Orioles @ Blue Jays lineups and game preview - April 24

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles and Blue Jays play the rubber game of a home run-filled three-game set on Thursday night. The scheduled starters are Bud Norris for the O's and Drew Hutchison for Toronto.

Pitchers

RHP Drew Hutchison, Toronto
2014: 4 GS, 20 IP, 3.60 ERA, 24 SO, 8 BB, .269 BAA, 1.45 WHIP
Last start (at Indians): 5.1 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 9 SO

Just two starts ago, Hutchison faced the Orioles and blanked them for six innings, walking two while striking out five. The offenses have been in high gear in Toronto so far in this series. The O's have to hope they can do better against Hutchison the second time around, or at least chase him early and have some more fun against the Blue Jays bullpen. Well, maybe?

Through four starts this season, he's experiencing both some good fortune and bad fortune. The good fortune is that he's striking out over a batter per inning, and he's probably not that kind of pitcher. The bad fortune is that batters have a .365 batting average on balls in play against him, which is high and probably due to come down. None of which will necessarily happen Thursday night.

RHP Bud Norris, Orioles
2014: 3 GS, 18.1 IP, 4.42 ERA, 13 SO, 5 BB, 1.309 WHIP
Last start (at Red Sox): 6.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO

As you might expect given that they're both starting today, Norris was the pitcher facing off against Hutchison in the start mentioned above. Norris also blanked the Blue Jays in the time that he was in the game, giving up only five hits in seven innings. Bullpen shenanigans abounded before the Orioles went on to win the game in extra innings.

Norris is a fly ball pitcher and we've seen what's been happening to the ball in this series. Good luck, Bud. You're probably going to need it.

Lineups

Orioles (w/ career stats against Hutchison)

RF Nick Markakis (L) 4-9, 2B
DH Nelson Cruz (R) 1-6
1B Chris Davis (L) 1-5, 2 BB
CF Adam Jones (R) 2-9
C Matt Wieters (S) 0-5
SS J.J. Hardy (R) 0-7, BB
3B Ryan Flaherty (L) 0-1, SF
2B Jonathan Schoop (R) 0-2
LF David Lough (L) 0-2

In the 56 combined plate appearances against Hutchison, the Orioles hitters are batting .180/.250/.200. That sucks, but it's only 56 plate appearances across all players, so don't panic, at least not until they start sucking against Hutchison tonight too.

Blue Jays (w/ career stats against Norris)

SS Jose Reyes (S) 6-16, 2B
LF Melky Cabrera (S) 3-7, 2B
RF Jose Bautista (R) 0-2, BB
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R) 1-3
C Dioner Navarro (S) 3-8, 2B
DH Juan Francisco (L) 2-2
3B Brett Lawrie (R) 0-4, 2 BB
CF Colby Rasmus (L) 4-25, 2 2B, HR
2B Ryan Goins (L) 2-4

Jays hitters combine for a bit more time against Norris, a total of 106 plate appearances, and they have enjoyed a lot more success, batting .301/.387/.419. Only two of their hits are home runs, but Norris has issued 13 walks against 15 strikeouts to these hitters, and as you may have noticed, there have been a lot of home runs in the series.

That is a lot of lefties, and you know how Norris is against lefties. If you don't know, it isn't good.

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