Orioles vs. Cardinals Series Preview

Sports and Bets — August 8, 2014 at 5:09 pm by

After taking care of business in Toronto, the O’s are back home for a six-game home stand. First up for the Birds, is a three-game series against the Cardinals. This will be a tough series for the O’s, as the Cards are right in the thick of the playoff hunt, as usual. It should also be a fun series for us fans. This will be only the second time the Cardinals have played in Baltimore, and there are a couple of pretty cool promotions this weekend. On Friday, there’s going to be a 60th anniversary celebration. On Saturday, the first 20,000 fans (15 and over) will receive a Wild Bill cowboy hat. That’s a damn fine accessory to go with our shirts, if you ask me. So let’s pack the Yard, and watch the Birds continue their march to the playoffs!

The Breakdown

Baltimore Orioles (65-49) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (61-52)

Baltimore’s Last 10 Games: 7-3, St. Louis’ Last 10 Games: 6-4

Runs: Baltimore’s 11th, St. Louis’ 29th

Home Runs: Baltimore’s 1st, St. Louis’ 29th

Batting Average: Baltimore’s 10th, St. Louis’ 17th

On-base Percentage: Baltimore’s 20th, St. Louis’ 15th

Team ERA: Baltimore’s 13th, St. Louis’ 9th

Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 18th, St. Louis’ 6th

Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 8th, St. Louis’ 16th

Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s tied for 1st, St. Louis’ 5th

Friday, August 8, 7:05 PM MASN & MLBN

Chris Tillman RHP (8-5) vs. Justin Masterson RHP (5-6)

Tillman’s Season Stats: 143 IP, 95 Ks, 3.78 ERA, 1.31 WHIP

Tillman’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 18 IP, 15 Ks, 2.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP

Masterson’s Season Stats: 104 IP, 97 Ks, 5.63 ERA, 1.65 WHIP

Masterson’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 11 IP, 12 Ks, 10.64 ERA, 2.64 WHIP

Tillman has really been throwing the ball well as of late, recording five quality starts over his last six outings. He’ll look to keep things rolling against a team that he’s never faced before in his career. Tillman has struggled in his 10 career starts against the National League, posting a 6.35 ERA and 1.55 WHIP.

Masterson’s last start was his first since spending roughly a month on the DL, and his first start for the Cardinals since being traded by the Indians. He earned the win, even though he was knocked around by the Brewers. He gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks, with four strikeouts over six innings. Walks have really been a problem for Masterson this season. His 56 walked batters in the AL were second only to the incomparable Ubaldo Jimenez. Masterson has made 15 appearances (11 starts) against the O’s in his career, and he’s 6-5, despite a 5.04 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. Masterson has faced the Birds once this season, and he gave up five runs over 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision.

Good News: J.J. Hardy is 5-for-18, Nelson Cruz is 4-for-16 with a HR, Chris Davis is 4-for-16 with a HR, Ryan Flaherty is 4-for-7 with a HR, and David Lough is 3-for-8 off Masterson. Jhonny Peralta is 2-for-12 with a HR off Tillman.

Bad News: Adam Jones is 6-for-26, Nick Markakis is 5-for-28, and Delmon Young is 3-for-21 off Masterson. A.J. Pierzynski is 5-for-18, and Mark Ellis is 1-for-1 off Tillman.

Saturday, August 9, 4:05 PM MASN & FS1

Ubaldo Jimenez RHP (3-8) vs. John Lackey RHP (12-7)

Jimenez’s Season Stats: 99 2/3 IP, 88 Ks, 4.52 ERA, 1.54 WHIP

Jimenez’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 18 IP, 17 Ks, 4.00 ERA, 1.44 WHIP

Lackey’s Season Stats: 144 1/3 IP, 120 Ks, 3.55 ERA, 1.22 WHIP

Lackey’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 21 IP, 11 Ks, 2.14 ERA, 1.00 WHIP

I can’t fucking believe that Jimenez is pitching Saturday.

I know that the O’s don’t want to have their $50 million man pitching in Norfolk, but this is ridiculous. The Birds are in the middle of a tight pennant race where every game is important. The best five starting pitchers need to comprise the staff, and Jimenez clearly isn’t one of them based on his performance this season. To top it all off, the current staff is pitching their best ball of the season right now. Since the All-Star Break, the O’s starters have the 4th best ERA in the MLB. Unless there’s an injury that hasn’t been reported yet, this makes absolutely zero baseball sense, and is all about the O’s trying to squeeze some value out of the horseshit contract that they gave out. Jimenez can shove his lifetime 3.33 ERA over eight starts against the Cardinals up his ass. He has no business making this start.

Well, well, well, look what the cat dragged in. It’s none other than the mouth breather extraordinaire, John Lackey. Lackey pitched well in his first start with St. Louis, earning the win after allowing two runs on seven hits, with four strikeouts over seven innings against the Brewers. Lackey has been solid against the O’s in 26 career starts, going 14-7 with a 3.70 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. But the Birds have been able to knock his dick in this season. Lackey’s 1-2 in three starts, with a 7.02 ERA and 1.74 WHIP. Eat shit, John.

Good News: Markakis is 21-for-64, Jones is 13-for-51 with three HRs, Davis is 11-for-37 with two HRs, Cruz is 12-for-36 with two HRs, Young is 7-for-22, Manny Machado is 7-for-18 with two HRs, Nick Hundley is 2-for-8 with a HR, and Jonathan Schoop is 4-for-6 off Lackey. Pierzynski is 5-for-24 with a HR, and Daniel Descalso is 2-for-9 off Jimenez.

Bad News: Hardy is 5-for-26, David Lough is 1-for-6, and Flaherty is 0-for-5 off Lackey. Peralta is 9-for-26 with a HR, Matt Holliday is 3-for-10, and Jon Jay is 2-for-6 off Jimenez.

Sunday, August 10, 1:35 PM MASN

Bud Norris RHP (9-7) or Kevin Gausman RHP (6-3) vs. Lance Lynn RHP (11-8)

Norris’ Season Stats: 115 IP, 86 Ks, 3.68 ERA, 1.26 WHIP

Gausman’s Season Stats: 62 IP, 40 Ks, 3.77 ERA, 1.37 WHIP

Lynn’s Season Stats: 140 IP, 127 Ks, 2.89 ERA, 1.28 WHIP

Lynn’s Last Three Starts: 0-2, 19 1/3 IP, 17 K, 1.40 ERA, 1.09 WHIP

The Orioles have yet to announce who’s taking the mound Sunday, but it’s going to come down to one of those two. Norris will be on four days rest, while Gausman will be on five. According to Roch Kubatko, Buck is leaning towards starting Gausman on Sunday, and Norris on Monday. I’m a little surprised by that because Gausman has never faced the Cardinals, while Norris has been excellent against them over his career. Norris has gone 8-6 over his 16 starts, and recorded a 3.23 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.

Lynn has been filthy in his first four starts following the All-Star Break, posting a 1.78 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, and striking out 26 batters over 25 1/3 innings. Unfortunately for Lynn, his offense hasn’t given him much run support, and he’s gone 1-2 over these starts. Lynn has made one career appearance against the O’s, and he didn’t allow a run over two innings. He surrendered one hit, and struck out five batters.

Good News: Young is 2-for-6, Cruz is 1-for-3, and Lough is 1-for-2 off Lynn. Markakis is hitting .353 in Interleague play over his career, which is the highest batting average of all-time (min. 300 at-bats).

Bad News: Hundley is 1-for-4 off Lynn. Peralta is 1-for-2 off Gausman.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

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