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Orioles @ Red Sox series preview: April 11-13

Can the Orioles continue their undefeated streak to start the season? They'll have to get through David Price to do so.

Rich Gagnon/Getty Images

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
GS IP ERA FIP K/9 BB/9 BA/OBP/SLG Against
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:

Name PA AB H 2B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Adam Jones 55 52 14 4 3 3 14 .269 .309 .346 .655
Matt Wieters 47 44 15 6 1 4 3 17 .341 .383 .545 .928
J.J. Hardy 45 42 13 5 3 3 13 .310 .356 .429 .784
Nolan Reimold 32 28 4 1 4 3 10 .143 .219 .250 .469
Chris Davis 23 20 6 1 3 9 .300 .391 .300 .691
Manny Machado 22 20 5 1 1 2 2 3 .250 .318 .450 .768
Mark Trumbo 19 19 7 2 1 4 0 6 .368 .368 .632 1.000
Jonathan Schoop 11 10 2 1 1 2 .200 .273 .200 .473
Caleb Joseph 8 8 1 1 0 2 .125 .125 .125 .250
Ryan Flaherty 3 3 1 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667
Game 2: Mike Wright, RHP (season debut) vs. Clay Buchholz, RHP (0-0, 11.25 ERA)
Tuesday, April 12, 7:05 PM, MASN
G/GS IP ERA FIP K/9 BB/9 BA/OBP/SLG Against
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

Name PA AB H 2B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Adam Jones 39 32 9 3 2 11 2 3 .281 .316 .563 .878
Matt Wieters 34 30 6 2 1 4 4 .200 .294 .267 .561
Chris Davis 29 24 8 1 2 4 5 8 .333 .448 .625 1.073
J.J. Hardy 23 22 7 2 3 1 5 .318 .348 .591 .939
Ryan Flaherty 19 18 7 1 0 4 .389 .421 .444 .865
Manny Machado 13 12 3 1 1 1 0 .250 .308 .333 .641
Mark Trumbo 9 6 1 3 1 3 .167 .222 .167 .389
Caleb Joseph 6 5 1 1 1 3 .200 .333 .200 .533
Jonathan Schoop 5 5 1 1 0 0 .200 .200 .200 .400
Nolan Reimold 3 3 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000
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
GS IP ERA FIP K/9 BB/9 BA/OBP/SLG Against
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.

Name PA AB H 2B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Pedro Alvarez 22 17 4 1 1 4 5 4 .235 .409 .471 .880
Chris Davis 10 7 4 1 2 2 .571 .700 .714 1.414
Adam Jones 9 8 2 1 0 2 .25 .222 .25 .472
Jonathan Schoop 9 8 0 1 2 .000 .111 .000 .111
Ryan Flaherty 8 6 0 2 1 1 .000 .125 .000 .125
Caleb Joseph 8 6 1 1 1 2 3 .167 .375 .667 1.042
Manny Machado 7 6 1 1 0 .167 .286 .167 .452
J.J. Hardy 6 6 3 0 1 .500 .500 .500 1.000
Matt Wieters 3 3 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000

Let's go O's!