Series preview: Indians at Orioles (May 22-25)

Chris Davis and Adam Jones - Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After an exciting sweep of the Tigers, the Indians head back on the road with a visit to Oriole Park at Camden Yards for a four game set.

The Indians start their next road jaunt, this time visiting Charm City and the Baltimore Orioles.

  • Thursday's game is at 7:05 PM (Masterson vs. Chen) [MLB.tv game of the day]
  • Friday's game is at 7:05 PM (House (?) vs. Norris)
  • Saturday's game is at 12:35 PM (Kluber vs. Jimenez) [MLB Network game]
  • Sunday's game is at 1:35 PM (Bauer vs. Gonzalez)

The Indians then travel to Chicago for a three game set. After a much needed day off, the next homestand will include visits from the Rockies and Red Sox.

Division Watch: Rangers at Tigers, Royals at Angels, Yankees at White Sox, Twins at Giants.

Team in a Box

Baltimore Orioles

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2014 Record

23-21

Runs/Game

4.2

10th

Runs/Game

4.2

6th

AL East

3rd

OBP

311

12th

H/9

9.3

9th

Last 10

3-7

SLG

396

7th

BB/9

3.1

5th

Last 30

16-14

Steals

13

15th

SO/9

7.1

14th

The Orioles are a bit of a conundrum. They have spent the entire month of May within 2 games of first place and have been in the lead over half of the time, but never by more than 1.5 games. They score very few runs and do not hit all that well. Sure they are third in batting average but just twelfth in on-base percentage. They are fourteenth in doubles and just eighth in homers, but strike out the third fewest times.

Usually a team that hits that poorly and is this close to the division lead, it is because the pitching staff is lights out. But again, that just isn't the case. They are just seventh in ERA and second to last in strikeouts. They are second in the league in saves however. Where they do excel is on defense. They have only 21 errors, best in the league and have the third most double plays. So while the Orioles are just a half game out of first, they really are more like the .500 record indicates. Such is life in the ultra-competitive (weaker than usual?) AL East this season.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

C

Steve Clevenger

L

69

250

711

1B

Chris Davis

L

138

268

873

2B

Jonathan Schoop

R

139

223

614

3B

Manny Machado

R

83

234

563

SS

JJ Hardy

R

148

281

640

LF

David Lough

L

88

175

458

CF

Adam Jones

R

190

280

729

RF

Nick Markakis

L

200

293

720

DH

Nelson Cruz

R

187

282

919

OF

Steven Pearce

R

53

286

870

IF

Ryan Flaherty

L

90

195

511

DH

Delmon Young

R

67

281

688

C

Caleb Joseph

R

19

063

229

With Matt Wieters out, right now this is a two bat lineup in Davis and Cruz. Both Jones and Markakis are still threats however. Machado looks very rusty since his return from that major knee injury. Schoop and Hardy may field well but neither is hitting and Lough is the worst hitter in the lineup. I wouldn't be surprised to see Pearce get more chances.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

WHIP

K/9

Chris Tillman

R

4.21

57.2

1.387

6.9

Ubaldo Jimenez

R

4.50

52.0

1.481

8.3

Miguel Gonzalez

R

4.53

45.2

1.423

8.3

Bud Norris

R

3.58

50.1

1.132

5.9

Wei-Yin Chen

L

3.69

46.1

1.446

6.4

Tommy Hunter

R

6.06

16.1

1.837

8.3

Darren O'Day

R

0.52

17.1

0.981

6.8

Brian Matusz

L

3.14

14.1

1.674

6.3

Ryan Webb

R

3.66

19.2

1.220

8.2

Zach Britton

L

0.76

23.2

0.887

5.7

Troy Patton

L

6.00

6.0

1.333

7.5

Brad Brach

R

4.05

6.2

1.500

8.1

We miss Tillman, who is their nominal ace, but open with the lefty Chen, who gives up a lot of hits, but rarely walks guys. He faced us once back in 2012 and gave up 6 runs in 6.1 innings.  Norris is the Friday guy, who has pitched decently this season and a fellow Cal Poly Mustang. He had one superb start last season against the Tribe, 7 innings, four hits, one run and eight strikeouts. Ubaldo (calling Cols) had a terrible April but started May with three solid starts before the Royals touched him up last start. Gonzalez might have the best true stuff of the five, but has already given up eight dingers this year.

Hunter may be the nominal closer, but hasn't pitched the ninth since blowing two saves against the Tigers and Astros last week. Britton picked up the most recent save, and has been almost unhittable so far. O'Day has been just as scintillating. Matusz looks like the weakest regular contributor with Patton and Brach just being added in the past two weeks.

Edit: Hunter was DL'ed today with LGFT Preston Guilmet being recalled from AAA Norfolk. Guilmet pitched 1.2 perfect innings with 3 strikeouts earlier this season.

On the Shelf

  • C Matt Wieters [15 day DL], no timetable for return
  • LF Nolan Reimold [60 day DL], no timetable for return
  • 3B Michael Almanzar [15 day DL], no timetable for return
  • RP Edgmer Escalona [60 day DL], no timetable for return
  • LF Francisco Peguero [15 day DL] , on AAA rehab, possible May return

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2014

-

-

-

-

-

-

2013

4

3

571

27

32

423

Last 5*

21

14

600

175

162

535

Last 10*

40

29

580

389

331

573

All-Time

1119

847

569

9247

8061

562

*Does not include 2014 stats

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