The Orioles coming off their first series in August look to save their mediocre season from the brink with a three game set against he first place division rival Boston Red Sox. The Orioles are coming into this series 62-65 going 4-6 in their last ten games.
Overall, the Orioles are 11 games back in the division which is pretty much the Red Sox‘s to lose at this point. However, the Orioles are only three games back in the Wild Card chase. A hot finish to the season could easily vault them over the chum that is the rest of the AL teams competing for the second wild card spot.
Boston will be a tough place to do it. The Red Sox are 6-4 in their last ten games and sit at 73-54 with a 4.5 game lead over the Yankees. They are coasting to an AL East crown.
On top of that, the 2017 Orioles are currently 24-39 on the road. These things certainly don’t seem to be in the O’s favor. One bit of good news is that the Orioles will miss AL Cy Young contender (and favorite) Chris Sale.
Game 1: August 25th 7:10pm Jeremy Hellickson (7-7, 5.00 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (8-14, 4.48 ERA)
The series kicks off tonight with the somewhat newly acquired Jeremy Hellickson pitching for the Orioles. Hellickson is sporting a 6.35 ERA in his four starts with the Orioles, which fits right alongside the rest of his rotation mates.
Hellickson has faced the Red Sox once in 2017. Back on June 14th, with the Phillies, Hellickson took the loss as he went only five innings. In this outing, he gave up nine hits, six runs, and three walks, while getting only one strikeout.
For his career Hellickson has started against the Red Sox 15 times. He has a 4.78 ERA against Boston in 84.2 innings pitched, with 13 home runs allowed to the Red Sox in his career.
Pitching against the Orioles will be 2016 AL Cy Young award winner Rick Porcello. Porcello has failed to repeat last year’s performance. He currently leads the American League in hits surrendered and in losses. But, he has pitched to a basically average ERA over 164.2 innings. The Orioles would be happy to have a pitcher like that in their rotation.
Porcello has faced the Orioles twice in 2017 getting hung with the loss both times. The last time was back on June 12th at Camden Yards, when he went six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits with one walk, five strikeouts, and two home runs. In 17 career starts against the O’s, Porcello has a 4.75 ERA in 106 innings, which includes 17 home runs given up.
Game 2: August 26th 4:05pm Kevin Gausman (9-9, 5.25 ERA) vs. Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3, 4.01 ERA)
In a game that I will personally be attending with my lovely girlfriend for her birthday (Hi Annie!), former Orioles farmhand Eduardo Rodriguez will be on the mound for the Boston Red Sox. I look forward to rehashing the Andrew Miller trade with you all on Twitter.
Rodriguez has missed some time in 2017 due to a knee injury. He has had trouble with his right knee since he was in the Orioles organization. He missed about six weeks with his latest injury, but has been back since mid-July.
In Rodriguez’s last game before his trip to the disabled list, he pitched against the Orioles. On June 1st, he went 5.2 innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits and no walks while striking out six batters. In that game, Rodriguez allowed four home runs.
Since returning from the DL he has a 4.78 ERA and has given up three or more runs in five of his seven starts. In his career he has started against the Orioles nine times posting a 4.37 ERA.
Pitching for the Orioles will be Kevin Gausman. Gausman has struggled to find consistency on the mound all year long. To illustrate, in his last start he gave up five runs, but the one before that he gave up only two over seven innings of work. His season has certainly been a frustrating step back.
The last time Gausman faced the Red Sox was back on April 23rd. Well, he started the game on May 3rd, but only pitched one inning because he was ejected for hitting Xander Bogaerts with a curve ball—remember that?
In the April game, Gausman took the loss, going 5.1 innings and giving up five runs on eight hits and three walks. He struck out four and gave up three home runs. Over 16 career appearances, 11 starts, Gausman has a 4.76 ERA against the Red Sox.
Game 3: August 27th 1:35pm, Chris Tillman (1-7, 7.75 ERA) vs. Doug Fister (3-6, 4.78 ERA)
In the Sunday game Chris Tillman will be twirling for the Orioles. What can be said about Chris Tillman’s season that his numbers do not say? He has been bad, and possibly injured, all year long. His numbers are atrocious and there are few signs that things are getting better.
Tillman re-entered the rotation after a two week break and gave up four runs in 5.1 innings of work. He did lower his season ERA, though, so at least there’s that.
Tillman last faced Boston back on June 4th taking the loss as pitched six innings giving up five runs (three earned) on six hits and four walks while striking out three. For his career TIllman has started 21 games against the Red Sox and posted a 3.03 ERA against them and he holds a 2.39 ERA in Fenway Park.
Going for the Red Sox in the series finale is Doug Fister. Fister has appeared in eleven games for the Red Sox, starting eight. He has been mediocre, but serviceable—again, something the Orioles desperately need.
Fister has not faced the Orioles in 2017, however in his last start he twirled a gem. He went the complete game giving up only one hit (a home run), one run on two walks and six strike outs on 114 pitches. For his career Fister has appeared against the Orioles nine times, with eight starts, and has a 4.47 ERA against the Birds.
The Orioles are looking for any sign they can turn their season around and the Red Sox are trying to bury them and claim their AL East crown as soon as possible. Join us here to see how it all goes down and to commiserate with your fellow Orioles fans.
How many games will the Orioles win against the Red Sox?
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The Orioles will be swept
The Orioles will sweep