Orioles vs. Rays Series Preview

Sports and Bets — May 29, 2015 at 6:48 pm by

The O’s will wrap up their eight-game homestand with a three-game series against the Rays. Tampa’s been bit hard by the injury bug, lost five straight, and dropped down to second place in the AL East. The Birds are in third place and a game back of the Rays in the standings. Sounds like a perfect time for the O’s to do a little leapfrogging, babes. Let’s break out the bats and sweep these floundering slapdicks!

The Breakdown
Baltimore Orioles (22-24) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (24-24)
Season Series: Baltimore leads 4-2
Last 10 Games: Baltimore’s 5-5, Tampa’s 4-6
Runs: Baltimore’s tied for 16th, Tampa’s 24th
Home Runs: Baltimore’s 9th, Tampa’s tied for 17th
Batting Average: Baltimore’s 10th, Tampa’s 20th
On-Base Percentage: Baltimore’s 15th, Tampa’s 19th
Team ERA: Baltimore’s 16th, Tampa’s 5th
Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 21st, Tampa’s 4th
Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 11th, Tampa’s 15th
Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s tied for 9th, Tampa’s tied for 4th

Baltimore’s Injury Report
P Jason Garcia: 15-day DL (right shoulder)
P Kevin Gausman: 15-day DL (right shoulder)
P Bud Norris: 15-day DL (bronchitis; on rehab assignment)
P Wesley Wright: 60-day DL (left shoulder)
C Matt Wieters: 60-day DL (Tommy John surgery; on rehab assignment)
INF Jonathan Schoop: 15-day DL (right knee)

Tampa Bay’s Injury Report
P Jeff Beliveau: 60-day DL (left labrum; out for season)
P Alex Cobb: 60-day DL (Tommy John surgery; out for season)
P Matt Moore: 60-day DL (left elbow)
P C.J. Riefenhauser: 15-day DL (left shoulder)
P Drew Smyly: 60-day DL (left labrum)
P Kirby Yates: 15-day DL (right pectoral)
INF James Loney: 15-day DL (left middle finger)
OF Desmond Jennings: 15-day DL (left knee)
DH John Jaso: 60-day DL (left wrist)

Friday, May 29 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN
RHP Miguel Gonzalez (5-3) vs. RHP Nate Karns (3-2)
Gonzalez’s 2015: 9 GS, 54 IP, 44 Ks, 3.83 ERA, 1.28 WHIP
Gonzalez’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 18.2 IP, 15 Ks, 4.34 ERA, 1.39 WHIP
Karns’ 2015 Stats: 9 GS, 51 IP, 46 Ks, 3.71 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
Karns’ Last Three Starts: 2-1, 17.2 IP, 17 Ks, 3.06 ERA, 1.30 WHIP

Gonzalez has seen his ERA jump from 2.93 to 3.83 over his last two starts. He didn’t pitch too badly against Seattle, giving up four runs on five hits and two walks while striking out eight over seven innings. But he did get pummeled by Miami, allowing five runs on 10 hits and three walks while striking out two over four innings. Hopefully, a start against Tampa will be just what the doctor ordered for Gonzo. In 13 career starts against the Rays, Gonzalez is 5-4 with a 3.42 ERA and 1.45 WHIP, and he’s struck out 52 batters over 73.2 innings. This season, Gonzalez has gone 1-1 in two starts against Tampa with a 0.68 ERA and 0.98 WHIP while striking out 11 batters over 13.1 innings.

After a rough start to the season, Karns has settled into a nice groove. Karns posted a miserable 4.76 ERA over five April starts, but he’s recorded a sterling 2.38 ERA over his four May starts. The 27-year-old has thrown his low 90s fastball 67.7% of the time this season, and he also mixes in a knucklecurve and a changeup. In three career starts against the O’s, Karns is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, and he’s struck out 11 batters over 15 innings. This season, Karns has gone 0-1 in two starts against the Birds with a 5.06 ERA and 1.13 WHIP while striking out eight batters over 10.2 innings. The righty got shelled in his first outing against the Birds on April 7, but he had them flummoxed the second time around, holding them scoreless on two hits and a walk while striking out four over five innings on May 3.

Good News: Adam Jones is 3-for-7, Steve Pearce is 2-for-6 with a HR, Chris Davis is 2-for-5 with a HR, Travis Snider is 1-for-3, and J.J. Hardy is 2-for-2 with a HR off Karns. David DeJesus is 3-for-12, Steven Souza is 1-for-5, Rene Rivera is 1-for-4, Bobby Wilson is 0-for-3, Brandon Guyer is 0-for-2, and Jake Elmore is 0-for-1 off Gonzalez.

Bad News: Manny Machado is 0-for-6, Everth Cabrera is 0-for-4, Caleb Joseph is 0-for-3, Ryan Flaherty is 0-for-2, Jimmy Paredes is 0-for-2, and Delmon Young is 0-for-2 off Karns. Evan Longoria is 7-for-28 with a HR, Asdrubal Cabrera is 3-for-11 with a HR, Logan Forsythe is 3-for-6, Kevin Kiermaier is 2-for-7, and Tim Beckham is 1-for-3 off Gonzalez.

Saturday, May 30 at 4:05 p.m. on MASN & WJZ
LHP Wei-Yin Chen (1-3) vs. RHP Erasmo Ramirez (2-2)
Chen’s 2015: 9 GS, 54.2 IP, 44 Ks, 3.13 ERA, 1.19 WHIP
Chen’s Last Three Starts: 0-2, 19 IP, 17 Ks, 4.26 ERA, 1.37 WHIP
Ramirez’s 2015: 12 G, 5 GS, 35.1 IP, 29 Ks, 6.62 ERA, 1.33 WHIP
Ramirez’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 16 IP, 13 Ks, 4.50 ERA, 1.06 WHIP

Chen struggled in his last start, taking a no-decision against the Astros after surrendering three runs on 11 hits and no walks while striking out six over five innings. Chen will look to get back on track against Tampa, a team that he’s historically pitched very well against. In 15 career starts against the Rays, Chen is 3-4 with a 3.39 ERA and 1.33 WHIP, and he’s struck out 56 batters over 87.2 innings. In his two starts against the Rays in 2015, Chen has gone 0-0 with a 4.35 ERA and 1.45 WHIP while striking out eight batters over 10.1 innings. After a shaky outing on April 7, Chen held Tampa to two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out four over six innings on May 3.

On March 31, the Rays traded Mike Montgomery to the Mariners for Ramirez. Ramirez began the season in Tampa’s bullpen, but a rash of injuries bumped Ramirez into the starting rotation. The 25-year-old has been getting knocked around this season, which isn’t surprising after looking at his career numbers. In 242 major league innings, Ramirez is 9-14 with 4.91 ERA and 1.35 WHIP, and he’s struck out 194 batters. Ramirez throws in the low 90s with a changeup, a slider, and a curveball. His changeup is by far his best pitch, and he’s been throwing it 30.2% of the time this season. Despite Ramirez’s unimpressive track record, he has had success pitching against the O’s. In two starts (three appearances), Ramirez is 1-0 with a 3.52 ERA and 0.52 WHIP, and he’s struck out 13 batters over 15.1 innings. He also hasn’t surrendered a single walk to an Oriole batter. This season, Ramirez has made one relief appearance against the Birds, and he pitched 1.1 perfect innings while striking out one.

Good News: Over their first six games against the Rays this season, the O’s held the Rays to 13 total runs, which is only 2.17 runs per game. Flaherty is 1-for-3 off Ramirez. Machado is only 1-for-6, but his lone hit was a HR. Asdrubal Cabrera is 0-for-8, Beckham is 1-for-6, Souza is 0-for-5, Rivera is 0-for-4, and Wilson is 0-for-2 off Chen.

Bad News: The Birds have slashed .088/.114/.206 in 34 at-bats against Ramirez. Jones is 1-for-6, Davis is 0-for-5, Everth Cabrera is 0-for-4, David Lough is 0-for-4, Hardy is 0-for-3, Young is 0-for-2, and Joseph is 0-for-1 off Ramirez. Longoria is 8-for-26, Forsythe is 6-for-17 with 2 HRs, Guyer is 3-for-11, Kiermaier is 4-for-9 with a HR, and Joey Butler is 1-for-3 off Chen. Against left-handed pitching this season, Tampa’s tied for the 7th most runs scored and tied for the 4th most HRs.

Sunday, May 31 at 1:35 p.m. on MASN
RHP Chris Tillman (2-6) vs. RHP Jake Odorizzi (3-5)
Tillman’s 2015: 9 GS, 48.1 IP, 34 Ks, 5.59 ERA, 1.55 WHIP
Tillman’s Last Three Starts: 0-2, 16.2 IP, 11 Ks, 4.32 ERA, 1.32 WHIP
Odorizzi’s 2015 Stats: 10 GS, 66.1 IP, 53 Ks, 2.31 ERA, 0.96 WHIP
Odorizzi’s Last Three Starts: 0-3, 19 IP, 14 Ks, 2.84 ERA, 1.11 WHIP

Tillman’s last start was one of his best of the season, but it still wasn’t enough for him to get that elusive third win. Tillman hasn’t gotten a W since April 18 against Boston. In his most recent outing, Tillman took the loss after holding the Astros to two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out five over seven innings. In 16 career starts against the Rays, Tillman has gone 5-7 with a 3.78 ERA and 1.10 WHIP while striking out 61 batters over 95.1 innings. This season, Tillman is 1-1 in two starts against Tampa with a 1.98 ERA and 0.88 WHIP, and he’s struck out 11 batters over 13.2 innings.

Don’t misinterpret his lousy win-loss record, Odorizzi is having a breakout season. The 25-year-old has been ridiculously consistent, pitching at least six innings in all 10 of his starts. Odorizzi is tied for 2nd in quality starts (9), and he’s tied for 1st in fewest home runs allowed (2). Odorizzi throws in the low 90s with a cutter, a splitter, and an occasional curveball. His splitter has been his best pitch this season, and he’s been throwing it 31.9% of the time. The righty has had some trouble against the O’s over his career, going 1-2 in five starts (six appearances) with a 4.25 ERA and 1.31 WHIP while striking out 27 batters over 29.2 innings. But this season, Odorizzi was sensational in his lone start against the Birds, earning the win after keeping them scoreless on two hits and no walks while striking out seven over 6.2 innings.

Good News: Jones is 8-for-17 with a HR, Hardy is 3-for-11 with a HR, Pearce is 2-for-6 with a HR, and Young is 2-for-2 with a HR off Odorizzi. Asdrubal Cabrera is 3-for-14, DeJesus is 3-for-13, Forsythe is 1-for-11, Kiermaier is 1-for-9, Souza is 1-for-6, Rivera is 0-for-4, and Nick Franklin is 0-for-3 off Tillman. In 32 career games against Tampa, Pearce has slashed .286/.385/.571 with 8 HRs, 17 RBIs, and 18 runs scored.

Bad News: Davis is 1-for-9, Machado is 0-for-9, Lough is 2-for-8, Flaherty is 0-for-7, Snider is 0-for-3, and Joseph is 0-for-2 off Odorizzi. Longoria is 15-for-38 with 6 HRs, Guyer is 2-for-6, and Elmore is 1-for-2 off Tillman. In 112 career games against the Birds, Longoria has hit .269/.344/.517 with 25 RBIs, 74 RBIs, and 71 runs scored.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

stats: Baseball-Reference
cover pic: The Crawfish Boxes/Getty Images

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