Series Preview: O's @ A's, 25-28 April

Manny Machado is all smiles....although I'm betting it has nothing to do with playing in Oakland for the next four days. - USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles kick off a West Coast swing with a 4-game set against the Oakland Athletics. Hammel, Chen, Tillman, and Gonzalez for the O's against Parker, Millone, Griffin, and Colon of the A's.

Home cooking was exceptionally tasty for the Orioles over the past two weeks. Three series and three series wins have them sitting in second place in the AL East. Now they head west for consecutive series against the A's, M's, and Angels with no days off until May 6th. Expect the O's to make some kind of roster move, likely for a reliever, soon enough.

25 April, 10:05pm: Jason Hammel @ Jarrod Parker
Career Numbers Hammel vs. A's Parker vs. O's
IP 18.0 12.0
ERA 5.00 6.00
FIP 6.25
4.72
Slash Line (Past Teams) .261/.378/.493
.313/.340/.583
Slash Line (Current Players) .318/.375/.409
.344/.371/.688

If previous numbers are any indication, Hammel has not pitched at his best against Oakland in his career, although they do indicate he's been decent at O.co Coliseum. In 18 innings, he's racked up more walks than strikeouts, leading to a rather high FIP number. He's got extremely limited numbers against the current A's squad. In two starts, Jarrod Parker has not had success against the Orioles. He has, however, managed to strike out Chris Davis four times in six plate appearances. He's had some control issues so far this season, but appeared to right the ship in his last start (against the Rays league-worst 3.4 runs per game). Parker is at his best within the O.co Coliseum.

26 April, 10:05pm: Wei-Yin Chen @ Tommy Milone
Career Numbers Chen vs. A's Millone vs. O's
IP 12.2
6.1
ERA 0.71 1.42
FIP 3.05 5.59
Slash Line (Past Teams) .191/.283/.255
.261/.320/.435
Slash Line (Current Players) .222/.263/.389
.263/.333/.474

As the numbers suggest, Chen was exhibited a mastery over the A's in two starts last season. He did allow 6 walks in 12.2 innings, but combined that with 16 strikeouts. Only five current A's have ABs against Chen (including Josh Reddick, who is 0-6 with 3Ks), so a decidedly small sample size. He'll make his first career start in Oakland. Tommy Milone is a former Nationals pitching prospect who was traded to Oakland as a part of the Gio Gonzalez deal. The trade also included starting catcher Derek Norris. Milone has one career start against the O's. He won it, although there were no significant performances on either side.

27 April, 4:05pm: Chris Tillman @ A.J. Griffin
Career Numbers Tillman vs. A's Griffin vs. Orioles
IP 4.1
-
ERA 2.08
-
FIP 5.09
-
Slash Line (Past Teams) .316/.435/.368
-
Slash Line (Current Players) .105/.346/.158
-

Don't be confused by the great line Tillman has posted against current A's players....it's just three of them and two of them weren't even on the A's when he saw them. Nothing of significance from those 4.1 innings, although in typical Tillman fashion, he walked more than he struck out. Arthur Joseph is yet another mid-20s A's pitching prospect and he'll make his first career start against the O's. He's a fly ball pitcher who doesn't strike out a ton of hitters (at least, he doesn't when facing good lineups).

28 April, 4:05pm: Miguel Gonzalez @ Bartolo Colon
Career Numbers Gonzalez vs. A's Colon vs. O's
IP -
165.2
ERA - 3.10
FIP - 3.70
Slash Line (Past Teams) -
.257/.328/.364
Slash Line (Current Players) -
.211/.265/.295

Miguel Gonzalez is set to make his first career start against the A's. He's coming off of a decent start, but needs to tone down the walks. On the other side, Colon has been pretty masterful against the O's in over 165 innings of work. His line gets even better when you factor in just the current players. Combine that with his solid numbers within the confines of O.co Coliseum and this one could spell trouble. Good thing it's on Sunday....

Maybe hot: Nick Markakis (7 for 28, 4 doubles)

Maybe not: J.J. Hardy (.235 OPS in 17 AB), Matt Wieters (1 for 10, 2K)

"We loved Earl, and I'm sure he loved us. He probably loved us a little more when we won a few games for him. I think that the players here today will tell you that we all butted heads with Earl every once in awhile, but we admired him. That's for sure. I think even the other teams that we played against realized, 'Hey, those guys have the best manager in the league.' They knew that." - Brooks Robinson on Earl Weaver

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