Orioles vs. Rays Series Preview

Sports and Bets — June 27, 2014 at 11:40 am by

The O’s will look to continue their winning ways on this home stand after taking two out of three from the White Sox via walk-offs. Hopefully, these dramatic wins can serve as a catalyst for the Birds to start playing better baseball at home. Currently, they are 23-18 on the road, and 18-18 at home. The O’s offense ranks first on the road, but dead last at home. They’re averaging roughly 5.07 runs per game on the road, compared to a putrid 3.28 runs per game at home. That’s very shocking to see with Camden Yards being such a hitter-friendly ballpark.

Both teams’ best pitchers this season will not take the mound over the course of this four-game series. Bud Norris will not pitch for the O’s because of a groin injury. He’s being put on the 15-day disabled list, and the Orioles are hoping that he will only miss a start or two. David Price will not take the bump for the Rays because he pitched in Tampa’s last game. That’s some fortunate scheduling for the Birds.

The series kicks off this afternoon with a day-night doubleheader. God, I love doubleheaders. Nothing fires me up like the possibility of the Birds handing out two ass-kickings in one day. Let’s play some ball!

The Breakdown

Tampa Bay Rays (32-48) at Baltimore Orioles (41-36)

Season Series: Baltimore leads 7-1

Tampa Bay’s Last 10 Games: 5-5, Baltimore’s Last 10 Games: 6-4

Runs: Tampa Bay 27th, Baltimore tied for 14th

Home Runs: Tampa Bay 26th, Baltimore 3rd

Batting Average: Tampa Bay 19th, Baltimore 3rd

On-base Percentage: Tampa Bay tied for 12th, Baltimore tied for 12th

Team ERA: Tampa Bay 19th, Baltimore 20th

Starting Pitcher ERA: Tampa Bay tied for 17th, Baltimore 23rd

Bullpen ERA: Tampa Bay 21st, Baltimore 16th

Fewest Errors Made: Tampa Bay 3rd, Baltimore tied for 4th

Game 1: Friday, June 27, 1:05 on MASN 2 and MLBN

Alex Colome RHP (0-0) vs. Kevin Gausman RHP (3-1)

Colome’s Season Stats: 4 IP, 0 Ks, 4.50 ERA, 1.50 WHIP

Gausman’s Season Stats: 23 IP, 16 Ks, 2.74 ERA, 1.17 WHIP

Gausman’s Last Three Starts: 3-0, 19 IP, 14 Ks, .95 ERA, 1.00 WHIP

Colome will be making his first start of the season Friday and only the fourth of his career. Over those three starts, he’s gone 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA, and struck out 12 batters over 16 innings. But he also allowed 14 hits and nine walks over those 16 innings to give him a 1.44 WHIP. So it’s safe to say that Colome was pretty fortunate last season. He’s been solid in the minors over his career, posting a 3.55 ERA and 1.28 WHIP over eight seasons. He’s struck out 644 batters over 638 1/3 minor league innings. Colome has only pitched 43 total innings this year due to serving a 50-game suspension for steroids.

Gausman’s last start came in Tampa Bay, and he earned the win after pitching six shutout innings. He allowed only five hits and a walk while striking out five. Gausman has looked everything like the stud we were all hoping for when the O’s drafted him fourth overall in 2012 over his last three starts. It seems like he’s really beginning to tap into his tremendous potential.

Good News: The O’s have won their last three series, and they have scored in the eighth inning or later in seven straight games. Over 50 career games against the Rays, Chris Davis is slashing .263/.352/.554 with 13 home runs and 38 RBIs. Matt Joyce is 0-for-5, and James Loney is 1-for-6 off Gausman.

Bad News: Over 41 career games against the Rays, Nelson Cruz is hitting .224/.278/.333 with four home runs and 12 RBIs. Evan Longoria is 2-for-6, Ben Zobrist is 4-for-7, and Yunel Escobar is 4-for-5 off Gausman.

Game 2: Friday, June 27, 7:05 on MASN 2 and MLBN

Jake Odorizzi RHP (3-7) vs. Chris Tillman RHP (6-4)

Odorizzi’s Season Stats: 77 2/3 IP, 91 Ks, 4.29 ERA, 1.29 WHIP

Odorizzi’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 20 IP, 20 Ks, 1.35 ERA, .60 WHIP

Tillman’s Season Stats: 91 IP, 60 Ks, 4.45 ERA, 1.46 WHIP

Tillman’s Last Three Starts: 1-2, 20 IP, 5 Ks, 1.80 ERA, 1.30 WHIP

Odorizzi has been great at home this season and a train wreck on the road. Over nine home starts, Odorizzi has recorded a 2.70 ERA and 1.08 WHIP to go along with 61 strikeouts over 50 innings. Over six road starts, he’s posted a 7.16 ERA and 1.66 WHIP to go along with 30 strikeouts over 27 2/3 innings. Some people just aren’t cut out for life on the road. Odorizzi pitched well in his last start against the O’s, holding them to two runs over 5 1/3 innings.

Tillman has struggled over his 12 career starts against the Rays. He’s gone 2-6 with a 4.86 ERA and 1.25 WHIP while striking out 46 batters over 66 2/3 innings. He’s surrendered a whopping 17 long balls to the Rays in his career. Although Tillman’s been pitching better as of late, I’m still not sold. His walks may have gone down to respectable levels, but the strikeouts have plummeted. You can’t be successful in the big leagues over the long run while averaging 2.25 strikeouts per nine innings like Tillman has over his last three starts. Something’s gotta give.

Good News: Adam Jones is 3-for-8 with a home run, and Nick Markakis is 4-for-6 off Odorizzi. Zobrist is 6-for-32 with three home runs, Loney is 2-for-16, Desmond Jennings is 2-for-16, Escobar is 2-for-13, and Jose Molina is 1-for-11 off Tillman.

Bad News: David Lough is 1-for-5, Cruz is 0-for-4, J.J. Hardy is 1-for-5, and Manny Machado is 0-for-5 off Odorizzi. Longoria is 11-for-27 with five home runs, and Matt Joyce is 7-for-24 with two home runs off Tillman. Zobrist has slashed .281/.382/.499 over 111 career games against the O’s.

Game 3: Saturday, June 28, 4:05 on MASN 2

Erik Bedard LHP (3-5) vs. Wei-Yin Chen LHP (7-2)

Bedard’s Season Stats: 65 2/3 IP, 57 Ks, 4.25 ERA, 1.46 WHIP

Bedard’s Last Three Starts: 0-1, 13 1/3 IP, 15 Ks, 6.75 ERA, 1.73 WHIP

Chen’s Season Stats: 89 IP, 63 Ks, 3.84 ERA, 1.25 WHIP

Chen’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 19 1/3 IP, 13 Ks, 2.79 ERA, .98 WHIP

The Birds knocked around Bedard in his last start against the club, and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of the beat down. He was credited with the loss after allowing five runs over four innings. This was business as usual for the O’s against Bedard. Over his seven career starts against the Orioles, he has a 6.30 ERA and 1.63 WHIP. Sucks to suck, Erik.

Chen received a no-decision in his last start against the Rays. He was solid, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk, with three strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. Chen has excellent career numbers against the Rays. Over 10 starts, he’s recorded a 2.98 ERA and 1.20 WHIP, with 43 strikeouts over 63 1/3 innings.

Good News: Cruz is 7-for-23 with two home runs, Jones is 6-for-13, Markakis is 5-for-12, and Davis is 4-for-10 with a home run off Bedard. Jennings is 4-for-23, Sean Rodriguez is 2-for-17 with a home run, Longoria is 4-for-17, and Escobar is 2-for-15 with a home run off Chen.

Bad News: Delmon Young is 2-for-21, and Hardy is 1-for-10 off Bedard. Zobrist is 10-for-28 with a home run, Loney is 3-for-6, and Molina is 2-for-5 off Chen. Longoria has 22 home runs and 66 RBIs in 95 career games against the Orioles.

Game 4: Sunday, June 29, 1:35 on MASN

Alex Cobb RHP (2-6) vs. Miguel Gonzalez RHP (4-5)

Cobb’s Season Stats: 59 1/3 IP, 53 Ks, 4.10 ERA, 1.21 WHIP

Cobb’s Last Three Starts: 1-2, 18 1/3 IP, 19 Ks, 3.44 ERA, 1.20 WHIP

Gonzalez’s Season Stats: 68 1/3 IP, 56 Ks, 4.48 ERA, 1.49 WHIP

Gonzalez’s Last Three Starts: 1-2, 16 2/3 IP, 10 Ks, 4.86 ERA, 1.74 WHIP

Cobb was a hard-luck loser in his last start against the O’s. He pitched seven strong innings, allowing only an unearned run on four hits and four walks with six strikeouts. Cobb has done his best work during the day this season. Over five day starts, Cobb has a 1.97 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Over five night starts, Cobb has a 6.59 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. His career ERA for day games is also roughly a run lower than his ERA for night games. I think it’s pretty clear what this all means. Cobb is immune to hangovers and deeply afraid of the dark.

In Gonzalez’s last start against the Rays, he earned the win despite not pitching very well. He allowed four runs on eight hits and two walks, with five strikeouts over five innings. Gonzalez has been a much better pitcher at home this season. Over six home appearances (five starts), he has a 3.19 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. Over seven road starts, he has a 5.54 ERA and 1.55 WHIP.

Good News: Hardy is 4-for-13 off Cobb. Zobrist is 3-for-24, Escobar is 4-for-19, and Loney is 4-for-17 off Gonzalez.

Bad News: Jones is 3-for-16, Davis is 2-for-11, Machado is 0-for-13, Markakis is 2-for-10, and Cruz is 1-for-9 off Cobb. Jennings is 6-for-22 with four home runs, Joyce is 5-for-18, and Longoria is 6-for-21 with a home run off Gonzalez.

One last piece of good news is that no one on the Orioles is rocking a haircut half as ridiculous as Longoria’s.


Jesus Christ, that’s a poor haircut. If I had a haircut like that, I’d have to kick my own ass. Enjoy the games everybody, and let’s go O’s!

cover pic via Camden Chat 

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