Orioles vs. Red Sox Series Preview

Sports and Bets — September 19, 2014 at 6:23 pm by

The Birds will finish up their regular season home slate with a three-game massacre against the cellar dwelling Red Sox. Not only will it be nice to watch the O’s pummel these slapdicks, but it’s also Fan Appreciation Weekend at the Yard. Tonight, there will be fireworks and the first 15,000 fans (ages 15 and up) will receive a 60th Anniversary Photo Mosaic Print. Whatever the hell that is. On Saturday, the first 20,000 fans (ages 15 and up) will receive an Orioles knit cap. On Sunday, the first 25,000 fans (ages 15 and up) will receive a Chris Tillman bobblehead. Plenty of good reasons to pack the Yard one last time before the playoffs.

The Breakdown

Baltimore Orioles (92-60) vs. Boston Red Sox (66-87)

Season Series: Baltimore leads 10-6

Baltimore’s Last 10 Games: 9-1, Boston’s Last 10 Games: 3-7

Runs: Baltimore’s 7th, Boston’s 26th

Home Runs: Baltimore’s 1st, Boston’s tied for 24th

Batting Average: Baltimore’s 8th, Boston’s 24th

On-base Percentage: Baltimore’s 17th, Boston’s 15th

Team ERA: Baltimore’s 7th, Boston’s 22nd

Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 12th, Boston’s 27th

Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 8th, Boston’s 10th

Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s 2nd, Boston’s 11th

Friday, September 19, at 7:05 PM on MASN

Kevin Gausman RHP (7-7) vs. Allen Webster RHP (4-3)

Gausman’s Season Stats: 103.1 IP, 80 Ks, 3.57 ERA, 1.34 WHIP

Gausman’s Last Three Starts: 0-1, 21.1 IP, 21 Ks, 2.53 ERA, 1.17 WHIP

Webster’s Season Stats: 46.1 IP, 28 Ks, 6.02 ERA, 1.51 WHIP

Webster’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 15.1 IP, 10 Ks, 6.46 ERA, 1.37 WHIP

Gausman has now thrown 19.1 more innings than he did last season, but instead of crawling to the finish line, Gausman is picking up speed. That’s a testament to both Gausman’s work ethic and development as a pitcher, and to the Orioles’ organization for carefully monitoring his innings. Gausman has been terrific against Boston in his career, going 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 0.80 WHIP over two starts (five appearances). He’s also struck out 19 batters in just 15 innings. This season, Gausman has faced the Red Sox once, and he held them to one run on four hits and two walks while striking out seven over 5.1 innings.

Webster, a 24-year-old righty, began the season as the 88th best prospect in baseball, according to Baseball America. So while the talent and potential is there, the results haven’t. In 16 career starts in the majors (17 appearances), Webster has a 7.04 ERA and 1.63 WHIP. Webster’s only career start against the O’s came in 2013, and he pitched well, albeit very briefly. In three innings, he allowed no runs on no hits and three walks while striking out two.

Good News: Daniel Nava is 0-for-6, Mike Napoli is 1-for-4, Davis Ross is 0-for-3, and Brock Holt is 0-for-2 off Gausman. In 57 career games against Boston, Nelscon Cruz is slashing .346/.413/.668 with 16 HRs, 45 RBIs, 41 runs scored, and 11 steals.

Bad News: As a team, the Orioles have gone 0-for-9 off Webster. Nick Hundley has faced him the most, and has gone 0-for-3. Yoenis Cespedes is 2-for-6, David Ortiz is 2-for-5 with a HR, Xander Bogaerts is 1-for-3, and Will Middlebrooks is 1-for-3 off Gausman. There will be no Dustin Pedroia this series because he’s out for the season after undergoing surgery to his left hand. Have a speedy recovery, Dustin. Don’t want you to miss out on any ass beatings next year.

Saturday, September 20, at 7:05 PM on MASN

Chris Tillman RHP (12-5) vs. Rubby De La Rosa RHP (4-7)

Tillman’s Season Stats: 194.1 IP, 139 Ks, 3.29 ERA, 1.22 WHIP

Tillman’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 17.2 IP, 17 Ks, 2.55 ERA, 1.19 WHIP

De La Rosa’s Season Stats: 96 IP, 66 Ks, 4.31 ERA, 1.47 WHIP

De La Rosa’s Last Three Starts: 0-2, 13.1 IP, 8 Ks, 7.43 ERA, 1.58 WHIP

Tillman will look to keep his sensational second half rolling against a team that he’s had success against in the past. In 15 career starts against Boston, Tillman is 6-3 with a 2.70 ERA and 1.37 WHIP, and has struck out 71 batters over 83.1 innings. This season, he’s gone 2-1 in four starts with a 2.57 ERA and 1.76 WHIP while striking out 17 batters over 21 innings. He’s walked 10 batters over those 21 innings, but fortunately, he’s been able to work out of some jams and keep the damage to a minimum.

De La Rosa has been a solid pitcher at home this season, recording a 3.47 ERA and 1.44 WHIP over eight starts. But he’s struggled mightily on the road, posting a 5.11 ERA and 1.50 WHIP over nine starts. He’s made one start (two appearances) against the O’s in his career, and the results haven’t been pretty. He’s 0-2 with a 7.11 ERA and 1.58 WHIP over 6.1 innings. His only career start against the Birds came earlier this season, and he took the loss after surrendering four runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out seven over 5.2 innings.

Good News: Jonathan Schoop is 2-for-3, J.J. Hardy is 1-for-3, Adam Jones is 1-for-3, Alejandro De Aza is 2-for-2, Hundley is 2-for-2, Professional Hitter Steve Pearce is 1-for-2, and Kelly Johnson is 1-for-2 off De La Rosa. Nava is 7-for-28, Ortiz is 2-for-24, Middlebrooks is 0-for-18, Bogaerts is 2-for-11 with a HR, and Cespedes is 1-for-8 off Tillman.

Bad News: Cruz is 0-for-3, and Nick Markakis is 0-for-3 off De La Rosa. Napoli is 6-for-22, Jackie Bradley is 3-for-7, and Holt is 3-for-5 off Tillman.

Sunday, September 21, at 1:35 PM on MASN

Miguel Gonzalez RHP (9-8) vs. Joe Kelly RHP (4-4)

Gonzalez’s Season Stats: 148.1 IP, 102 Ks, 3.28 ERA, 1.29 WHIP

Gonzalez’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 21.1 IP, 13 Ks, 1.27 ERA, 0.94 WHIP

Kelly’s Season Stats: 82 IP, 58 Ks, 4.28 ERA, 1.38 WHIP

Kelly’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 19 IP, 15 Ks, 4.74 ERA, 1.32 WHIP

Gonzalez has been tremendous against Boston over his career, going 4-0 in five starts (seven appearances) with a 2.17 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. This season, he’s been even better against the Red Sox. In two starts, he’s 1-0 with a 0.63 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. Keep that splitter dancin’, Gonzo.

This will be Kelly’s ninth start in Boston, and the results have been pretty similar to the seven starts that he made for the Cardinals. In eight starts with the Red Sox, Kelly is 2-2 with a 4.21 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. In seven starts with the Cardinals, Kelly was 2-2 with a 4.37 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. Kelly made his first career start against the Birds on Sept. 8. He took the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks while striking out six over 6.1 innings.

Good News: Cruz is 3-for-6, and Pearce is 2-for-3 off Kelly. Napoli is 1-for-7, Ortiz is 0-for-6, Bogaerts is 1-for-7, and Ross is 0-for-5 off Gonzalez.

Bad News: The rest of the Birds are a combined 1-for-20 off Kelly. Nava is 5-for-13, Cespedes is 2-for-5, Middlebrooks is 2-for-6 with a HR, and Bradley is 2-for-3 off Gonzalez.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

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