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Series Preview: Baltimore Orioles vs. Chicago White Sox, 23-25 June 2014

After series wins against the Rays and Yankees for a solid 4-2 road trip, the O's return to Camden Yards for an eleven-game homestand, beginning with three against the White Sox.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Monday, 23 June, 7:05 ET: Wei-Yin Chen vs. Chris Sale
Chen Sale
Stat 2013 YTD 2013 YTD
IP 137.0 83.1 214.1 65.1
ERA 4.07 3.78 3.07 2.20
FIP 4.04 3.87 3.17 2.18
AVG/OBP/SLG Against .272/.321/.440 .281/.308/.448 .230/.282/.354 .171/.215/.246

Chen's last three outings have all been quality starts, each better than the bare minimum definition. Overall, he's given up five runs over twenty innings, walking just one batter and striking out fourteen, but allowing four home runs. The long ball is likely always going to plague Chen a bit, but he's doing a good job this year of avoiding free passes, making more of those homers less-damaging solo shots.

Despite losing about a month to an elbow strain, Sale is having a tremendous season, striking out over 30% of batters he faces and walking just 4%. As solid as Chen's been this year, it's hard to feel good about this one, but then Chris Tillman just outdueled Masahiro Tanaka. The lefty throws fastballs about half of the time to batters of both handedness, about 35% four-seamers to 15% two-seamers. Against lefties, Sale throws his slider most of the rest of the time, once he gets ahead in the count, and he'll occasionally use his changeup when behind. Versus righties, the changeup is his main secondary offering, and he'll use it in any count, while using the slider sparingly.

Tuesday, 24 June, 7:05 ET: Miguel Gonzalez vs. Jose Quintana
Gonzalez Quintana
Stat 2013 YTD 2013 YTD
IP 171.1 63.1 200.0 90.2
ERA 3.78 4.41 3.51 3.87
FIP 4.45 4.73 3.82 3.01
AVG/OBP/SLG Against .243/.300/.413 .272/.343/.459 .247/.300/.395 .266/.313/.376

Gonzalez struggled a bit in his first start after a brief DL stint, surrendering four runs on eight hits (two homers) over five innings. That's more hits than you'd like to see, but if you're looking for a silver lining, he did strike out five and walk just two.

Quintana had a couple of rough starts (total 10.1 IP, 10 ER) before getting it together against the Twins in his last outing (7.0 IP, 2 ER). He was very consistent from late April through the end of May, though, giving the White Sox quality starts six out of seven times. Quintana uses fastballs for about 60% of his pitches to both right- and left-handed hitters, and even more often when he gets behind in the count. Against fellow lefties, he goes to his curveball the rest of the time, while against righties, he throws his curve and changeup in about equal numbers.

Wednesday, 25 June, 7:05 ET: Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Hector Noesi
Jimenez Noesi
Stat 2013 YTD 2013 YTD
IP 182.2 81.2 27.1 64.0
ERA 3.30 4.63 6.59 5.34
FIP 3.43 4.76 4.36 4.41
AVG/OBP/SLG Against .239/.317/.367 .250/.363/.375 .353/.414/.521 .289/.344/.480

In looking up stats for this article, I discovered that Jimenez leads the majors in walks allowed with 51. He reached that unenviable pinnacle by walking six Yankees on Friday, yet somehow escaped with only one run allowed in his 5.2 innings of work. That is not sustainable.

Noesi has already played for three different teams this year, beginning the season as a Mariner before spending ten days in the Rangers organization and finally being claimed by Chicago in late April. All of his starts have come with the White Sox, and while his ERA suggests a bit of bad luck compared to his FIP, the latter isn't good, either. Noesi throws fastballs a little over half of the time, mostly four-seamers, though he does occasionally add some sink or cut. Against lefties, he sometimes uses a curveball, but his main offspeed offering is a changeup. Against fellow righties, he uses a slider, but surprisingly, he throws his changeup against them just as often.