detroit and Tampa Bay, but getting swept by New York was a costly misstep. The O’s certainly can’t afford many more series like that if they are going to return to the postseason. Up next for the Birds is a three-game series with the Braves. A lot of people have been looking forward to this series, as it marks the return of fan favorite Ryan Lavarnway Jim Johnson Nick Markakis to Camden Yards. It’ll be nice to hear Nick get a standing ovation, but I’m not too sentimental about his return to Baltimore. The O’s are in 3rd place and seven games behind the Yankees for 1st. Fuck nostalgia, the Birds have ballgames to win!

The Breakdown
Baltimore Orioles (48-49) vs. Atlanta Braves (46-52)
Last 10 Games: Baltimore’s 4-6, Atlanta’s 4-6
Runs: Baltimore’s tied for 10th, Atlanta’s tied for 23rd
Home Runs: Baltimore’s 5th, Atlanta’s 30th
Batting Average: Baltimore’s 13th, Atlanta’s 16th
On-Base Percentage: Baltimore’s 21st, Atlanta’s 15th
Team ERA: Baltimore’s 14th, Atlanta’s 19th
Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 20th, Atlanta’s 10th
Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 5th, Atlanta’s 26th
Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s 1st, Atlanta’s tied for 13th

Baltimore’s Injury Report
P Jason Garcia: 60-day DL (right shoulder; currently on rehab assignment)
OF Steve Pearce: 15-day DL (left oblique)

Atlanta’s Injury Report
P Bronson Arroyo: 60-day DL (Tommy John surgery)
P Jason Grilli: 60-day DL (left Achilles; out for season)
P Mike Minor: 60-day DL (left shoulder; out for season)
P Josh Outman: 60-day DL (left shoulder; currently on rehab assignment)
P Williams Perez: 15-day DL (left foot; currently on rehab assignment)
P Shae Simmons: 60-day DL (Tommy John surgery; out for season)
P Chris Withrow: 60-day DL (Tommy John surgery)

Monday, July 27 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN
RHP Kevin Gausman (1-2) vs. LHP Alex Wood (7-6)
Gausman’s 2015: 12 G, 4 GS, 33 IP, 29 Ks, 5.18 ERA, 1.30 WHIP
Gausman’s Last Three Starts: 0-2, 16 IP, 15 Ks, 6.19 ERA, 1.38 WHIP
Wood’s 2015: 19 GS, 112 IP, 83 Ks, 3.78 ERA, 1.46 WHIP
Wood’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 12.1 IP, 9 Ks, 7.30 ERA, 1.78 WHIP

Gausman took the loss in his last start after giving up four runs on six hits and two walks while striking out four over six innings against the Yankees. Gausman has struggled to duplicate his 2014 success and serving up too many long balls has been a major factor in his less than desirable numbers. Last season, Gausman gave up only seven home runs over 113.1 innings, which averages out to 0.6 HR/9. This season, Gausman has allowed five home runs over just 33 innings, which averages out to 1.4 HR/9. If Gausman can cut down on the taters, he’ll be a huge asset for the Birds during their stretch run. Gausman has never faced the Braves or any of their hitters before, and unfortunately, interleague play hasn’t been too kind to the 24-year-old righty over the years. In five career appearances (four starts) in interleague play, Gausman is 1-3 with a 6.86 ERA and 1.67 WHIP, and he’s struck out 18 batters over 21 innings.

Wood has been a road warrior this season, going 5-3 in 12 road starts with a 3.11 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. At Turner Field, Wood is 2-3 in seven starts with a 4.99 ERA and 1.66 WHIP. Wood is a talented 24-year-old southpaw, who’s excellent at keeping the ball in the park. This season, he’s given up just eight home runs over 112 innings, and he averages 0.7 HR/9 innings for his career. Despite typically sitting in the high 80s, Wood’s best pitch is his fastball, and he’s been going with his heater a career-high 66.0% of the time this season. Wood also throws a very tough knuckle curve and a pretty mediocre chanegup. This will be Wood’s first time facing the O’s, but unlike Gausman, he’s loved interleague play over his career. In 12 career appearances (seven starts) in interleague play, Wood is 3-3 with a 2.28 ERA and 1.29 WHIP, and he’s struck out 37 batters over 51.1 innings.

Good News: Travis Snider is 3-for-7 with a HR, and David Lough is 1-for-1 off Wood. The O’s are 27-18 at home this season, and the Braves are 20-32 on the road. The last time these two clubs faced off was in June of 2012, and the O’s took two out of three. The Birds are 14-9 this season against left-handed starters.

Bad News: The Birds are 12-16 in one-run games this season, while the Braves are 19-15. Nick Markakis is the all-time leader with a .353 lifetime average in interleague play. The O’s are 16-20 all-time against the Braves.

Tuesday, July 28 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (7-6) vs. RHP Julio Teheran (6-5)
Jimenez’s 2015: 19 GS, 106.1 IP, 105 Ks, 3.81 ERA, 1.35 WHIP
Jimenez’s Last Three Starts: 0-2, 12 IP, 12 Ks, 10.50 ERA, 2.33 WHIP
Teheran’s 2015: 20 GS, 120.1 IP, 102 Ks, 4.49 ERA, 1.37 WHIP
Teheran’s Last Three Starts: 0-1, 18.2 IP, 24 Ks, 3.86 ERA, 1.18 WHIP

Jimenez has been pummeled in his first two starts of the 2nd half, going 0-2 while giving up 14 runs over seven innings. It hasn’t been pretty, babes. Jimenez’s last two outings have made 2014 Jimenez look like 2000 Pedro Martinez. Thankfully, Jimenez will be pitching at home for the first time since June 28. This season, Jimenez has gone 5-1 in seven starts at Camden Yards with a 2.06 ERA and 0.94 WHIP while striking out 47 batters over 48 innings. In 12 road starts, Jimenez has gone 2-5 with a 5.25 ERA and 1.70 WHIP while striking out 58 batters over 58.1 innings. In nine career starts against the Braves, Jimenez is 3-5 with a 3.79 ERA and 1.37 WHIP, and he’s struck out 66 batters over 54.2 innings. Jimenez’s last start against Atlanta came on August 29, 2013. He was saddled with the loss after holding the Braves to three runs on seven hits and no walks while striking out 10 over seven innings.

As a disgruntled Julio Teheran fantasy owner, I can tell you from firsthand experience that he’s been a tremendous disappointment this season. Over the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Teheran posted a 3.03 ERA in 406.2 innings, which makes his current 4.49 ERA stick out like a sore thumb. Walks have been a major problem for Teheran, as he’s walking 3.4 batters per nine innings. In 2013 and 2014, Teheran recorded averages of 2.2 BB/9 and 2.1 BB/9, respectively. Pitching on the road has also been a thorn in Teheran’s side. He’s gone 1-4 in 10 road starts with a 6.95 ERA and 1.78 WHIP while striking out 42 batters over 55.2 innings. At Turner Field, Teheran has gone 5-1 in 10 starts with a 2.37 ERA and 1.02 WHIP while striking out 60 batters over 64.2 innings. The 24-year-old will mix in a curveball and a changeup every now and then, but he’s primarily a two-pitch pitcher. Teheran has been throwing his low 90s fastball or low 80s slider a combined 86.1% of the time this season. This will be the 2014 All-Star’s first career start against the Birds. In seven career starts in interleague play, Teheran is 2-3 with a 4.91 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, and he’s struck out 28 batters over 44 innings.

Good News: Snider is 3-for-7 off Teheran. A.J. Pierzynski is 5-for-26 with a HR off Jimenez. In 45 career games in interleague play, Manny Machado is batting .332/.370/.543 with 9 HRs, 29 RBIs, 30 runs scored, and 5 steals.

Bad News: Chris Parmelee is 0-for-3 off Teheran. Jonny Gomes is 7-for-19 with 3 HRs, Chris Johnson is 3-for-6, Pedro Ciriaco is 2-for-5, Freddie Freeman is 1-for-5 with a HR, Markakis is 2-for-5 with a HR, and Andrelton Simmons is 2-for-3 off Jimenez.

Wednesday, July 29 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN
RHP Chris Tillman (7-7) vs. LHP Manny Banuelos (1-2)
Tillman’s 2015: 19 GS, 105 IP, 78 Ks, 4.71 ERA, 1.40 WHIP
Tillman’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 21 IP, 18 Ks, 1.29 ERA, 0.76 WHIP
Banuelos’ 2015: 5 G, 4 GS, 21.2 IP, 16 Ks, 2.49 ERA, 1.34 WHIP
Banuelos’ Last Three Starts: 1-2, 15 IP, 8 Ks, 3.60 ERA, 1.73 WHIP

Tillman has been on a roll lately, posting a 1.38 ERA over his last five outings. In his first two starts of the 2nd half, Tillman is 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA and 0.47 WHIP, and he’s struck out 12 batters over 15 innings. It wouldn’t be surprising at all if Tillman was able to pitch lights out for the Birds as they make their playoff push. Tillman has a lifetime 3.75 ERA and 1.18 WHIP after the All-Star break, compared to a 4.42 ERA and 1.44 WHIP before the break. Last season, Tillman went 6-1 in 14 starts in the 2nd half with a 2.33 ERA and 1.01 WHIP while striking out 76 batters over 89 innings. This will be Tillman’s first career start against the Braves. In 14 career starts in interleague play, Tillman is 2-1 with a 5.47 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, and he’s struck out 70 batters over 75.2 innings.

Banuelos is a rookie hurler with only four career starts to his name, but he’s been able to hold his own in the big leagues so far, and he put up impressive numbers in the minors. Banuelos went 27-24 with a 3.13 ERA and 1.28 WHIP while striking out 515 batters over 528.1 minor league innings. The O’s would be wise to show some patience against Banuelos, as the southpaw has walked 10 batters over just 21.2 innings this season. The 24-year-old throws in the high 80s with a changeup, a curveball, and a slider. This will be Banelos’s first interleague start, first start against the Birds, and the first time he faces any Oriole batters.

Good News: Ciriaco is 1-for-6, Gomes is 0-for-3, and Ryan Lavarnway 0-for-3 off Tillman. Over Zach Britton’s last nine appearances, he’s 1-0 with 5 saves. He’s posted a 0.00 ERA and 0.56 WHIP while striking out 11 batters over nine innings. He’d also be a great choice to pinch-hit this series.

Bad News: Pierzynski is 6-for-21 with a HR off Tillman.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

stats: Baseball-Reference
cover pic: The Baltimore Sun

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