Orioles vs. Royals Series Preview

Sports and Bets — September 11, 2015 at 5:52 pm by

The Birds are back in Baltimore to kick off a six-game homestand with a three-game series against the AL-leading Royals. With 23 games left in the season, the O’s are six games behind the Rangers for the second Wild Card spot. There’s also five teams ahead of the Birds in this chase, so things are looking pretty fucking dire for the Orange and Black. They need something crazy like a 20-3 stretch run, which would probably require another 41 homers from Crush.

The Breakdown
Baltimore Orioles (67-72) vs. Kansas City Royals (83-56)
Season Series: Kansas City leads 3-1
Last 10 Games: Baltimore’s 4-6, Kansas City’s 3-7
Runs: Baltimore’s 10th, Kansas City’s tied for 6th
Home Runs: Baltimore’s 4th, Kansas City’s 27th
Batting Average: Baltimore’s 21st, Kansas City’s 2nd
On-Base Percentage: Baltimore’s 26th, Kansas City’s 10th
Team ERA: Baltimore’s 18th, Kansas City’s 7th
Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 26th, Kansas City’s 21st
Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 4th, Kansas City’s 1st
Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s tied for 1st, Kansas City’s 11th

Baltimore’s Injury Report
P Miguel Gonzalez: 15-day DL (right shoulder, elbow)

Kansas City’s Injury Report
P Tim Collins: 60-day DL (Tommy John surgery; out for season)
P Brian Flynn: 60-day DL (left lat)
P Jason Vargas: 60-day DL (Tommy John surgery; out for season)

Friday, September 11 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN & MLBN
RHP Mike Wright (2-4) vs. LHP Danny Duffy (7-7)
Wright’s 2015: 8 G, 7 GS, 34.2 IP, 23 Ks, 5.19 ERA, 1.44 WHIP
Duffy’s 2015: 22 GS, 121 IP, 79 Ks, 4.17 ERA, 1.40 WHIP
Duffy’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 17.2 IP, 18 Ks, 4.08 ERA, 1.42 WHIP

Wright’s coming off a rough outing against the Blue Jays. It was Wright’s first start for the Birds since June 19, and the 25-year-old rookie didn’t have a very impressive return. He took the loss after giving up three runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out four over four innings. This will be Wright’s first career start against the Royals, and he’ll attempt to break his streak of being charged with losses in each of his last four outings.

Duffy has struggled to follow up on his breakout 2014 campaign, but he has thrown the ball much better in the second half. In 12 first half starts, Duffy was 3-4 with a 4.65 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. In 10 second half starts, Duffy is 4-3 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. The hard-throwing, fly ball pitcher has given the O’s fits over his young career. In four appearances (three starts) against the Birds, Duffy is 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA and 0.94 WHIP, and he’s struck out 13 batters over 18 innings. In his first start against the O’s this season, the 26-year-old picked up the win after holding them to two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out five over 5.2 innings.

Good News: Matt Wieters is 2-for-4, J.J. Hardy is 1-for-3, Steve Pearce is 1-for-2, and Paul Janish is 1-for-2 off Duffy. In 8 games in September, Chris Davis is hitting .444/.583/1.185 with 6 HRs, 12 RBIs, and 8 runs scored.

Bad News: Adam Jones is 1-for-9, Davis is 0-for-6, Manny Machado is 0-for-6, Jonathan Schoop is 1-for-5, Caleb Joseph is 1-for-4, Gerardo Parra is 0-for-3, and Nolan Reimold is 0-for-2 off Duffy. After slashing .281/.326/.490 in the first half, Jones has batted .258/.292/.465 since the All-Star break.

Saturday, September 12 at 1:05 p.m. on FOX
RHP Chris Tillman (9-11) vs. RHP Yordano Ventura (10-8)
Tillman’s 2015: 26 GS, 143.1 IP, 100 Ks, 5.15 ERA, 1.40 WHIP
Tillman’s Last Three Starts: 0-3, 13.2 IP, 9 Ks, 11.20 ERA, 2.20 WHIP
Ventura’s 2015: 23 GS, 132.2 IP, 126 Ks, 4.34 ERA, 1.31 WHIP
Ventura’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 18.1 IP, 30 Ks, 2.45 ERA, 1.36 WHIP

Of all the shitty things that have happened this season, I feel that Tillman pitching like total garbage was by far the most unpredictable. Who would’ve thought that a guy who recorded a 3.43 ERA over 499.2 innings from 2012-2014 would morph into such a colossal fucking bum? So bizarre. It looks like Tilly’s going to post some more crooked numbers in this outing, too. In six career starts against Kansas City, Tillman is 2-3 with a 6.17 ERA and 1.46 WHIP, and he’s struck out 16 batters over 35 innings. In Tillman’s first start against the Royals this season, he took the loss after giving up four runs on nine hits and a walk while striking out one over six innings.

Ventura got knocked around in his last start, taking the loss against the Twins after allowing four runs on eight hits and five walks while striking out eight over 5.1 innings. This outing broke up a stretch of utterly dominant pitching from the gas-pumping 24-year-old. In his previous five starts, Ventura was 4-0 with a 1.13 ERA and 1.03 WHIP while striking out 33 batters over 32 innings. One of these starts took place against the Birds on Aug. 27. Ventura picked up the win after firing six scoreless innings, giving up only two hits and four walks while striking out 11. In three career starts against the O’s, Ventura is 2-1 with a 0.89 ERA and 1.13 WHIP, and he’s struck out 28 batters over 20.1 innings.

Good News: Jones is 2-for-10 with a HR, Hardy is 4-for-8, Wieters is 2-for-7, Joseph is 1-for-3, and Janish is 2-for-2 off Ventura. Eric Hosmer is 1-for-11, Salvador Perez is 2-for-11 with a HR, Jarrod Dyson is 1-for-8, Omar Infante is 1-for-6, and Jonny Gomes is 0-for-3 off Tillman.

Bad News: Ryan Flaherty is 2-for-10, Schoop is 0-for-8, Davis is 0-for-6, Machado is 1-for-5, Pearce is 0-for-5, Steve Clevenger is 0-for-3, and Parra is 0-for-3 off Ventura. Ben Zobrist is 8-for-40 with 3 HRs, Alcides Escobar is 6-for-17 with a HR, Alex Rios is 5-for-16 with a HR, Alex Gordon is 4-for-15 with 2 HRs, Mike Moustakas is 5-for-13 with a HR, Kendrys Morales is 5-for-11, Lorenzo Cain is 3-for-7, Drew Butera is 1-for-3, and Paulo Orlando is 1-for-2 with a HR off Tillman.

Sunday, September 13 at 8:05 p.m. on ESPN
LHP Wei-Yin Chen (8-7) vs. RHP Johnny Cueto (9-11)
Chen’s 2015: 27 GS, 165.2 IP, 134 Ks, 3.48 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
Chen’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 16.1 IP, 13 Ks, 6.61 ERA, 1.84 WHIP
Cueto’s 2015: 27 GS, 180.2 IP, 158 Ks, 3.24 ERA, 1.05 WHIP
Cueto’s Last Three Starts: 0-3, 14 IP, 14 Ks, 9.64 ERA, 1.93 WHIP

Like most of the Birds, Chen appears to be crawling to the finish line. Since the All-Star break, Chen is 4-2 in 10 starts with a 4.85 ERA and 1.56 WHIP, and he’s struck out 44 batters over 55.2 innings. Over his last two starts, he’s given up nine runs in just 9.2 innings. Chen’s been pretty average against the Royals over his career, going 2-1 in seven starts with a 4.15 ERA and 1.45 WHIP while striking out 26 batters over 43.1 innings. This season, Chen earned the win in his first start against Kansas City. He held them to three runs on 10 hits and a walk while striking out four over 6.2 innings.

Cueto hasn’t been very effective since joining the Royals, going 2-5 in eight starts with a 4.86 ERA and 1.36 WHIP while striking out 38 batters over 50 innings. Over Cueto’s last four starts, he’s 0-4 with a 9.45 ERA and 1.95 WHIP. He’s failed to pitch more than six innings or give up less than four runs in any of these four outings. One of these starts took place against the Birds, and Cueto was roughed up to the tune of six runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out eight over five innings. It was the 29-year-old’s first career start against the O’s, and it was an ass-kicking that he’ll never forget. Did anyone find out if this ball landed yet?

Good News: Parra is 8-for-26 with 2 HRs, Jimmy Paredes is 2-for-5, Davis is 2-for-3 with a HR, Machado is 1-for-3 with a HR, Wieters is 1-for-3, Schoop is 1-for-2 with a HR, and Flaherty is 1-for-1 off Cueto. Escobar is 6-for-24, Gomes is 4-for-21 with a HR, Perez is 3-for-18, and Jarrod Dyson is 0-for-1 off Chen.

Bad News: Hardy is 2-for-15, Pearce is 1-for-7, Jones is 0-for-3, and Clevenger is 0-for-2 off Cueto. Zobrist is 14-for-37 with a HR, Hosmer is 9-for-23 with 2 HRs, Cain is 8-for-18, Gordon is 5-for-18 with a HR, Infante is 3-for-11 with a HR, Morales is 5-for-12, Moustakas is 3-for-10, Rios is 3-for-9, and Orlando is 2-for-3 off Chen. The O’s are 19-24 in one-run games, while the Royals are 22-14.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

cover pic: The Baltimore Wire
stats: Baseball-Reference

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