Orioles vs. Tigers Series Preview

Sports and Bets — July 30, 2015 at 6:34 pm by

The red-hot Birds will wrap up their seven-game homestand with a four-game series against the David Price-less Tigers. Detroit went into sell mode, and now is the perfect time for the O’s to kick these guys while they’re down. A five-game win streak is all well and good, but doesn’t a nine-game win streak have a much nicer ring to it?

The Breakdown
Baltimore Orioles (51-49) vs. Detroit Tigers (49-52)
Season Series: Baltimore leads 2-1
Last 10 Games: Baltimore’s 6-4, Detroit’s 4-6
Runs: Baltimore’s tied for 9th, Detroit’s 5th
Home Runs: Baltimore’s tied for 4th, Detroit’s 11th
Batting Average: Baltimore’s 14th, Detroit’s 1st
On-Base Percentage: Baltimore’s 21st, Detroit’s 1st
Team ERA: Baltimore’s 13th, Detroit’s 26th
Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 19th, Detroit’s 26th
Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 6th, Detroit’s 26th
Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s 1st, Detroit’s 6th

Baltimore’s Injury Report
P Jason Garcia: 60-day DL (right shoulder; currently on rehab assignment)
OF Steve Pearce: 15-day DL (left oblique)

Detroit’s Injury Report
P Kyle Lobstein: 60-day DL (left shoulder)
P Joe Nathan: 60-day DL (Tommy John surgery; out for season)
INF Miguel Cabrera: 15-day DL (left calf)

Thursday, July 30 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN & MLBN
RHP Miguel Gonzalez (9-6) vs. RHP Alfredo Simon (9-6)
Gonzalez’s 2015: 18 GS, 106 IP, 80 Ks, 3.99 ERA, 1.23 WHIP
Gonzalez’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 17.2 IP, 13 Ks, 4.58 ERA, 1.36 WHIP
Simon’s 2015: 19 GS, 111 IP, 82 Ks, 4.46 ERA, 1.46 WHIP
Simon’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 14 IP, 8 Ks, 6.43 ERA, 1.93 WHIP

Gonzalez has come out with guns blazing in the 2nd half, going 2-0 in two starts with a 2.13 ERA and 1.03 WHIP while striking out nine batters over 12.2 innings. Gonzalez has traditionally loved pitching in the 2nd half too. In 239.2 career innings after the All-Star break, Gonzo is 20-13 with a 3.27 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. In 302 career innings before the All-Star break, he’s 19-14 with a 3.78 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. Last season, Gonzalez went 6-4 in 11 post-break starts with a 2.19 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. Standing in the way of Gonzalez’s plans to dominate another 2nd half are the Detroit Tigers. In five career appearances (four starts) against the Tigers, Gonzalez is 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA and 1.91 WHIP, and he’s struck out 15 batters over 22 innings. This season, Gonzalez is 1-0 in one start against Detroit. On July 19, he held the Tigers to two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out four over five innings.

Taking the bump for the Tigers in the series-opener is our old pal Alfredo Simon. After pitching like a total bag of shit for the O’s and posting a 5.18 ERA over parts of four seasons, Simon found success in the National League. He was a weapon for the Reds out of their bullpen in 2012 and 2013, recording a 2.78 ERA over 148.2 innings. Last season, Simon was promoted to their starting rotation, and the hefty right-hander made his first career All-Star team. He went 15-10 with a 3.44 ERA and 1.21 WHIP while striking out 127 batters over 196.1 innings. But as Simon’s 2015 stats show, his return to the American League has been anything but pleasant. Simon will face off against the Birds for the first time in his career with a low to mid 90s fastball, a splitter, a cutter, and an occasional curveball. The 34-year-old is averaging a more than respectable 92.7 mph on his heater this season, but it is well below the 94.0 mph he averaged last season.

Good News: Travis Snider is 5-for-15, and Chris Davis is 2-for-2 with a HR off Simon. Ian Kinsler is 3-for-13 with a HR, Victor Martinez is 1-for-8, and Alex Avila is 1-for-7 off Gonzalez. J.J. Hardy is currently working on a 12-game hitting streak. Over his last 12 games, Hardy is batting .310 with 2 HRs, 7 RBIs, and 9 runs scored.

Bad News: Hardy is 0-for-1 off Simon. Anthony Gose is 6-for-18 with a HR, Rajai Davis is 4-for-12 with 3 HRs, Yoenis Cespedes is 5-for-11, Jose Iglesias is 3-for-8, J.D. Martinez is 2-for-5, Andrew Romine is 1-for-3, and Nick Castellanos is 2-for-2 off Gonzalez.

Friday, July 31 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN 2
LHP Wei-Yin Chen (5-6) vs. RHP Buck Farmer (0-2)
Chen’s 2015: 19 GS, 121.2 IP, 96 Ks, 2.88 ERA, 1.13 WHIP
Chen’s Last Three Starts: 1-2, 19.2 IP, 13 Ks, 3.20 ERA, 1.27 WHIP
Farmer’s 2015: 3 G, 2 GS, 13.2 IP, 12 Ks, 9.22 ERA, 1.90 WHIP

Chen’s streak of six consecutive quality starts was broken in his last outing, but he was still able to pick up his 5th win of the season. He held Tampa to two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out three batters over 5.1 innings. Chen will look to close out his favorite month of the season with a bang. In 19 career starts in July, Chen is 11-4 with a 2.98 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, and he’s struck out 97 batters over 124 innings. When it comes to monthly splits (not including Chen’s one career regular season start in October), he’s posted his lowest ERA and WHIP and his most wins, innings pitched, and strikeouts in July. In two career starts against the Tigers, Chen is 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, and he’s struck out nine batters over 11 innings. This will be Chen’s first start against Detroit since Game 2 of last year’s ALDS. Chen took a no-decision after getting knocked around for five runs on seven hits and no walks while striking out three over 3.2 innings.

First things first, Buck Farmer is a great fucking name. He reminds me of my favorite porn star to open his own stereo store, Buck Swope.


So far in his major league career, having an awesome name has been all that Farmer has had going for him. In parts of two seasons, Farmer is 0-3 with a 10.17 ERA and 1.87 WHIP, and he’s struck out 23 batters over 23 innings. Farmer’s last big league start came on June 24, and he took the loss after getting battered by Cleveland. He gave up five runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out seven over 5.1 innings. The 24-year-old has had success in the minors, though. He’s gone 19-12 with a 3.46 ERA and 1.21 WHIP while striking out 238 batters over 241.2 minor league innings. Farmer throws a mid 90s fastball with a changeup and a slider. His changeup has been his best pitch over his limited major league action, and he’s thrown it 26.5% of the time. This will be Farmer’s first career start against the O’s.

Good News: Snider is 1-for-2 with a HR off Farmer. Cespedes is 3-for-14, Kinsler is 3-for-12, Avila is 0-for-2, Iglesias is 0-for-2, and Romine is 0-for-2 off Chen.

Bad News: Chris Parmelee is 0-for-2 off Farmer. Rajai Davis is 2-for-5, Castellanos is 1-for-2 with a HR, J.D. Martinez is 1-for-2 with a HR, Victor Martinez is 1-for-2, and Gose is 1-for-1 off Chen.

Saturday, August 1 at 7:05 p.m. on MASN 2 & WJZ
RHP Kevin Gausman (1-2) vs. RHP Anibal Sanchez (10-8)
Gausman’s 2015: 13 G, 5 GS, 40.2 IP, 34 Ks, 4.20 ERA, 1.23 WHIP
Gausman’s Last Three Starts: 0-2, 17.1 IP, 13 Ks, 5.71 ERA, 1.33 WHIP
Sanchez’s 2015: 21 GS, 136.2 IP, 121 Ks, 4.61 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
Sanchez’s Last Three Starts: 2-1, 18 IP, 15 Ks, 4.50 ERA, 1.72 WHIP

Gausman was sensational in his last start, earning the win against Atlanta after throwing 7.2 scoreless innings. Gausman gave up six hits and a walk while striking out five in the longest outing of his career. In his two starts after the break, Gausman is 0-1 with a 2.63 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, and he’s struck out nine batters over 13.2 innings. In two career starts against the Tigers, Gausman is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.30 WHIP, and he’s struck out six batters over 10 innings. The last time Gausman saw Detroit was in Game 2 of last year’s ALDS. He came on in relief and held the Tigers to one run on three hits and a walk while striking out five over 3.2 innings.

Sanchez was roughed up by Tampa in his last outing, taking the loss after surrendering three runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out six over 5.1 innings. Sanchez is having an uncharacteristically bad season for Detroit. His 4.61 ERA would be his highest for a season since he recorded a 5.57 ERA in 51.2 innings in 2008. Despite the 31-year-old’s struggles, he was able to keep the O’s in check when these two clubs met on July 17. Sanchez picked up the win after holding the Birds to two runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out three over six innings. In three career starts against the O’s, Sanchez is 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.35 WHIP, and he’s struck out nine batters over 16.1 innings.

Good News: Adam Jones is 3-for-7, Jonathan Schoop is 2-for-6, Matt Wieters is 3-for-6 with a HR, Chris Davis is 2-for-4, Hardy is 1-for-4, and Manny Machado is 1-for-2 off Sanchez. Kinsler is 1-for-6, Victor Martinez is 1-for-6, Avila is 0-for-3, Rajai Davis is 0-for-2, J.D. Martinez is 0-for-2, Castellanos is 0-for-1, and Romine is 0-for-1 off Gausman.

Bad News: Parmelee is 1-for-16, Snider is 1-for-8, David Lough is 1-for-6, Jimmy Paredes is 1-for-5, Ryan Flaherty is 0-for-3, and Caleb Joseph is 0-for-1 off Sanchez. Cespedes is 3-for-9 with a HR, and Gose is 1-for-1 off Gausman.

Sunday, August 2 at 1:35 p.m. on MASN 2
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (8-6) vs. LHP Daniel Norris (1-1)
Jimenez’s 2015: 20 GS, 113.1 IP, 108 Ks, 3.73 ERA, 1.33 WHIP
Jimenez’s Last Three Starts: 1-2, 14 IP, 10 Ks, 10.29 ERA, 1.79 WHIP
Norris’ 2015: 5 GS, 23.1 IP, 18 Ks, 3.86 ERA, 1.50 WHIP

After getting shellacked for 14 runs in just seven innings over his first two starts of the 2nd half, Jimenez calmed my nerves in a major way with a fantastic outing against the Braves. Jimenez earned the win after allowing two runs on four hits and three walks while striking out three over seven innings. It was exactly what the doctor ordered for Jimenez, who will now turn his sights towards avenging his brutal July 17 start against Detroit. Jimenez took the loss in that outing after getting hammered for seven runs on seven hits and no walks while striking out five over 4.2 innings. In 18 career starts against the Tigers, Jimenez is 5-10 with a 5.33 ERA and 1.50 WHIP, and he’s struck out 82 batters over 101.1 innings.

Daniel Norris was the centerpiece in the trade that sent David Price to the Blue Jays, and the Tigers aren’t hesitating to throw the young southpaw into the fire. This will be Norris’ first start in the big leagues since he pitched three scoreless innings against Cleveland on April 30. In the minor leagues, Norris has gone 19-23 with a 4.08 ERA and 1.39 WHIP while striking out 384 batters over 348.1 career innings. While his minor league numbers aren’t very impressive, Norris definitely has the pedigree to become an impact arm in the majors. The 22-year-old was a 2nd round pick in 2011, and he was ranked by Baseball America as the 18th best prospect coming into the 2015 season. Norris throws in the low 90s with a changeup, a slider, and a curveball. This will be Norris’ first career start against the Birds, but he did make a relief appearance against them last season. He gave up one run on two hits and a walk in an inning of work.

Good News: Hardy is 1-for-1, and Schoop is 1-for-1 off Norris. Rajai Davis is 0-for-5, Gose is 1-for-5, Castellanos is 0-for-4, and Romine is 0-for-2 off Jimenez. Over Chris Davis’ last 8 games, he’s hitting .276 with 5 HRs, 12 RBIs, and 6 runs scored.

Bad News: Victor Martinez is 9-for-27 with 4 HRs, Avila is 6-for-25 with a HR, Kinsler is 5-for-20, Cespedes is 3-for-10 with a HR, J.D. Martinez is 1-for-7 with a HR, James McCann is 1-for-2, and Iglesias is 1-for-1 with a HR off Jimenez.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

stats: Baseball-Reference
cover pic: LancasterOnline

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