Series Preview: Orioles (53-54) vs. Tigers (49-57)

Kevin Gausman & Justin Verlander side-by-side pitching photos.

After making their intentions known with an amazing three-game sweep of the red-hot Royals, the Orioles will look to keep the good times rolling over a four-game set against the Detroit Tigers before hitting the West Coast.

Just like that, folks. These Orioles are making a lot of noise outside, and thanks to a five-game winning tear, they’re about to start banging on the door. If they can stay in top form, they’ll be more like unwelcome guests that arrived just in time to crash the party.

No team in the AL likes to play these guys when they’ve hit “Bull in a China Shop” mode.

Due to their current hot streak, the Orioles (53-54) are just two games behind the Rays for third place in the division and have cut the deficit in the wild card hunt from 5.5-games to just 2.5-games. On top of their current winning tear, they’ve now posted a 7-3 mark over their last ten games and an impressive 11-5 record over their last sixteen. In case you needed a reminder, the Orioles are very much alive and well as we prepare to hit the home stretch. 55 games remain on the schedule, and the Orioles train is just now beginning to pick up steam. We should be in for quite a ride.

The Tigers (49-57) trail the first-place Cleveland Indians by 8.5-games in the AL Central, but they’ve also been playing solid baseball lately. The current visitors have won four of their last five games which includes a series win versus the Yankees in the Bronx. They’ve now gone an impressive 7-4 over their last eleven games on the road and have posted a 10-9 mark in the second half of the season so far.

The Orioles dropped two of three in the first meeting of the season versus the Tigers in Detroit back in May, so they’ll be looking to avoid the same type of slip-up in front of their own fans at Camden Yards over the latter part of the week. Since the start of the 2015 season, the Orioles have gone 10-7 versus their current visitors.

Will the Orioles keep the good vibes flowing through the weekend, or will they begin their ten-game stay on the West Coast feeling blue?

Surely, this is a match-up that is tilted in the Orioles favor…But nothing is for certain.


Game One

Chris Tillman (1-6, 7.65 ERA) will take the mound versus Matthew Boyd (5-5, 5.30 ERA) in tonight’s series opener.

Tillman was rocked by the Rangers during his last time out and allowed eight runs on nine hits over just 4 1/3 innings, so he’ll be looking to erase that painful memory going into this one. His latest implosion came as a bit of a surprise as he had posted a rock-solid 3.31 ERA over his previous three starts. Tillman will also be looking to continue his dominance over the Tigers, as he owns a perfect 6-0 record along with an amazing 2.45 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and .186 BAA over nine career starts versus Detroit.

Boyd turned in a positive outing versus Houston and allowed just three runs on eight hits over 7 1/3 innings. He’s now won three straight starts while recording a 4.19 ERA in the process. He’ll be making his second career start versus the Orioles in this match-up.


Game Two

Kevin Gausman (8-7, 5.37 ERA) will take on Justin Verlander (6-7, 4.29 ERA) in Friday night’s contest.

Gausman put in a dazzling effort during his last start versus Texas and allowed just seven hits over 8 2/3 shutout innings. As a result, the white-hot Gausman continued his sensational run of form that includes a 3-0 record and a miniscule 0.44 ERA over his last three outings and an immaculate 5-0 record to go along with an impressive 3.15 ERA over his past seven contests. Over five career starts versus Detroit, Gausman has gone 1-1 with a 4.82 ERA.

Verlander turned in a vintage performance during his last start versus Boston and allowing just five hits over six shutout innings. He’s also been back to his best as of late with a stellar 2.25 ERA over his last three outings. Over eighteen career contests versus the Orioles, the future Hall-of-Famer has posted a 9-5 record and a 3.77 ERA.


Game Three

Wade Miley (5-9, 5.60 ERA) will get the nod against Michael Fulmer (10-9, 3.59 ERA) on Saturday night.

At last, Miley finally turned in a solid performance during his last outing in Texas and held the Rangers to just two runs on six hits over five innings in a winning effort. He had recorded a 9.77 ERA over his previous three contests and finished the month of July with an 8.68 ERA over six starts, so maybe it’s a sign that he’s turning the corner? We can only hope.

Fulmer was tagged to the tune of allowing six runs on seven hits over six innings during his last contest versus the Yankees. Also, the Tigers young ace has seen his form fall off of a cliff during his last three starts as he owns an 0-3 record and a 7.56 ERA during that span. Over three career starts versus Baltimore, Fulmer has gone 1-0 with a 4.42 ERA.


Game Four

Ubaldo Jimenez (4-7, 6.56 ERA) will take the hill against Anibal Sanchez (3-1, 5.83 ERA) in the series finale on Sunday.

Jimenez was magnificent during his last start versus the Royals and finished his gem having allowed just a single run on five hits over seven stellar innings. Don’t look now, but Jimenez has recorded a remarkable 2.08 ERA over his last two starts and thirteen innings of work. Over twenty-two career starts versus Detroit, Jimenez owns a 6-12 record and a 5.63 ERA.

Sanchez has gone through a nightmare of an injury-hit campaign, but managed to hold the Yankees to just two runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings during his last start and has won two of his last three contests. Over five career starts versus Baltimore, Sanchez has notched a 2-2 record and a 5.28 ERA.

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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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