Orioles vs. Rays Series Preview

Sports and Bets — August 25, 2014 at 6:43 pm by

The Birds are back home after a disappointing 4-5 road trip that ended in disastrous fashion. On Friday, the O’s found out that Manny Machado would be out for the rest of the season. On Sunday, the Birds were swept by the hapless Cubs, and saw their AL East lead drop to six games.

You got that right, Kevin. The O’s will begin their 11-game home stand with a four-game series against the Rays. The Rays may be two games under .500, but they can still pitch with the best of them. I’d imagine that this will be a very tight series with runs at a premium. Somebody’s gotta find a way to win these hotly contest ballgames. Why not us?

The Breakdown

Baltimore Orioles (73-55) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (64-66)

Season Series: Baltimore leads 8-4

Baltimore’s Last 10 Games: 5-5, Tampa Bay’s Last 10 Games: 5-5

Runs: Baltimore’s 12th, Tampa Bay’s tied for 18th

Home Runs: Baltimore’s 1st, Tampa Bay’s 24th

Batting Average: Baltimore’s 9th, Tampa Bay’s 17th

On-base Percentage: Baltimore’s 21st, Tampa Bay’s 9th

Team ERA: Baltimore’s 13th, Tampa Bay’s 7th

Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 17th, Tampa Bay’s 5th

Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 8th, Tampa Bay’s 17th

Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s tied for 2nd, Tampa Bay’s 4th

Monday, August 25, 7:05 PM, MASN 2

Chris Tillman RHP (10-5) vs. Jake Odorizzi RHP (9-10)

Tillman’s Season Stats: 164.2 IP, 114 Ks, 3.55 ERA, 1.23 WHIP

Tillman’s Last Three Starts: 2-0, 21.2 IP, 19 Ks, 2.08 ERA, 0.65 WHIP

Odorizzi’s Season Stats: 136.1 IP, 153 Ks, 3.83 ERA, 1.26 WHIP

Odorizzi’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 19.2 IP, 23 Ks, 2.29 ERA, 0.76 WHIP

Tillman has had trouble against the Rays over his career, going 3-6 in 13 starts with a 4.46 ERA, despite having a 1.18 WHIP. Tillman has struggled to keep the ball in the park against the Rays in the past, serving up 18 taters in just 74.2 innings. He has pitched very well against the Rays this season, though. In two starts, Tillman is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA and 0.86 WHIP.

Odorizzi has strong career numbers against the O’s, despite not having any wins to show for it. In four appearances (three starts), he’s 0-1 with a 2.84 ERA and 1.32 WHIP, and has struck out 17 batters over 19 innings. This season, he’s already made three starts against the Birds, and he’s 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA and 1.50 WHIP while striking out 15 batters over 15.1 innings. He’s also walked 9 batters over those 15.1 innings, so it’d be nice to see the O’s show some rare patience at the dish tonight.

Good News: Adam Jones is 6-for-11 with a HR, Nick Markakis is 4-for-8, and Nick Hundley is 1-for-2 off Odorizzi. James Loney is 3-for-19 with a HR, Desmond Jennings is 2-for-20, Yunel Escobar is 2-for-13, Jose Molina is 1-for-11, and Wil Myers is 1-for-6 off Tillman.

Bad News: J.J. Hardy is 2-for-8, Nelson Cruz is 0-for-7, and Chris Davis is 1-for-5 off Odorizzi. Ben Zobrist is 6-for-35 with three HRs, Evan Longoria is 13-for-30 with five HRs, and Matthew Joyce is 7-for-27 with two HRs off Tillman.

Tuesday, August 26, 7:05 PM, MASN 2

Wei-Yin Chen LHP (13-4) vs. Alex Cobb RHP (9-6)

Chen’s Season Stats: 143.2 IP, 109 Ks, 3.76 ERA, 1.23 WHIP

Chen’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 19.1 IP, 19 Ks, 3.72 ERA, 1.14 WHIP

Cobb’s Season Stats: 122.2 IP, 116 Ks, 3.01 ERA, 1.15 WHIP

Cobb’s Last Three Starts: 2-0, 20.1 IP, 20 Ks, 0.44 ERA, 0.84 WHIP

Chen’s been rolling since the All-Star break, posting a 2.72 ERA and 1.01 WHIP over six starts. He’s also pitched very well against the Rays over his career, going 3-4 in 11 starts with a 3.51 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. But over three starts against the Rays this season, Chen has struggled to find his previous form, going 1-1 with a 4.96 ERA and 1.41 WHIP.

Cobb has been absolutely filthy since the All-Star break. In seven starts, he’s 5-0 with a 1.16 ERA and 0.99 WHIP, and has struck out 48 batters over 46.2 innings. Cobb has had his way with the O’s over his career, going 4-1 in six starts with a 1.89 ERA and 1.13 WHIP while striking out 39 batters over 38 innings. He hasn’t been quite as dominant against the O’s this year. In two starts, he’s 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA and 1.33 WHIP, and has struck out nine batters over 12 innings.

Good News: Hardy is 5-for-15, Markakis is 4-for-13, and Professional Hitter Steve Pearce is 2-for-6 off Cobb. Jennings is 5-for-25 with a HR, Sean Rodriguez is 3-for-19 with a HR, Longoria is 4-for-18, Escobar is 2-for-15 with a HR, and Myers is 1-for-7 off Chen.

Bad News: Jones is 4-for-19, Davis is 2-for-12, Cruz is 2-for-12, and Jonathan Schoop is 0-for-5 off Cobb. Zobrist is 11-for-30 with a HR, Logan Forsythe is 3-for-8 with a HR, and Loney is 3-for-8 off Chen.

Wednesday, August 27, 7:05 PM, MASN 2

Kevin Gausman RHP (7-5) vs. Drew Smyly LHP (8-10)

Gausman’s Season Stats: 78 IP, 55 Ks, 3.81 ERA, 1.37 WHIP

Gausman’s Last Three Starts: 1-2, 16 IP, 15 Ks, 3.94 ERA, 1.38 WHIP

Smyly’s Season Stats: 134.1 IP, 112 Ks, 3.42 ERA, 1.22 WHIP

Smyly’s Last Three Starts: 2-0, 23.2 IP, 17 Ks, 0.76 ERA, 0.55 WHIP

Gausman has been roughed up by the Rays over his young career. In four appearances (three starts), Gausman is 1-2 with a 7.16 ERA and 1.84 WHIP. He hasn’t been the second coming of Palmer, but he has been much better against the Rays this season. In two starts, he’s 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA and 1.55 WHIP, including six innings of shutout ball during a June 18 start.

Smyly was acquired from the Tigers in the David Price trade, and so far, the Rays have to be very pleased with the 25-year-old southpaw. In four starts with the Rays, Smyly is 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA and 0.76 WHIP. Smyly has been fantastic against the Birds in four career appearances (one start). He’s gone 1-0 with a save while recording a 0.64 ERA and 0.79 WHIP, and has struck out 15 batters over 14 innings. His only career start against the O’s came earlier this year, and he held them to only one run on five hits and two walks while striking out seven over six innings.

Good News: Cruz is 2-for-7, and Jones is 2-for-6 with a HR off Smyly. Longoria is 2-for-8, Loney is 1-for-8, and Jennings is 0-for-5 off Gausman.

Bad News: Markakis is 0-for-7, Davis is 0-for-6, Hardy is 0-for-4, and Pearce is 0-for-4 off Smyly. Zobrist is 5-for-9, Kevin Kiermaier is 2-for-6, Escobar is 4-for-5, and Brandon Guyer is 2-for-2 off Gausman.

Thursday, August 28, 7:05 PM, MASN

Bud Norris RHP (11-8) vs. Jeremy Hellickson RHP (1-2)

Norris’ Season Stats: 129 IP, 100 Ks, 3.91 ERA, 1.24 WHIP

Norris’ Last Three Starts: 2-1, 14 IP, 14 Ks, 5.79 ERA, 1.07 WHIP

Hellickson’s Season Stats: 38 IP, 33 Ks, 2.61 ERA, 1.08 WHIP

Hellickson’s Last Three Starts: 0-1, 17.1 IP, 19 Ks, 2.60 ERA, 0.98 WHIP

Norris has decent numbers against the Rays over five appearances (four starts). He’s 1-2 with a 3.96 ERA and 1.56 WHIP, and has struck out 28 batters over 25 innings. Norris has faced Tampa once this season, and he earned the win after pitching 5.2 solid innings. He surrendered two runs on three hits and four walks while striking out five.

Hellickson missed roughly the first four months of the season due to elbow problems, making his season debut on July 8. This will be his first time seeing the Orioles this year, but he’s had a tremendous amount of success against them in the past. Over 17 appearances (15 starts), Hellickson is 9-4 with a 3.25 ERA and 1.11 WHIP.

Good News: Jones is 14-for-42 with four HRs, Hardy is 10-for-37 with two HRs, and Davis is 11-for-27 with two HRs off Hellickson. Zobrist is 1-for-10 with a HR, Longoria is 1-for-9, Jennings is 2-for-8, Myers is 1-for-7, and Forsythe is 1-for-6 off Norris.

Bad News: Markakis is 8-for-38 with two HRs, Ryan Flaherty is 0-for-9, Delmon Young is 2-for-10, and Cruz is 0-for-6 off Hellickson. Loney is 9-for-18, and Joyce is 3-for-7 off Norris.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

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