Series Preview: Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays, 22-24 April 2013

Adam Jones: tossing bats, growing additional limbs. - Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

After letting a potential sweep get away from them yesterday, the O's need to #StayHungry to finish off a good homestand.

With two series wins, the Orioles sit at 4-2 on the homestand. Taking two or three against Toronto would make for a solid run before heading off to Oakland, but the O's will have to make a roster move or two to add a starter for Wednesday and perhaps shore up the bullpen.

Monday, 22 April: Chris Tillman vs. J.A. Happ
Career Numbers Tillman vs. Jays Happ vs. O's
IP 30.1 11.0
ERA 4.45 4.09
FIP 6.29 2.64
Slash Line (Past Teams) .220/.289/.468 .378/.453/.533
Slash Line (Current Players) .302/.356/.509 .343/.429/.514

Stop me if this sounds familiar: Tillman has given up eight homers in 30.1 innings against the Blue Jays. Sometimes I forget that he has a career HR/9 of 1.41. Sometimes it's because that feels low. Fortunately, his opponent isn't terribly intimidating; despite Happ's shiny FIP against the O's, they've hit him pretty hard in the past. Happ's a lefty with fringy stuff and control, and wasn't sure he'd have a major league job this season, until he landed both the fifth starter role and a surprising contract extension at the end of March. He's gotten knocked around in his last couple of starts, giving up nine runs in 10.2 innings, but then Tillman's been little better.

Maybe hot: Jose Bautista (1.722 OPS, 12 PA)

Likely not: Adam Lind (.429 OPS, 14 PA), Edwin Encarnacion (.558, 13 PA)

Tuesday, 23 April: Miguel Gonzalez vs. R.A. Dickey
Career Numbers Gonzalez vs. Jays Dickey vs. O's
IP 16.2 33.1
ERA 4.32 2.97
FIP 3.64 2.59
Slash Line (Past Teams) .246/.258/.431 .211/.252/.293
Slash Line (Current Players) .237/.256/.447 .200/.189/.389

What's with the Jays and these starters who go by their initials? Not that the reigning NL Cy Young winner cares what I think of what he prefers to be called, I suppose. Dickey one-hit the O's in interleague play last year, and he gave up one run over seven innings against them back in 2010. His numbers for this year don't look that great, but he's improved over his last two starts after a really rough one against Boston. Gonzalez, meanwhile, had a pair of quality starts on the road before giving up three homers in 5.2 innings against the Rays on Thursday. The good news is, he only walked two Rays, so hopefully his control issues are fixed, and we'll at least have a break from the Tillman-Arrieta BB Show.

Wednesday, 24 April: TBA vs. Brandon Morrow
Career Numbers - Morrow vs. O's
IP - 60.1
ERA - 4.03
FIP - 4.21
Slash Line (Past Teams) - .225/.302/.388
Slash Line (Current Players) - .283/.372/.543

TBA! We've missed you! Zach Britton seems the most likely candidate to start this game for Baltimore, but you never know what kind of roster shenanigans Buck and Duquette will get up to. Britton has had some success against Toronto in the past, holding them to a .595 OPS and 3.38 ERA over 18.2 IP, though current Jays have a .788 OPS against him. Meanwhile, Morrow has managed to exploit the holes in past Baltimore lineups -- look at the difference in those slash lines. He's also given up four homers in 21 IP this year, so the O's will be looking to mash some taters before boarding their flight on Wednesday.

Maybe hot: Just about every Oriole (.915 OPS overall, 148 PA), except...

Likely not: Matt Wieters (.569 OPS, 24 PA)

Its name, the sacrifice bunt, tells you something. Sacrifice means you are giving up something. In this instance, you're giving up an out to the opposition. There are only three an inning, and they should be treasured... Weaver's Fourth Law: Your most precious possessions on offense are your twenty-seven outs.

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