Series Preview: Baltimore Orioles @ Boston Red Sox, 8-11 April 2013

Less of this, please. - Rob Carr

They'll likely have to score a lot of runs, but the O's need to win this series to stay above the .500 mark for the season.

The first homestand of the year for the Orioles started out promisingly, but ended in a series loss. The O's hope to bounce back against the Red Sox in Fenway Park, in an odd Monday-Wednesday-Thursday set. Miguel Gonzalez's spot in the rotation will be skipped this time around, for reasons largely unexplained, so Tillman will pitch in this series instead. On the plus side, we'll likely get to see our old friend Koji Uehara again; hopefully the O's won't need to pummel him to win a game.

8 April: Wei-Yin Chen @ Clay Buchholz
Career Numbers Chen vs. Red Sox Buchholz vs. O's
IP 18.0 84.0
ERA 2.50 3.64
FIP 2.43 4.52
Slash Line (Past Teams) .292/.321/.417 .240/.332/.373
Slash Line (Current Players) .400/.455/.667
.242/.329/.398

Chen was pretty solid against the Red Sox last year. He got hit harder than you'd like to see - and apparently did well largely against former Red Sox - but had good overall peripherals and gave up few runs to match. Buchholz notoriously no-hit the O's in 2007, but despite a solid-looking ERA has mediocre peripherals against them overall. Hopefully this start will resemble one of his outings against the Orioles over the last couple of years, in which he's put together a 4.68 ERA over 32-plus innings.

Maybe hot: J.J. Hardy (1.423 OPS, 14 PA); near every Bostonian

Likely not: Nick Markakis (.419 OPS, 38 PA)

10 April: Jake Arrieta @ Ryan Dempster
Career Numbers Arrieta vs. Red Sox Dempster vs. O's
IP 24.0
13.1
ERA 6.00 1.35
FIP 6.18 4.07
Slash Line (Past Teams) .313/.364/.566
.152/.220/.261
Slash Line (Current Players) .500/.548/1.105
.188/.274/.297

Remind me why Arrieta's in the rotation, again? Dempster hasn't seen the O's much, coming over to the AL midway through last year after eight-plus years with the Cubs; anything could happen, but expect the Orioles to need to score a lot of runs to win this game. That may not be a big problem, since Dempster holds a career 4.34 ERA and 4.22 FIP.

Maybe hot: Nate McLouth (.990 OPS, 25 PA); near every Bostonian (again)

Likely not: J.J. Hardy (.215 OPS, 30 PA)

11 April: Chris Tillman @ Felix Doubront
Career Numbers Tillman vs. Red Sox Doubront vs. O's
IP 25.0
23.0
ERA 2.88 3.13
FIP 2.94 4.57
Slash Line (Past Teams) .245/.311/.309
.221/.280/.419
Slash Line (Current Players) .222/.280/.267
.233/.292/.367

This game looks the most promising. Tillman doesn't inspire a tremendous amount of confidence, especially after his last start, but all his numbers against the Red Sox are pretty solid. No Oriole has more than 12 PA against Doubront, so he's a pretty big question mark. His overall numbers are pretty mediocre, though, with a 4.87 ERA and 4.36 FIP in just over 200 career innings, most coming in 29 starts last year.

Maybe hot: Chris Davis (1.455 OPS, 11 PA)

Likely not: Jones, Wieters, and Hardy (combined .186 OPS, 33 PA)

"The home run makes managing simple. Frank Robinson would come to bat with two guys on base. I'd yell, 'Hit it hard, Frank.' Frank would hit it hard and far, over the fence. Then he would come around the bases and back into the dugout. I'd say, 'Nice hit, Frank.' Now that is the ideal way to manage, and that's how people first decided I was smart." - Earl Weaver

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