Right around when we started noticing, in the fringes of our awareness, that the Orioles have a magic number to clinch the division, the Orioles decided to get swept and the Yankees decided to pull off a sweep. That's inconvenient. These two teams are in action again - in different cities - tonight. Win and life gets a tiny bit easier. Lose and it gets much more stressful. So have at it, fellas.
Odorizzi has started three games against the Orioles so far this season and has yet to last more than 5.1 innings in any of them. They haven't exactly bombed him, with six earned runs in 15.1 innings adding up to a 3.52 ERA. Does any of that even mean anything? They last faced Odorizzi two months ago. Different people are hot now and different people are slumping.
RHP Chris Tillman, Orioles
2014: 27 GS, 164.2 IP, 3.55 ERA, 114 SO, 54 BB, .235 BAA, 1.23 WHIP
Last start (at White Sox): 8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 9 SO
Tillman is rolling along in a stretch where he has made 12 quality starts in his last 14 outings. That's a nice recovery from his one inning disaster against Texas on June 5. Since that time, he's lowered his season ERA from 5.20 to 3.55. He hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in any of the starts since then.
In two starts against the Rays this year, Tillman has allowed four runs in 14 innings pitched, including most recently an eight inning effort where he only allowed one run. BABIP was on Tillman's side in both of those games: he only struck out two batters each start. Praying to the BABIP gods is a bit more dicey without Manny Machado on the field, but Tillman tends to be a fly ball pitcher anyway, so it's probably more like don't give up homers - or at least don't walk anyone before the inevitable homer.
|TAMPA BAY RAYS||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Ben Zobrist - CF||Nick Markakis - RF|
|Matt Joyce - LF||Steve Pearce - 1B|
|Evan Longoria - DH||Adam Jones - CF|
|James Loney - 1B||Nelson Cruz - DH|
|Wil Myers - RF||Delmon Young - LF|
|Logan Forsythe - 2B||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Yunel Escobar - SS||Chris Davis - 3B|
|Jose Molina - C||Nick Hundley - C|
|Sean Rodriguez - 3B||Jonathan Schoop - 2B|
|Jake Odorizzi - RHP||Chris Tillman - RHP|
Tillman probably doesn't need me to tell him to watch out for Longoria, who has hit five homers off Tillman in 33 career plate appearances. That's been good for a whopping 1.485 OPS. Zobrist has hit three homers off Tillman in 38 PA, but only a .694 OPS - so Tillman, as usual, is in a good place if he limits the home run damage.
Among Orioles hitters, only Jones and Markakis have 10+ plate appearances against Odorizzi. Both have done well in that light sample: Jones has gone 6-11 with a home run - a 1.455 OPS. Markakis has gone 4-8 with a pair of walks, good for a 1.225 OPS, so maybe he'll have things working in his favor as he tries to break out of the 0-20 streak in which he's presently mired.