A split doubleheader kicks off this afternoon with the exact same lineups that were scheduled for last night's postponed game.
Remember, the Dodgers starting pitcher is lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu. Orioles against a strange lefty is just one of those things you never will feel good about. Ryu is in his first major league season after starting his career out overseas. He is Korean. He's made only three starts in MLB, but has impressed so far, striking out over a batter per inning, with a K/BB rate of nearly 7:1.
Fangraphs averages his fastball velocity at 90mph, but he also has a change-up at 80mph (the all-important 10mph gap) and mixes in a slider and a curveball. If he's firing on all cylinders with all of that stuff today, the afternoon game could go by pretty quickly as the Orioles will not take long being stymied by his offerings.
Jason Hammel will still be the starter for the Orioles in the afternoon portion of the doubleheader. A number of Dodgers players have some appearances against Hammel thanks to his time in Colorado and a little bit thanks to his time on the Orioles last year. He's a different pitcher now than he was then - we hope - but it doesn't suck to see he's held Adrian Gonzalez to a .682 OPS over 33 PA. On the other hand, Ramon Hernandez (seriously, how is he still in baseball?) has a 1.342 OPS in 20 PA against Hammel. Andre Ethier sports an impressive .945 OPS.
Hammel is thus far not duplicating last year in a couple of key ways. For one, his ground ball rate is down significantly, 39% this year compared to 53.2% last year. It's early yet, and that could change, but the grounders have not been there as much to this point. His strikeout rate is just a shred more than half of what it was last year: 8.62 K/9 in 2012 compared to 4.34 right now. Hammel got swinging strikes more than twice as often last year compared to what he's done so far this year.
Today doesn't seem like the kind of day to rack up the strikeouts, given that the Dodgers have the fourth-fewest strikeouts in all of MLB - and that with pitchers batting for them. Of course, today they get a DH. That spot will be filled by Carl Crawford, who has faced a lot of Orioles pitching in his time but has never had a plate appearance against Hammel.
It's often mentioned that the O's have yet to have a starter complete seven innings. This afternoon would be a good time for Hammel to start. Save that bullpen for the nightcap and subsequent games. C'mon, Jason. Ground balls and strikeouts. That's what Maryland does.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||LOS ANGELES DODGERS|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Carl Crawford - DH|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Mark Ellis - 2B|
|Adam Jones - CF||Matt Kemp - CF|
|Matt Wieters - C||Adrian Gonzalez - 1B|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Andre Ethier - RF|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Ramon Hernandez - C|
|Steve Pearce - DH||Skip Schumaker - LF|
|Nolan Reimold - LF||Luis Cruz - 3B|
|Alexi Casilla - 2B||Justin Sellers - SS|