Orioles vs. Reds Series Preview

Sports and Bets — September 2, 2014 at 6:22 pm by

The Orioles will wrap up their 11-game home stand with a three-game series against the Reds. The Reds are currently seven games out of the second wild card spot, and it looks like their streak of two straight playoff appearances is coming to a close. The O’s have an 8.5 game lead over the Yankees in the AL East, and their magic number is 19 wins. The Birds are 3-3 all-time against the Reds, but 7-4 counting the 1970 World Series. Touch ‘em all, babes!

The Breakdown

Baltimore Orioles (79-57) vs. Cincinnati Reds (66-71)

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

Runs: Baltimore’s 7th, Cincinnati’s 28th

Home Runs: Baltimore’s 1st, Cincinnati’s tied for 18th

Batting Average: Baltimore’s 7th, Cincinnati’s 27th

On-base Percentage: Baltimore’s 19th, Cincinnati’s 28th

Team ERA: Baltimore’s 13th, Cincinnati’s 10th

Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 17th, Cincinnati’s 3rd

Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 8th, Cincinnati’s 24th

Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s 3rd, Cincinnati’s 1st

Tuesday, September 2, 7:05 PM MASN

Bud Norris RHP (11-8) vs. Mat Latos RHP (5-3)

Norris’ Season Stats: 135 IP, 105 Ks, 4.00 ERA, 1.24 WHIP

Norris’ Last Three Starts: 1-1, 15 IP, 14 Ks, 6.00 ERA,1.07 WHIP

Latos’ Season Stats: 91.1 IP, 67 Ks, 3.15 ERA, 1.08 WHIP

Latos’ Last Three Starts: 1-0, 18 IP, 20 Ks, 4.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP

Norris is happy to see the calendar turn to September. Over five August starts, Norris posted a 5.33 ERA, which was by far his worst ERA of any month. Despite the high ERA, Norris didn’t pitch terribly. He still managed to go 3-1, post a 1.26 WHIP, and strike out 25 batters over 25.1 innings. He’ll look to start September off strong against a team that has given him a lot of trouble over his career. In seven starts, Norris is 0-3 with a 5.11 ERA and 1.54 WHIP against the Reds.

Latos wasn’t able to make his season debut till June 14 after tearing cartilage in his left knee during Spring Training. The knee injury cost him some time, but it doesn’t appear to have limited his pitching ability, as he is having another terrific season. Latos has had a lot of success in Interleague play over his career. In 18 starts, Latos is 9-3 with a 3.79 ERA and 1.31 WHIP, and has struck out 107 batters over 114 innings. This will be his first start against the O’s.

Good News: Nelson Cruz is 2-for-4 off Latos. Skip Schumaker is 3-for-22, Jay Bruce is 3-for-15 with a HR, Todd Fraizer is 1-for-7, Zack Cozart is 0-for-5, and Chris Heisey is 0-for-3 off Norris.

Bad News: Kelly Johnson is 0-for-8, and Delmon Young is 0-for-3 off Latos. Ryan Ludwick is 6-for-21, Brandon Phillips is 5-for-15 with a HR, and Devin Mesoraco is 3-for-5 with a HR off Norris.

Wednesday, September 3, 7:05 PM MASN 2

Miguel Gonzalez RHP (7-7) vs. Dylan Axelrod RHP (1-0)

Gonzalez’s Season Stats: 127 IP, 89 Ks, 3.61 ERA, 1.35 WHIP

Gonzalez’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 19.1 IP, 13 Ks, 1.86 ERA, 0.88 WHIP

Axelrod’s Season Stats: 11 IP, 15 Ks, 1.64 ERA, 1.18 WHIP

Axelrod’s Last Start (vs. Cubs): W, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K

Gonzalez has really been pitching well for the Birds as of late. Since the All-Star break, he’s 3-2 in six starts with a 2.61 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. I’d have to think that if the season ended today, Gonzalez would have a spot in the Orioles’ playoff rotation, and Kevin Gausman would be the odd man out. This will be Gonzalez’s first start against the Reds, and his fifth Interleague play start. Against the Senior Circuit, Gonzalez is 1-1 with a 3.20 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, and has struck out 21 batters over 25.1 innings.

Axelrod has only made two starts for the Reds this year, spending the majority of his season in AAA where he recorded a 4.01 ERA over 22 starts (24 appearances). Axelrod faced the O’s in 2012 as a member of the White Sox. He earned the win after allowing only one run on three hits and four walks while striking out five over 7.1 innings.

Good News: Johnson is 3-for-8 with two HRs, Nick Markakis is 1-for-3, Cruz is 1-for-3, Chris Davis is 1-for-2, and David Lough is 2-for-2 off Axelrod. Ramon Santiago is 0-for-1 off Gonzalez.

Bad News: Young is 1-for-6, J.J Hardy is 0-for-3, and Adam Jones is 0-for-3 off Axelrod. Jack Hannahan is 1-for-3 with a HR off Gonzalez.

Thursday, September 4, 7:05 PM MASN & MLBN

Chris Tillman RHP (11-5) vs. Mike Leake RHP (10-11)

Tillman’s Season Stats: 176.2 IP, 122 Ks, 3.36 ERA, 1.22 WHIP

Tillman’s Last Three Starts: 2-0, 20 IP, 17 Ks, 0.90 ERA, 0.90 WHIP

Leake’s Season Stats: 186.1 IP, 141 Ks, 3.38 ERA, 1.22 WHIP

Leake’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 20.2 IP, 12 Ks, 1.74 ERA, 1.03 WHIP

Tillman was nothing short of dominant during the month of August. Over six starts, he went 4-0 with a 1.33 ERA and 0.79 WHIP while striking out 33 batters over 40.2 innings. This will be Tillman’s first career start against the Reds, and his 12th Interleague play start. Tillman is 1-1 with a 5.93 ERA and 1.46 WHIP, and has struck out 55 batters over 57.2 innings against the NL.

Leake is having a very nice season, and has been pitching especially well in the second half. Since the All-Star break, Leake is 3-4 over nine starts with a 3.03 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. Leake has been excellent in Interleague play over his career, posting a 3.10 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 16 starts. This will be his first start against the Birds.

Good News: Johnson is 4-for-11 with a HR, Jimmy Paredes is 2-for-5, and Cruz is 1-for-2 off Leake. Santiago is 1-for-4, and Brayan Pena is 0-for-1 off Tillman. Markakis is hitting .353 over 436 Interleague play at-bats, which is the highest batting average of all-time.

Bad News: Nick Hundley is 0-for-3 off Leake. Hannahan is 2-for-3 off Tillman.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

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