Boston Red Sox @ Baltimore Orioles lineups and game notes - April 3

Mitchell Layton

It's a match-up of mid-rotation lefties as the AL East foes go at it in the rubber game of the season's first series

Pitchers

LHP Felix Doubront, Boston Red Sox

2013 stats: 11-6, 4.32 ERA, 162.1 IP, 139 SO, .261 BAA, 1.43 WHIP

To refresh your memory, Doubront doesn't do anything to knock your socks off (pardon the pun). According to FanGraphs, he has four pitches. He will use a fastball that stays just around 90-91 MPH about 63% of the time, while keeping hitters honest with a curevball and change-up that each make up around 14% of his pitches. The curveball is his best pitch as many hitters have trouble squaring it up. His final pitch is a cutter that, many times, still looks like a work in progress.

Last season, Doubront threw 71 innings on the road. His ERA away from Boston is 4.94; more than a whole run higher than in Fenway. The problems away seem to have come mostly against right-handed hitters. When on he road and facing righties, batters lit him up to the tune of a .284 batting average and a .382 on-base percentage.

LHP Wei-Yin Chen, Baltimore Orioles

2013 stats: 7-7, 4.07 ERA, 137 IP, 104 SO, .272 BAA, 1.32 WHIP

Expect a rebound season of sorts for Chen. 2013 saw him miss nearly a third of the season with an injury to his right oblique. After he was one of the anchors of 2012, this really put a lot of added stress on the bullpen and his fellow starters. It's early in the season so don't look for Chen to go much farther than six innings, unless he is just mowing down Boston hitters.

Chen was pretty good at home in 2013. He threw 64.2 innings at Camden Yards to an ERA of 3.62. With the offense Baltimore has in tow, that should be good enough to grab a few wins. However, Chen has his struggles with righties. In 2013, they hit .283 against him. He needs to improve on this and go deeper into games. That will go a long way to getting the O's to October baseball.

Lineups

Red Sox (w/ career statistics vs. Chen)

1. LF Jonny Gomes (R) 3-for-14, .214 BA, 1 HR
2. 2B Dustin Pedroia (R) 11-for-19, .579 BA, 4 2B, 1 3B
3. DH David Ortiz (L) 2-for-10, .200 BA, 1 HR
4. 1B Mike Napoli (R) 3-for-10, .300 BA, 2 HR
5. SS Xander Bogaerts (R) none
6. RF Daniel Nava (S) 5-for-8, .625 BA, 1 HR
7. 3B Will Middlebrooks (R) 6-for-16, .375 BA, 1 2B
8. C David Ross (R) 3-for-10, .300 BA, 1 2B
9. CF Jackie Bradley Jr. (L) none

Pedroia should have O's fans worried in this one. As you can see above, the little guy has had his way with Chen and just so happens to be starting 2014 on fire; 6-for-10 in two games. Napoli is another one to watch as he is hitting .429 the past few days. Middlebrooks could be scary tonight. He handles southpaws much better but has historically struggled in the early-goings of the season, hitting .181 in his career in March and April. The big change in the lineup is Ross replacing A.J. Pierzynski. His numbers are slightly better than Pierzynski's (3-for-12).

Orioles (w/ career statistics vs. Doubront)

1. RF Nick Markakis (L) 4-for-10, .400 BA, 1 BB, 3 SO
2. SS J.J. Hardy (R) 3-for-15, .200 BA, 1 2B, 3 SO
3.1B Chris Davis 6-for-15, .400 BA, 1 HR, 1 2B
3. RF Adam Jones (R) 2-for-17, .118 BA, 8 SO
5. LF Nelson Cruz (R) 3-for-6, .500 BA, 1 2B
6. C Matt Wieters (S) 1-for-16, .063 BA, 10 SO
7. DH Delmon Young (R) 1-for-2, .500 BA, 1 HR
8. 2B Jonathan Schoop (R) 1-for-1, 1.000 BA
9. 3B Ryan Flaherty (L) 2-for-4, .500 BA, 1 2B

Cruz looks to keep the dream of a 162 home run season alive. In a brief six at-bats, he has dealt with Doubront. Davis and Markakis both look to get on track against a pitcher they have handled in the past. Crush doesn't have a hit yet. Hardy has struggled against Doubront, but this season currently boasts the highest batting average on the team (.375) after two games. This looks to be an ugly one on paper for Wieters, but he does have more power swinging from the right side. This lineup is made up of the same players from Opening Day with Davis and Jones flipping spots and the same being done at the bottom of the order with Schoop and Flash switching things up.

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