Series Preview: Orioles (23-16) vs. Blue Jays (18-24)

Manny Machado finishes his swing and watches as the ball flies, while the Blue Jays catcher stands behind him.

After wrapping up a tough weekend and a brutal road trip by taking just one of three in Motown, the Orioles will now head back home to take on the Blue Jays for a three-game set.

Oh, home sweet home. While the Orioles’ (23-16) recent road struggles have been glaring and well-documented, they will be breathing a sigh of relief upon returning to Birdland. They boast a stellar 13-3 clip at Camden Yards and own the highest winning percentage at home in the majors (81.2%).

After going just 1-6 through their latest seven-game road trip, the Orioles will be looking to hit the erase button on the past week’s events and put on a show in front of the sea of orange and black.

While the Blue Jays (18-24) remain in the cellar of the AL East, they seem to have recovered from a dreadful month of April (8-17) after posting an 8-4 mark over their last twelve contests. They’ve already topped last month’s win total by recording a 10-7 record thus far in May.

This three-game clash will mark the third meeting of the season between the two clubs, with the Orioles owning a commanding 5-1 advantage over the Jays on the year. Call it a little bit of payback.

Will the Orioles beat up on the Jays again, or will the visitors add to their hosts recent misery?

Only time will tell. Let’s take a look at the starters:

 

Game One

Chris Tillman (1-0, 2.89 ERA) will take the mound versus Aaron Sanchez (0-1, 2.95 ERA) tonight in the series opener.

Tillman will be making his third start of the season after allowing three runs on eight hits over 3 1/3 innings in his last outing against the Royals. Over 24 career starts versus Toronto, Tillman is 5-10 with a 5.44 ERA.

Sanchez will be making just his fifth start of the season after two separate stints on the disabled list. In his latest return, the Jays young ace allowed just a single unearned run over five innings versus Seattle. Sanchez has gone 5-3 with a 4.31 ERA over fourteen games (nine starts) against the Birds.

 

Game Two

Kevin Gausman (2-3, 7.19 ERA) will get the nod versus Mike Bolsinger (0-2, 6.10 ERA) on Saturday.

After getting tagged again in his latest start versus Kansas City, Gausman’s season isn’t getting any brighter. After recording a 7.50 ERA over five starts in April, he’s posted a 6.35 ERA over three starts in May. The good news is that he owns a solid 3.99 ERA lifetime against the Jays.

With J.A. Happ and Francisco Liriano on the shelf, Bolsinger has been filling in the rotation lately, but not with much success. The former LA Dodger has lost both of his starts on the year and allowed five runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings in his latest outing against the Braves.

 

Game Three

Wade Miley (1-1, 3.02 ERA) will take on Marco Estrada (2-2, 3.60 ERA) in the series finale on Sunday.

After starting the year with an incredible run of form, Miley has cooled off a bit as of late. His command has let him down recently and as a result, he’s pitched five innings or less in each of his last four starts. In seven career starts versus Toronto, Miley has gone 2-4 with a 5.40 ERA.

Like Miley, Estrada was on fire to begin the season and posted a stellar 2.70 ERA in April, but has cooled down thus far in May. He’s posted a 4.68 ERA through four starts this month and has recorded a woeful 6.00 ERA over his last three outings. That drop-off in form has seen his ERA spike from 2.43 to 3.60.

 

 

Notes

– Finally, it seems like Birdland Power Company is back in business (for the most part). The Orioles are hitting an impressive .288 as a team over the last twelve ballgames while scoring 66 runs on 22 homers. They’re also hitting a stellar .385 (37-for-96) with runners in scoring position during that span.

– But of course, as soon as the bats heat up, the arms cool down. The Orioles rotation has posted a woeful 6.02 ERA over the last nine games, while the bullpen has recorded a not-so-hot 5.18 ERA during that stretch as well. The Orioles record during that span is just 3-6.

– Sanchez has a bad moon rising this weekend, and his name is Chris Davis. The Orioles red-hot slugger has gone a whopping 8-for-18 (.444) with two doubles, four homers and five RBI against the Jays ace.

Jonathan Schoop (9-for-21, 1 HR, 1 RBI) also owns a stellar .429 lifetime average against Sanchez. However, the Jays All-Star has held Manny Machado (6-for-27), Adam Jones (3-for-23) and Mark Trumbo (4-for-19) in check.

– Marco Estrada has been a thorn in the side of the Orioles, going 4-1 over ten career starts with a 2.84 ERA and .184 BAA. To make matters worse, Welington Castillo (.276, 4 HR, 8 RBI) is the only one with a solid track record versus Estrada. Machado (2-for-21), Davis (3-for-22), Jones (3-for-21), Trumbo (4-for-21), Schoop (5-for-22) and J.J. Hardy (3-for-17) are a combined 20-for-124 (.161) against the Jays All-Star.

– Davis and Jones will both be looking to extend current seven-game hitting streaks. Davis has gone 10-for-26 (.385) with nine runs, five homers and nine RBI during that span, while Jones has gone 11-for-34 (.323) with five runs, two homers and four RBI.

That’s it for now, Birdland! Enjoy the series!

This entry was posted in Bird Feed, Blog View, Featured by Logan Quick. Bookmark the permalink.

About Logan Quick

Logan Quick
Logan Quick is a 23-year-old journalist from Harford County, Maryland. Loves hockey so much, there's ice in his veins, not blood. Breathes soccer. Kind of wishes he lived in Barcelona. Oh yeah, and his love for music, especially 1960's and 70's rock and roll, is unwavering. Also a lover of...more

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