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Game 116: Tigers (62-55) @ Orioles (45-70), 7:05pm

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Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

The Detroit Tigers come into town tonight and the Orioles are left without their Tiger-killer, but as far as that goes, I think the Tiger is greater than one weighed down by the Fabrum Bear anyway. Many have an injury-inflicted exile from Birdland at present, not least of whom being Brian Roberts. The sad news today that he's even had to cancel his annual Baseball Bash fundraiser (and this after MASN started giving away tickets during the broadcasts this week) only makes things seem more likely that we will never actually see him play in an Orioles game again.

Let's look at something happier, like tonight's matchup. In a rare twist, the O's are favored in ESPN's 10,000-times-for-each-game Accuscore simulation, winning 55% of the time. That probably has something to do with the Tigers starter being Brad Penny. His 4.92 ERA would fit right in on the Orioles. Penny is putting up career worsts in categories like first-strike percentage, percentage of pitches in strike zone, swinging strike percentage (4.4%), and contact rate. He does not have an obscenely high walk rate, 2.90 per nine innings. Does this mean O's hitters should be swinging early and often? Well, they were probably going to be doing that anyway. Maybe tonight it will be to their benefit.

Meanwhile, starting for the Orioles is Alfredo Simon. He was kind of destroyed by the defense in his last start. Maybe he'll have better luck today but Mark Reynolds at third base is nearly as much of an adventure as Josh Bell was. It will be something of a challenge for him because when it comes to hitting, the Tigers do not suck. Miguel Cabrera is kind of on a planet of his own. Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila are also acquitting themselves well on the season with a better wOBA than any Oriole.

Right, so, good luck, Simon. You may well need it.