Orioles vs. Red Sox Series Preview

Sports and Bets — April 24, 2015 at 6:10 pm by

The Birds are kicking off their nine-game homestand with a three-game series against those mangy Boston scumbags. Things aren’t looking so hot for our beloved O’s right now. They went 2-5 on their road trip, they’ve lost four straight, and they’re in last place in the AL East. As frustrating as the last few nights of baseball have been, it’s no time to panic. Last year’s team had three different four-game losing streaks, and they were only 12-12 at the end of April. They went on to win 96 games, and win the AL East by 12 games. The MLB season is a marathon, not a sprint, and we’ve got 146 games left in this race. Keep calm, pour yourself a cocktail, and watch this mammoth blast from Manny on repeat. It’s all good, babes.

The Breakdown
Baltimore Orioles (7-9) vs. Boston Red Sox (9-7)
Season Series: Tied 2-2
Last 10 Games: Baltimore’s 4-6, Boston’s 5-5
Runs: Baltimore’s 8th, Boston’s tied for 6th
Home Runs: Baltimore’s tied for 1st, Boston’s tied for 10th
Batting Average: Baltimore’s 7th, Boston’s 19th
On-Base Percentage: Baltimore’s 6th, Boston’s 11th
Team ERA: Baltimore’s 30th, Boston’s 23rd
Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 30th, Boston’s 28th
Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 26th, Boston’s 6th
Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s tied for 16th, Boston’s tied for 12th

Baltimore’s Injury Report
P Wesley Wright: 15-day DL (left shoulder)
C Matt Wieters: 15-day DL (right elbow)
INF Ryan Flaherty: 15-day DL (groin)
INF J.J Hardy: 15-day DL (left shoulder)
INF Jonathan Schoop: 15-day DL (right knee)

Boston’s Injury Report
P Brandon Workman: 15-day DL (right elbow)

Friday, April 24 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN & MLBN
RHP Miguel Gonzalez (2-1) vs. RHP Rick Porcello (1-2)
Gonzalez’s 2015 Stats: 17.2 IP, 20 Ks, 2.55 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
Porcello’s 2015 Stats: 19 IP, 16 Ks, 6.63 ERA, 1.47 WHIP

These two pitchers faced off on April 19, and the Birds came out on top with an 8-3 victory. Gonzalez wasn’t particularly sharp, but he did record the win after giving up three runs on five hits and four walks while striking out five over five innings. Gonzo boasts excellent career numbers against Boston, going 5-1 in seven starts (nine appearances) with a 2.81 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. Last season, Gonzalez went 1-1 in three starts against Boston with a 1.80 ERA and 1.40 WHIP while striking out 17 batters over 20 innings.

In his first start against the O’s this season, Porcello took the loss after surrendering eight runs on 12 hits and three walks while striking out six over five innings. While Porcello pitched very well against the Birds last season, going 2-0 in two starts with a 1.42 ERA and 0.79 WHIP, the O’s have given the sinkerballer trouble over the years. In 10 career starts against the Birds, Porcello is 3-6 with a 5.13 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. April is also a great time to face Porcello, as his lifetime April ERA of 6.18 is by far his worst of any month.

Good News: Adam Jones is only 7-for-28 off Porcello, but he had a HR, a double, and 5 RBIs the last time they battled. Delmon Young is 8-for-26 with a HR, Chris Davis is 6-for-21 with 3 HRs, Manny Machado is 4-for-12, David Lough is 2-for-7, Everth Cabrera is 2-for-7, Jimmy Paredes is 3-for-4, and Caleb Joseph is 1-for-1 off Porcello. Dustin Pedroia is 3-for-14, Mike Napoli is 2-for-10, Xander Bogaerts is 1-for-10, David Ortiz is 0-for-7, and Pablo Sandoval is 0-for-2 off Gonzalez.

Bad News: Alejandro De Aza is 7-for-34, Travis Snider is 2-for-13, and Professional Hitter Steve Pearce is 0-for-3 off Porcello. Daniel Nava is 5-for-16, Mookie Betts is 2-for-8 with a HR, Brock Holt is 2-for-7, Hanley Ramirez is 2-for-3 with a HR, and Shane Victorino is 1-for-1 off Gonzalez. After going 3-for-7 with 2 HRs to start the season, Pearce has 4 hits in his last 40 at-bats. We might have to change that nickname to Professional Fielder.

Saturday, April 25 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN 2
LHP Wei-Yin Chen (0-1) vs. RHP Justin Masterson (2-0)
Chen’s 2015 Stats: 14.2 IP, 11 Ks, 3.07 ERA, 1.30 WHIP
Masterson’s 2015 Stats: 15.2 IP, 17 Ks, 5.74 ERA, 1.40 WHIP

This is another repeat pitching matchup, but this time the Red Sox came out on top in Round 1 with a 7-1 win. Chen has pitched much worse than his 3.07 ERA indicates. Chen’s given up 10 runs on the season, but only five have been earned. In Chen’s first start against Boston, he took the loss after giving up five runs (all unearned) on three hits and five walks while striking out three over 4.1 innings. It was an ugly loss for Chen, as his five walks were a career-high and he also made a costly error. The southpaw has had some trouble with Boston over his career, going 5-4 in 12 starts with a 3.97 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. Last season, though, Chen was terrific against the Red Sox. He went 3-1 in four starts with a 2.92 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, and he struck out 21 batters over 24.2 innings.

Masterson earned the win against the O’s after allowing one run on three hits and three walks while striking out six over five innings. Masterson has struggled against the Birds over his career, going 7-6 in 13 starts (17 appearances) with a 5.28 ERA and 1.43 WHIP while striking out 67 batters over 76.2 innings. Last season was even worse for Masterson, as he went 0-1 in two starts against the O’s with an 11.74 ERA and 2.74 WHIP. Over Masterson’s career, righties have hit .220/.306/.300 and lefties have hit .287/.367/.426 against him.

Good News: De Aza is 11-for-36 with a HR, Lough is 3-for-8, Machado is 3-for-10 with a HR, Pardes is 1-for-3, and Snider is 1-for-3 off Masterson. Napoli is 3-for-18 with 2 HRs, Ryan Hanigan is 2-for-10 with a HR, Holt is 0-for-6, Betts is 1-for-6, Craig is 0-for-4, Sandoval is 0-for-3, and Ramirez is 0-for-1 off Chen.

Bad News: Jones is 7-for-30, Young is 3-for-21, Davis is 4-for-19 with a HR, and Cabrera is 0-for-2 off Masterson. Current Red Sox have hit .309/.381/.525 with 7 HRs in 139 at-bats off Chen. Pedroia is 15-for-29, Ortiz is 8-for-23 with a HR, Nava is 7-for-16 with a HR, Victorino is 4-for-12 with a HR, and Bogaerts is 3-for-11 with a HR off Chen. At least that loudmouthed asshat Ortiz runs like he has a grand piano on his back.

Sunday, April 26 at 1:35 p.m. on MASN, WJZ, & MLBN
RHP Bud Norris (0-2) vs. LHP Wade Miley (1-1)
Norris’ 2015 Stats: 10.1 IP, 10 Ks, 17.42 ERA, 2.32 WHIP
Miley’s 2015 Stats: 13.1 IP, 10 Ks, 6.08 ERA, 1.58 WHIP

Norris has been an unmitigated disaster so far this season. He’s only been able to complete 10.1 innings in three starts, and he’s given up an astounding 20 runs. His 20 earned runs are tied for the most in baseball with Kyle Lohse, but Lohse has made four starts and pitched 12.1 more innings than Norris. Norris will try to start turning things around against a Boston team that he’s pitched well against in the past. In five career starts against the Red Sox, Norris is 1-2 with a 3.41 ERA and 1.26 WHIP, and he’s struck out 36 batters over 31.2 innings. Norris was even better against Boston last season, going 1-1 in two starts with a 2.51 ERA and 0.91 WHIP while striking out 13 batters over 14.1 innings.

This past winter, Miley was traded to the Red Sox from the Diamondbacks in exchange for Raymel Flores, Rubby De La Rosa, and Allen Webster. The 28-year-old Miley is a soft-thrower, and he was a solid innings eater in the National League. He had a 3.79 ERA with the Diamondbacks, and he averaged 200 innings pitched over the last three years. Miley’s lone career start against the Birds came back in 2013. He took a no-decision after surrendering four runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out three over seven innings. This will be Miley’s first career start at Camden Yards.

Good News: Jones is 1st in baseball with a .424 batting average, and 2nd with a 1.232 OPS. Stay feasting, Jonesy. Cabrera is 10-for-21 with a HR, and Machado is 1-for-3 off Miley. Pedroia is 2-for-9, Hanigan is 3-for-12, Napoli is 2-for-12, Ortiz is 3-for-12 with a HR, Sandoval is 2-for-10, and Bogaerts is 0-for-6 off Norris.

Bad News: Pearce is 1-for-6, Davis is 0-for-3, Jones is 0-for-3, and De Aza is 0-for-2 off Miley. Craig is 8-for-20 with 2 HRs, Ramirez is 6-for-12 with a HR, Victorino is 3-for-8, Nava is 3-for-8, and Holt is 2-for-6 off Norris.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

cover pic: SI
stats: Baseball-Reference

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