Series Preview: Orioles (71-72) @ Blue Jays (66-77)

Rogers Centre in Toronto with the roof open.

After dropping all three games versus the red-hot Cleveland Indians over the weekend, the Orioles will now have to head to Toronto with a ”win-or-die” mentality in order to remain in the thick of the playoff chase.

While going to Toronto and coming away with a series win is usually tough enough, the Orioles will be breathing a sigh of relief to be escaping the confines of Ohio. Now, they must let it go and put the petal to the metal with their backs against the wall.

Don’t count them out just yet. This squad’s pretty good at overcoming the odds in case you haven’t noticed.

The Orioles (71-72) will be looking to snap a four-game losing streak in tonight’s series opener, while they remain just three games off the pace of the Minnesota Twins and the second wildcard spot. However, due to the slip-up in Cleveland, the pack of contenders have now all pulled to within 3.5-games of the Twins. As it stands, we’re in for a seven-horse race for one playoff spot.

This should be pretty fun.

The Blue Jays (66-77) remain nailed in the cellar of the AL East after going just 7-15 over their last twenty-two contests. However, they’ve gone an impressive 15-11 at Rogers Centre since the conclusion of the All-Star Break, so they shouldn’t be taken lightly (per usual).

After their Canadian rivals got the better of them over the previous two seasons (and in that one game last fall), the Orioles have gotten semi-revenge on the Jays by going 11-5 against them so far, this season.

Will the O’s snap the skid and reel off a few much-needed wins, or will the Jays crush the Orioles season (again)?

We’re about to find out. Let’s go to the starters.

 

Game One

Ubaldo Jimenez (5-9, 6.80 ERA) will take the mound against Marco Estrada (7-8, 5.00 ERA) in tonight’s series opener.

Jimenez was skipped over during his last turn in the rotation after getting shelled to the tune of giving up six runs on six hits over just 2 2/3 innings in his previous start against the Mariners. Over his last three starts, Jimenez has gone 0-2 with a 12.75 ERA. He’s gone just 1-3 with a 6.00 ERA over his last seven outings. He’ll get thrown back in against a team that’s he’s went 8-5 against while posting a 4.12 ERA over seventeen career starts.

Estrada was marvelous against the Red Sox during his last start and allowed just three hits over seven shutout innings, but got the no-decision in Toronto’s eventual 3-2 loss. Over eleven starts in the second half of the season, Estrada has posted a 2-2 record and a 4.74 ERA. Over twelve career starts versus Baltimore, Estrada boasts a sparkling 6-1 record and a 3.20 ERA.

 

Game Two

Dylan Bundy (13-9, 4.12 ERA) will take on Joe Biagini (3-10, 5.29 ERA) in Tuesday’s match-up.

Bundy was rocked and allowed five runs on five hits over just four innings during his last start against the Yankees, but excluding his latest effort, he’s been a shining star for the Orioles as of late. Bundy has gone an impressive 4-1 with a stellar 2.92 ERA over his last six contests while striking out a whopping fifty batters over forty innings of work. Look for the Orioles young ace to bounce back against the Jays. In six career outings (two starts) versus Toronto, Bundy has gone a clean 3-0 with a microscopic 0.51 ERA over 17 2/3 innings of work.

Biagini was shelled during his last outing versus Boston and exited the game after allowing five runs on six hits over just 3 1/3 innings. However, Biagini was incredible during his previous start against the Orioles and allowed just five hits over seven shutout innings while striking out ten in the process. Even though Biagini has gone through his learning bruises, he’s managed to routinely silence the Orioles. Over fourteen career contests (two starts) versus the Birds, Biagini boasts a sparkling 2.31 ERA over 23 1/3 innings.

 

Game Three

Kevin Gausman (10-10, 4.99 ERA) will take the hill against Marcus Stroman (11-7, 3.18 ERA) in the series finale on Wednesday.

Gausman turned in an off-key performance during his last start versus New York and left the game after allowing five runs on five hits over just three innings. Like Bundy, Gausman’s latest effort was a mere blotch on an otherwise golden run of form as of late. The Orioles in-form hurler has done his fair share of heavy lifting during the Orioles second-half resurgence and owns a 5-3 record and a magnificent 2.67 ERA over his last ten contests. He should be locked in for his next start against the Jays, as he owns a 4-3 record and an impressive 3.30 ERA against them over twelve career starts.

Stroman also turned in an uncharacteristic performance during his last start and allowed four runs on six hits over six innings versus the Tigers. Nonetheless, Stroman has been the biggest shining light on an otherwise lost season for the Blue Jays in 2017. The Jays ace has posted a stellar 3.00 ERA over eleven starts in the second half of the season despite going just 2-2. Over eight career starts against the Birds, Stroman has gone 3-3 with a 4.29 ERA.

 

That’s it for now, Orioles fans!

Here’s to getting back in the win column…

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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