Series Preview: O's vs. Rays, 17-19 May

Here's a J.J. Hardy pic. Hopefully he improves those career numbers againt the Rays. - Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The O's start a tough stretch looking to redeem themselves after a sweep by San Diego. Hammel, Jurrjens, and Tillman for the O's. Hellickson, Hernandez, and Moore for the Rays.

Earlier in the week, the Orioles suffered their first sweep of the year against the struggling San Diego Padres. They'll remain at home this weekend to face the Tampa Bay Rays, kicking off a relatively tough stretch of baseball that will include stops in New York, Toronto, and Washington before returning to the Yard for a series against Detroit. Tampa Bay is also coming off of back-to-back losses and has placed reigning AL Cy Young winner David Price on the DL. They've struggled away from the Trop this season, posting 6-12 road record.

17 May, 7:05pm: Jason Hammel vs. Jeremy Hellickson
Career Numbers Hammel vs. Rays Hellickson vs. O's
IP 9.2 76.2
ERA 3.72 2.70
FIP 5.96
4.03
Slash Line (Past Teams) .129/.176/.355
.213/.269/.348
Slash Line (Current Players) .222/.268/.427
.229/.284/.400

Jason Hammel's struggles this season have been pretty well documented. His strikeout numbers are closer to his rather dismal 2011 season with the Rockies than last year with the O's. Additionally, his ERA and FIP are both nearly a run higher than they were last season. Hopefully he gets that straightened out. He's only has two starts against his former team and, FIP aside, he was pretty solid. The current players slash line is affected mostly by James Loney, who had good success against Jason as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In a relatively short career to date, Hellickson has racked up a ton of innings against the O's. His FIP suffers some from his tendency to walk batters, but he's been solid (somewhat better at home vs. at Camden Yards). If you were worried about production from the bottom of the lineup, continue worrying since the combo of Reimold, Pearce, Flaherty, and Casilla have yet to record a hit in a total of 23 PA.

Maybe hot: Chris Davis (1.167 OPS, 18 PA), Adam Jones (.989 OPS, 3 HR, 32 PA)

Maybe not: J.J Hardy (6-30, .606 OPS, 33 PA), Matt Wieters (.510 OPS, 25 PA)

Stud: James Loney (3 HR in 31 PA, .935 OPS)

Dud: Yunel Escobar (.284 OPS, 18 PA)

18 May, 4:05pm: Jair Jurrjens vs. Roberto Hernandez
Career Numbers Jurrjens vs. Rays Hernandez vs. O's
IP -
64.1
ERA - 5.46
FIP - 4.73
Slash Line (Past Teams) -
.275/.345/.446
Slash Line (Current Players) -
.268/.313/.439

After some success for AAA Norfolk, Jair Jurrjens will be recalled to make his first O's start on Saturday. It will be his first career start against the Tampa Bay Rays. He had a solid 2011 season with the Atlanta Braves, but did not follow it up last year. Additionally, he's not much of a strikeout guy, at least not at the MLB level. Roberto Hernandez has recorded 64.1 innings against the O's as a member of both the Rays and Cleveland Indians. He's had some decent success in his career, but his FIP generally outstrips his ERA. He's posting good strikeout numbers this year, but isn't seeing much success. Additionally, he hasn't had a lot of success against the Orioles, posting a 5.46/4.73 ERA/FIP in 64+ innings. Davis, Jones, and Wieters are all 1.00+ OPS guys against Hernandez. If Buck pays attention to matchups and doesn't just blindly trot Ryan Flaherty out to 2B every game, Alexi Casilla should get this start as he's got an .810 OPS in 21 PA.

Maybe hot: Chris Davis (1.078 OPS, 17 PA), Matt Wieters (1.095 OPS, 14 PA)

Maybe not: Nick Markakis (.646 OPS, 3 GIDP, 29 PA), J.J Hardy (.400 OPS, 15 PA)

19 May, 1:35pm: Chris Tillman vs. Matt Moore
Career Numbers Tillman vs. Rays Moore vs. O's
IP 42.2
27.2
ERA 5.06
2.60
FIP 6.52
4.68
Slash Line (Past Teams) .250/.333/.550
.261/.354/.405
Slash Line (Current Players) .250/.353/.568
.284/.370/.444

Sunday's starter is Chris Tillman. He'll make his 9th career start against the Rays and hope to improve upon his not-so-solid numbers against the division foe. As it stands, his current 2013 numbers are very similar to his 2012 numbers. Although he's walking an extra batter per 9 innings, the remainder of his numbers are relatively close. In 86 innings last season, Tillman was worth 1.2 WAR. In about half of that this season, he's worth 0.6 WAR. Just keep him away from Evan Longoria. Matt Moore will make his 6th start (7th appearance) against the Orioles. Although the slash lines look high, he's managed to keep runs from crossing the plate. This season, he's striking out batters to the tune of 9.56 per 9 innings, but he's also walking everyone in sight, inflating his FIP. Still...at 7-0, he just knows how to win!

Maybe hot: Matt Wieters (2 HR, 1.734 OPS, 14 PA), Adam Jones (1.044 OPS, 14 PA)

Maybe not: J.J Hardy (.695 OPS, 15 PA)

Stud: Evan Longoria (3 HR, 1 2B, 3 BB, 1.689 OPS, 18 PA)

Dud: Ben Zobrist (3-21, although does have 2 HR)

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