Since that fateful day in 2011 when the Orioles knocked the Red Sox out of the playoffs on the final day of the season, the Birds have owned the Red Sox with a 54-39 (.581) record against them from 2012-2015. This series marks the first of six between the two teams for 2016, where hopefully we'll see another winning season series for the O's.
As they are known for doing, the Red Sox spent a lot of money this offseason. Most of that went to David Price, who signed a seven-year, $217 million contract in December. They also traded a bunch of prospects for closer Craig Kimbrel. Those two are expected to make a big difference in Boston this year. Personally I'm hoping they go the way of other big Red Sox acquisitions Pablo Sandoval ($95M contract, bench player) and Rusney Castillo ($72.5M contract, fourth outfielder).
The Red Sox have started off the season with 3-2 record, going 1-1 againt the Indians in a series that had two postponements, and 2-1 against division rival Toronto Blue Jays. They are current in second place in the A.L. East, two games behind the Orioles.
Game 1: Yovani Gallardo, RHP (1-0, 1.80 ERA) vs. David Price, LHP (1-0, 3.00 ERA)
Monday, April 11th, 2:05 PM, MASN
|Price - 2015||32||220.1||2.45||2.78||9.2||1.9||.230/.271/.350|
|Gallardo - 2015||33||184.1||3.42||4.00||5.9||3.3||.268/.331/.399|
Many of us worker bees won't get the chance to watch this game, as it's Boston's home opener and therefore a day game. That stinks but is I suppose unavoidable.
David Price is now pitching for his third A.L. East team. He spent the first seven seasons of his career as a Ray, then spent the playoff stretch last year dominating for the Blue Jays. Price has made 19 starts in his career against the Orioles with a 2.65 ERA. So yeah, he's good. He has held the O's to a .244/.294/.345 hitting line over that time. He faced the Orioles twice in 2015, once when he was a Detroit Tiger and onces as a Blue Jay. In each game he pitched seven innings with one run allowed and he struck out a combined total of 20 batters.
So what I'm saying is that if anyone is going to stop the O's undefeated streak, Price is a good bet.
Gallardo was decent in his first Orioles start, but only last five innings. Since he averages almost six, maybe he'll make it seven today? We'll see.
Orioles vs. Price:
Game 2: Mike Wright, RHP (season debut) vs. Clay Buchholz, RHP (0-0, 11.25 ERA)
Tuesday, April 12, 7:05 PM, MASN
|Buchholz - 2015||18/18||113.1||3.26||2.68||8.5||1.8||.260/.303/.361|
|Wright - 2015||12/9||44.2||6.04||6.13||5.2||3.6||.291/.368/.520|
Poor Mike Wright has really been jerked around by the weather so far this season. As the fourth starter he was initially slated to pitch on Friday, but when Chris Tillman only threw 20 pitches on Monday due to rain, he was pushed back to Saturday so that Tilly could start on short rest. His next start was scheduled on Saturday, but he got snowed out. So hopefully for Wright's sake he'll finally get to pitch on Tuesday.
Wright started his major league career last year with two great games in which he pitched into the seventh inning with no runs allowed. It was all downhill from there, as after that he made seven more starts with an ERA of 9.88 (30 ER in 27.1 IP). In short, he was terrible.
Hopefully whatever the Orioles saw in spring training is enough to give him success throughout the season. My honest prediction is that he'll flounder until they move him to the bullpen, where he'll be able to use that fastball more to his advantage.
As for Clay Buchholz, he has been up and down for the Red Sox over the last few years. We've seen him look great and we've seen him look awful. He was more on the awful side in his first start of the year, giving up five runs in just four innings against the Indians.
In 18 career starts against the Orioles, Buchholz has a 3.65 ERA including three complete game shutouts. One of those, of course, was a no-hitter thrown by Buchholz in the second start of his career. In 2015, Buchholz faced the Orioles twice and gave up just three runs in a total of 13 innings. He was far from dominating though, giving up a total of 19 hits.
Orioles vs. Buchholz
Game 3: Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP (1-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. Joe Kelly, RHP (0-0, 21.00 ERA)
Wednesday, April 13th, 7:05 PM, MASN
|Kelly - 2015||25||134.1||4.82||4.18||7.4||3.3||.276/.341/.428|
|Jimenez - 2015||32||184||4.11||4.01||8.2||3.3||.257/.330/.397|
Red Sox starter Joe Kelly is not good. After two seasons with the Cardinals where he was pretty good splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen, he was traded to the Red Sox partway through the 2014 season and hasn't been good since. In his first start this season he lasted just three innings and gave up seven runs. The Red Sox probably shouldn't let him face the Blue Jays anymore.
In five career starts against the Orioles, Kelly has a 5.40 ERA, so that's nice. In 2015 the O's faced him three times and really roughed him up to the tune of an 1.012 OPS.
Jimenez had an excellent first start of the year, getting the win in game two with nine strikeouts and zero walks. You never know what you'll get from Jimenez from game to game, but I'd like to request that every time.
Let's go O's!