You know what's a fun phrase to say? The last place Boston Red Sox. As in, the Orioles head to Fenway to start a three game series against the last place Boston Red Sox. It's great because that's the exact truth of it, they are the last place Boston Red Sox. Of all of the teams in the AL East, they are the worst. They can console themselves with last year's World Series title, of course, but for this year, there is no worse team in the division.
Now don't go getting yourselves swept, Orioles. Preferably don't even lose two out of three, as you just did to the Rays. Thanks.
RHP Joe Kelly, Red Sox
2014: 13 GS, 69.2 IP, 4.13 ERA, 49 SO, 32 BB, .247 BAA, 1.47 WHIP
Last start (at Yankees): 6.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 HR, 4 BB, 6 SO
An actual, contending baseball team decided that they would rather have John Lackey than Kelly as they chase a playoff position, which I think tells us all that we need to know about Kelly. Namely, that he's just the sort of pitcher who will inexplicably dominate the Orioles. Look, I overuse that claim, I know, but what's his biggest problem? He walks too many people. But you know who doesn't walk? The Orioles.
Kelly is not, however, a soft-tosser, coming in with an average fastball velocity of 94.5mph, with his best pitch, according to Fangraphs, being a curveball which we can be sure Mike Bordick will inform us as he reads off the chart that Kelly throws 19% of the time.
At least it's not a day game.
RHP Miguel Gonzalez, Orioles
2014: 23 G, 136 IP, 3.38 ERA, 97 SO, 43 BB, .253 BAA, 1.29 WHIP
Last start (vs. Reds): 9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 SO
Coming off the best start of his career, Gonzalez will look to make it two good ones in a row. He will probably do this, if he does it, by continuing to thumb his nose at the concept of Fielding Independent Pitching, which posits that in its theoretical universe he would actually have a 4.92 ERA. Gonzalez is either very fortunate or FIP is very wrong about him. Given that he's now significantly outperformed his FIP for 412.2 big league innings, I am inclined to believe the latter.
Gonzalez has been much worse on the road than at home this year, allowing a 3.79 ERA in his 71.1 road innings for the season. He's started one game against Boston this year, which was a July 5 contest in which he allowed only one earned run over eight innings. Home runs are what hurts Miguel. They are going to hit home runs off of him. The question is if he can keep others from being on base when it happens. And also whether the Orioles offense will support him.
Gonzalez had a 2.96 ERA in August after a 1.92 ERA in July. He has yet to allow a run in September.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||BOSTON RED SOX|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Mookie Betts - CF|
|Alejandro De Aza - LF||Dustin Pedroia - 2B|
|Adam Jones - CF||David Ortiz - DH|
|Nelson Cruz - DH||Yoenis Cespedes - LF|
|Chris Davis - 3B||Mike Napoli - 1B|
|Steve Pearce - 1B||Daniel Nava - RF|
|Caleb Joseph - C||Xander Bogaerts - SS|
|Ryan Flaherty - SS||Will Middlebrooks - 3B|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||David Ross - C|
|Miguel Gonzalez - RHP||Joe Kelly - RHP|