Series Preview: O's @ Rangers, 19-21 July

Chris Tillman looks to deliver a series victory to start the second half - USA TODAY Sports

After a short break for All-Star festivities, the O's kick off the second half with a weekend series in Texas.

Friday, 19 July: Wei-Yin Chen vs. Derek Holland
Career Numbers Chen vs. Rangers Holland vs. O's
IP 14.2 32.0
ERA 1.23 3.66
FIP 2.71 3.51
Slash Line (Past Teams) .170/.228/.226 .244/.326/.354
Slash Line (Current Players) .159/.213/.205 .239/.307/.304

Wei-Yin Chen was activated from the DL right before the break to make one start against the Rangers. He'll make his second start since returning against the very same team. His last start was pretty masterful, as he went 7 innings and allowed just one earned run on three hits. Hopefully he'll have similar success, as the O's need him to continue leading a rotation full of question marks.

Holland has been at the top of the Ranger rotation all season and actually leads his far more heralded teammate, Yu Darvish, in WAR. He's also had some success against the O's in his past. He, too, made a start against the O's before the break and was tagged for five runs, three of them earned. He also walked three batters. Holland posted a season-high five walks in his last start, so if the Oriole hitters remain patient, they might see some good pitches.

Maybe hot: Nick Markakis (.878 OPS, 17 PA)

Maybe not: Adam Jones (.429 OPS, 7 K, 14 PA)

Saturday, 20 July: Miguel Gonzalez vs. Ross Wolf
Career Numbers Gozalez vs. Rangers Wolf vs. O's
IP 11.2 6.1
ERA 3.86 2.84
FIP 4.83 6.90
Slash Line (Past Teams) .273/.353/.389 .150/.190/.450
Slash Line (Current Players) .289/.378/.421 .167/.200/.417

Miguel Gonzalez also made his most recent start against the Rangers right before the break. It went far better than his first start (which occurred last season), as he made it 6.2 innings and allowed one earned run (and only 2 walks). The one run allowed came on a solo home run.

Former Oriole minor league vet Ross Wolf will remain in the rotation to make another start against his former mates. He pitched in the previous series and lasted 6 innings, allowing 2 ER (on 2 home runs). He's been used mostly in relief (and has a one out appearance against the O's), but makes a spot start from time to time. Chris Davis and Brian Roberts (say what?) hit homers in the last game against Wolf.

Sunday, 21 July: Chris Tillman vs. Martin Perez
Career Numbers Tillman vs. Rangers Perez vs. O's
IP 20.0 6.0
ERA 3.60 3.00
FIP 4.43 4.89
Slash Line (Past Teams) .205/.256/.356 .231/.286/.346
Slash Line (Current Players) .261/.320/.500 .214/.267/.321

With 20 IP, Chris Tillman is the veteran against the Texas Rangers. The numbers suggest he's been decent and has actually held the Rangers to a sub-.500 OPS when in Arlington (although he's allowed 2 of the 3 homers in that park). He also has his best K/BB ratio against the Rangers, excluding teams that he has only one start against.

Opposing Tillman is 22 year old Martin Perez. There is a possibility that this start will go to Matt Garza, whom the Rangers are in the process of acquiring from the Chicago Cubs, but for right now, it's Perez. Like Holland and Wolf, he also started against the Orioles last week. He pitched 6 innings and allowed 4 runs, although just 2 were earned.

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