Series Preview: Orioles vs. Blue Jays


The O’s travel to Toronto to take on fellow division bottom-dweller Jays for the 2nd series this weekend. The O’s are coming off a losing series to the Rays and a 2-game losing streak while the Jays are on a 4-game losing streak including 2 where their pitchers gave up 30 runs in 2 games. This is good news for us because we all know how hot Baltimore’s offense has been despite losing 2 in a row. The lowest amount of runs they’ve scored in the past 3 days is 6 against a pretty decent Rays pitching staff. And as for the Jays offense, they only scored 5 runs in those 2 games whereas the Orioles have scored 11 in their last two.

It definitely looks like we have a bit of an advantage heading into this series. Although the O’s are in last place in the division at 30-33 and 8 games back, Toronto isn’t much ahead in 4th place at 7.5 games back at 32-34. I think the O’s will take this series to win their 10th series of the season. Last year, they didn’t win their 10th series until August or something ridiculous like that. There’s no doubt that they’re a better team this season.

Baltimore Orioles:
2011 Regular Season Record: 30-33 (5th in AL East, 8 GB)
Runs Scored: 258 (22nd Overall) Runs Allowed: 270

Runs Scored: 317 (5th Overall) Runs Allowed: 289

Toronto Blue Jays:
2011 Regular Season Record: 32-34 (4th in AL East, 7.5 GB)

Tuesday June 14: RHP Chris Jakubauskas (4.58 ERA, 1-0) vs. RHP Carlos Villanueva (3.09 ERA, 4-0):
Britton is still appearing as the starter for this game on ESPN but Showalter has said that he will be scratched until Friday in order to lower his work load. He’s on pace to throw 200+ innings, a number Buck doesn’t want to come close to. So Jakubauskas gets his 2nd start of the season. The last time he pitched was a start he made against Oakland where he went 5 solid innings of 3-hit, no-run ball with 5 strikeouts. I don’t think he’ll be as good especially with a much better line-up the Jays have but he still has a chance to keep the team in the game with the offense being so hot.

Villanueva has had a ton of no decisions this season. His last outing against the Royals resulted in 7 innings where he gave up 6 hits, 4 runs, and a walk, with 5 strikeouts. It was an offensive shoot-out as the Rays won 9-8 but he still got the win. He’s pitched 5 outings of scoreless ball but often gets the no decision because the bullpen sucks.

Wednesday June 15: RHP Jake Arrieta (8-3, 4.48 ERA) vs. LHP Ricky Romero (5-6, 3.18 ERA)
Arrieta has been the dark horse this season. No one expected him to be tied for the most wins in the AL among starting pitchers and if you just look at his ERA, no one would guess that he has 8 wins. He’s been very consistent, despite a few bad starts, and is proving to be a good 3-spot in the rotation. His last outing against the Rays this weekend resulted in 7 innings (a very long outing for him), of 2-hit scoreless baseball. He walked 3 (again he will walk more often since he’s a strikeout pitcher) and 4 strikeouts. I think we can count on him to get the job done.

Romero hasn’t had a bad start since May 7. Since then he’s gone at least 7 innings in all of his starts. His last one he pitched 8 innings giving up 8 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, and striking out 4 against the Royals. The team (and he) still got the loss but that’s because of no run support obviously. He’s seen the O’s quite a few times and they have a .275 batting average against him with 5 homers and 20 RBIs. This is going to be a great match-up.

Thursday June 16: RHP Jeremy Guthrie (2-8, 3.77 ERA) vs. LHP Jo-Jo Reyes (2-5, 4.30 ERA)
The story with Guthrie has been the same all season. He gives good, long, solid, consistent outings on the mound but gets loss after loss, no decision after no decision because of the no run support the O’s give him and the pen. I feel so bad for the dude. His last outing resulted in a painful no decision where he went 6 innings giving up 8 hits and 3 runs with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. The Jays have a .286 average against him with 6 homers and 15 RBIs.

Reyes’ last outing against Boston resulted in 6 1/3 innings of work where he gave up 8 hits and 4 runs with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. In their first series against the O’s this season, he went 6 1/3 innings giving up 5 hits and 3 runs with 4 walks and 3 strikeouts. He and the Jays got the win that day.

Baltimore Orioles:
Mark Reynolds: In the last week, he’s hitting .375 and has finally raised his average above .200 to .203. He’s gone 6 for 16 with 4 runs scored, 2 doubles, 3 homers to lead the team at 12, and 6 RBIs to lead the team with 35. Unfortunately though, he’s day-to-day with a left forearm contusion. He’s expected to play today because of the off-day yesterday, but we’ll see closer to game time.
Adam Jones:Another one of the hottest Orioles right now. His average is .301, highest on the team, and in the last week it’s .381 with 8 hits at 21 at-bats, 3 runs scored, 2 doubles, 2 homers, and 4 RBIs.

Toronto Blue Jays:
Adam Lind: Batting .333 in the last week, he’s scored 6 runs, hit 2 homers and has 7 RBIs.
Jose Bautista: In the last week, he’s actually only hitting .261 (I like how I say only like that’s so terrible. Half of the Orioles line-up aren’t hitting that). But his season average is a ridiculous .338 and we all know this guy is crazy. He also has 21 homers already and is on pace for 65-70. That’s nasty.

Baltimore Orioles:
The offense is blazing hot right now for the most part.
Vladimir Guerrero: He seems to come to the plate with men on and not do anything when he’s supposed to. He was getting hot earlier this month but has cooled off a bit. Luckily for him, the team, and the fans, the other players are getting the job done. He’s hitting .200 in the past week with only a solo homer.
Brian Matusz: He is not his old self. While he had 2 okay starts when he first came back, they were against Seattle and Oakland, two teams not strong offensively. He got murdered by the Rays and couldn’t even go 2 innings. In addition, his velocity is way down with a fastball just reaching the high 80s and maybe low 90s at times. Something’s got to change with this because he’s someone we’ve been counting on and need. He isn’t pitching in this series but he’s ice cold and I wanted to talk about him a bit.

Toronto Blue Jays:
Rajai Davis: He’s hitting only .040 in the last week going 1 for 25. That 1 was a 2-RBI double.
J.P. Arencibia: In the last 7 days, he’s going only 3 for 20 hitting .150 with a triple, a homer, and 4 RBIs.

Baltimore Orioles:
Mark Reynolds: On day-to-day and could play tonight with that left forearm contusion he got after getting hit by a line drive on Sunday.
Brian Roberts: On the 15-day DL, he will be inactive until at least June 21.
Derrek Lee: He will be back in the line-up tonight after missing the weekend series against the Rays on bereavement for his grandfather’s funeral.

Toronto Blue Jays:
P Jesse Carlson: He’s out for the season with an injury to his left rotator cuff. He had surgery on May 25.
P Jesse Litsch: On the 15-day DL, he could be back in late June. He had an impingement in his right shoulder.
SS John McDonald: On the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring is expected back June 19.
P Dustin McGowan: On the 60-day DL with a torn rotator cuff. He could be back by the All-Star break.