Orioles vs. Twins Series Preview

Sports and Bets — August 29, 2014 at 6:37 pm by

The Birds will try to keep their foot on the gas during a four-game series against the last place Twins. While the O’s are playing the Twins, the Yankees have a three-game series in Toronto. Besides going to cookouts and enjoying some cold ones, watching the Birds extend their seven-game lead sounds like a damn good way to spend Labor Day Weekend. Let’s get fired up by watching one of the greatest montages in the history of sports movies. It’s like giving the Twins their last meal before the O’s slaughter these bums.

The Breakdown

Baltimore Orioles (76-56) vs. Minnesota Twins (59-74)

Season Series: Minnesota leads 2-1

Baltimore’s Last 10 Games: 6-4, Minnesota’s Last 10 Games: 4-6

Runs: Baltimore’s tied for 9th, Minnesota’s 6th

Home Runs: Baltimore’s 1st, Minnesota’s 22nd

Batting Average: Baltimore’s 8th, Minnesota’s 16th

On-base Percentage: Baltimore’s 21st, Minnesota’s 8th

Team ERA: Baltimore’s 12th, Minnesota’s 28th

Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 17th, Minnesota’s 29th

Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 8th, Minnesota’s 17th

Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s 3rd, Minnesota’s tied for 11th

Friday, August 29, 7:05 PM MASN

Miguel Gonzalez RHP (6-7) vs. Trevor May RHP (0-3)

Gonzalez’s Season Stats: 120 IP, 83 Ks, 3.75 ERA, 1.38 WHIP

Gonzalez’s Last Start (at Chicago Cubs): L, 6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

May’s Season Stats: 14.1 IP, 7 Ks, 8.79 ERA, 2.58 WHIP

May’s Last Start (vs. Detroit): L, 5.1 IP, 11 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Gonzalez will look to build on his strong start against the Cubs in his second start since rejoining the big league club. Gonzalez has only faced the Twins once in his career, and it was a start that he would like to forget. On May 4, he took the loss after allowing three runs on six hits and four walks while striking out seven over 4.2 innings.

This will be the 24-year-old rookie’s fourth career start (fifth appearance) in the majors. Needless to say, May’s rookie year has been a complete disaster up to this point. He has done a solid job in the minors, recording a 3.90 ERA and striking out 900 batters over 775.1 innings. He was also a top 100 prospect before the 2012 season. This will be his first start against the O’s, and the first time seeing any of their current hitters.

Good News: In August, J.J. Hardy is slashing .329/.376/.532 with four HRs, 13 RBIs, and 13 runs scored over 22 games. In 57 career games against the Twins, Nick Markakis is hitting .312/.389/.511 with 10 home runs, 30 RBIs, and 33 runs scored. Joe Mauer is 0-for-1 off Gonzalez.

Bad News: Besides Mauer, five other Twins have faced Gonzalez, and they are all batting .500 or better off the righty. Current Twins have slashed .500/.625/.667 off Gonzalez over 12 at-bats. Chris Davis is batting .151/.213/.407 with six HRs, 12 RBIs, and 12 runs scored in 25 August games.

Saturday, August 30, 7:05 PM MASN

Chris Tillman RHP (11-5) vs. Kyle Gibson RHP (11-10)

Tillman’s Season Stats: 171.2 IP, 116 Ks, 3.41 ERA, 1.21 WHIP

Tillman’s Last Three Starts: 2-0, 22 IP, 14 Ks, 1.23 ERA, 0.64 WHIP

Gibson’s Season Stats: 144 IP, 83 Ks, 4.31 ERA, 1.29 WHIP

Gibson’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 17.2 IP, 13 Ks, 5.60 ERA, 1.64 WHIP

Tillman has been nothing short of sensational for the Birds lately. Over five August starts, Tillman is 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA and 0.64 WHIP, and has struck out 27 batters over 35.2 innings. He’ll need to stay sharp because the Twins have really given him trouble over the years. In four career starts against the Twins, he’s 0-3 with a 6.06 ERA and 2.02 WHIP. This will be Tillman’s first start against the Twins this season.

Gibson, the second-year righty, has really been scuffling since the All-Star break. In seven post-break starts, Gibson is 3-3 with a 5.23 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. In his 18 pre-break starts, he was 8-7 with a 3.92 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. This will be Gibson’s first career start against the O’s, and the first time that he will face any of their current hitters.

Good News: In 17 August games, Professional Hitter Steve Pearce is slashing .276/.323/.621 with five HRs, six RBIs, and 12 runs scored. Kurt Suzuki is 1-for-7, and Trevor Plouffe is 0-for-1 off Tillman.

Bad News: In 52 career games against the Birds, Mauer is batting .344/.405/.508 with five HRs, 31 RBIs, and 30 runs scored. Eduardo Nunez is 3-for-8, Mauer is 2-for-7, Brian Dozier is 1-for-2, and Chris Parmelee is 1-for-1 with a HR off Tillman.

Sunday, August 31, 1:35 PM MASN

Wei-Yin Chen LHP (13-4) vs. Ricky Nolasco RHP (5-9)

Chen’s Season Stats: 148.1 IP, 109 Ks, 3.76 ERA, 1.25 WHIP

Chen’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 19 IP, 13 Ks, 2.84 ERA, 1.16 WHIP

Nolasco’s Season Stats: 123.1 IP, 87 Ks, 5.62 ERA, 1.53 WHIP

Nolasco’s Last Three Starts: 0-2, 19.2 IP, 15 Ks, 4.12 ERA, 1.07 WHIP

Chen struggled in his last start, allowing two runs on seven hits and three walks over 4.2 innings against the Rays. Even with that rough outing, Chen has still posted a 3.16 ERA and 1.21 WHIP with 27 strikeouts over 31 innings in five August starts. Chen also has strong career numbers against the Twins. In three starts, Chen is 2-1 with a 2.65 ERA and 1.12 WHIP, and has struck out 13 batters over 17 innings. Chen faced the Twins on May 3, and took the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk while striking out five over five innings.

Nolasco has been terrific in four career starts against the O’s, going 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. He faced the Birds on May 2, and took the loss despite throwing a complete game. He surrendered three runs on nine hits and a walk while striking out six.

Good News: Adam Jones is 2-for-7 with a HR, and Nelson Cruz is 2-for-4 with a HR off Nolasco. Eduardo Escobar is 0-for-2, and Parmelee is 0-for-2 off Chen.

Bad News: Markakis is 1-for-14, Delmon Young is 2-for-10, Nick Hundley is 1-for-8, Hardy is 1-for-7, and Pearce is 1-for-6 off Nolasco. Nunez is 4-for-11, Mauer is 4-for-8, Dozier is 4-for-8 with a HR, Plouffe is 3-for-8, and Suzuki is 2-for-5 off Chen.

Monday, September 1, 1:35 PM MASN

Kevin Gausman RHP (7-6) vs. Phil Hughes RHP (14-9)

Gausman’s Season Stats: 82 IP, 59 Ks, 3.84 ERA, 1.38 WHIP

Gausman’s Last Three Starts: 1-2, 15 IP, 13 Ks, 3.60 ERA, 1.20 WHIP

Hughes’ Season Stats: 172.2 IP, 152 Ks, 3.70 ERA, 1.18 WHIP

Hughes’ Last Three Starts: 2-1, 22 IP, 18 Ks, 2.45 ERA, 0.86 WHIP

Gausman is still looking to find his first half form that saw him record a 3.29 ERA and 1.25 WHIP over seven starts. In eight second half starts, Gausman has a 4.33 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. This will be Gausman’s first career start against the Twins.

This is Hughes’ first season in Minnesota, and he is in the midst of a career year. He’s been really throwing the ball well now that he’s away from that tiny Yankee ballpark and the cesspool they call New York. Hughes has been knocked around by the O’s over the years, posting a 5.06 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 18 starts (21 appareacnes). But he did pitch well against them earlier this season, earning the win on May 4 after allowing two runs on six hits over 6.1 innings.

Good News: Markakis is 16-for-50 with 2 HRs, Young is 9-for-24 with a HR, Cruz is 5-for-20 with a HR, and Ryan Flaherty is 2-for-5 off Hughes.

Bad News: Jones is 8-for-47 with 2 HRs, Hardy is 6-for-29 with a HR, and Davis is 5-for-24 with a HR off Hughes. Nunez is 1-for-3, and Suzuki is 2-for-2 off Gausman.

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

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