Series Preview: O's vs. Tigers, 31 May - 2 June

Manny continues to stroke the ball. How will he fare against Verlander? - Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

After a two game sweep of the Nationals, the O's remain at home to face a tough Detroit Tigers team. Gonzalez, Hammel, and Gausman for the O's against Scherzer, Verlander, and Porcello for the Tigers.

Friday, 31 May: Miguel Gonzalez vs. Max Scherzer
Career Numbers Gonzalez vs. Tigers Scherzer vs. O's
IP 5.2 26.2
ERA 4.76 4.68
FIP 7.36 3.29
Slash Line (Past Teams) .286/.423/.524 .321/.348/.500
Slash Line (Current Players) .235/.350/.294 .260/.269/.360

As MiGo was pitching in the Mexican league and Scherzer a member of the Diamondbacks, neither pitcher has seen any extended time against current players from either team. No Tiger has more than 3 ABs against Gonzalez, although he did struggle with his control when he last faced them. Scherzer has four starts against the Orioles, totaling 26.2 innings worth. He has very solid numbers against current players, as they're OPSing just .629. He's been incredibly solid so far, going 7-0 with a 3.42/2.39 ERA/FIP and is striking out nearly 11 per 9 innings. J.J. Hardy, Alexi Casilla, and Danny Valencia have all OPSed less than .600 against Scherzer in 12+ PA.

Saturday, 1 June: Jason Hammel vs. Justin Verlander
Career Numbers Hammel vs. Tigers Verlander vs. O's
IP 23.1 79.0
ERA 6.17 2.85
FIP 3.83 3.27
Slash Line (Past Teams) .330/.398/.443 .210/.273/.324
Slash Line (Current Players) .300/.364/.471 .178/.224/.257

Hammel's numbers against the Tigers are nowhere near promising, outside of the 3.83 FIP. He didn't have great success early in his career as a reliever, and hasn't fared much better as a starter. All four current Tigers who have 10 or more PAs against Hammel have OPSed about .850 (Fielder, Cabrera, Peralta, and Hunter). It appears, however, that he's found a bit of the touch we saw last year, so he'll be looking to build on that success. Could be tough going, though. Meanwhile, Verlander has been awesome against the Orioles (of course, he's been awesome against most opponents). Just one Oriole has an OPS greater than .750, which goes to Matt Wieters (.910 OPS, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 15 PA). How Wieters got a triple, I'm not sure. The numbers from the other top bats have been absolutely miserable. Nick Markakis (.617), J.J. Hardy (.385), Chris Davis (.490), and Adam Jones (.139) have struggled.

Sunday, 2 June: Kevin Gausman vs. Rick Porcello
Career Numbers Gausman vs. Tigers Porcello vs. O's
IP - 30.0
ERA - 4.50
FIP - 3.87
Slash Line (Past Teams) - .336/.369/.451
Slash Line (Current Players) -
.309/.377/.415

Unlike his rotation-mate Verlander, Porcello does not have the best numbers against the Orioles. He's demonstrated pretty solid control (6 walks in 30 innings) and hasn't been hurt by homers, yet still commands a 4.50 ERA. Nick Markakis maintains a 1.269 OPS in 16 PA, including 1 homer. Other Oriole bats, such as Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy, have also hit well in relatively small samples. For the O's, Kevin Gausman will make his third MLB start and first against Detroit. He'll need to locate his pitches far better than he did against the Nationals in his last start to have any success against a highly potent Tigers lineup.

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