Series Preview: Screwing With The Trash Birds Again

A couple weeks ago, the Blue Jays did a solid job putting a wrench in the Orioles’ playoff plans with a series split at Camden Yards. It was an enjoyable series, and since then, Baltimore has dropped five of six games and sit three games out of a wild card seed. A sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays this week would pretty much end their season. Wouldn’t that be sweet!

Monday at 7:07 ET

Ubaldo Jimenez! The guy with the L attached to his name in last year’s AL Wild Card game. Ya know, the guy who got whiplash watching Edwin send his meatball to the fucking moon. Ubaldo has had himself a miserable 2017 season, owning a 6.80 ERA through 28 appearances (22 starts). He still strikes quite a few guys out, but he also has command issues and is prone to leaving balls over the plate that get drilled. But, since it’s the Orioles and not having good starters is kind of their thing, Jimenez goes out there every fifth day and does his thing.

Marco Estrada hasn’t had the greatest season either, but he’s been excellent against the Orioles. Over four starts against Baltimore, Estrada has a 3.16 ERA and is holding opposing batters to a .696 OPS. That said, his last time out against the O’s in that series-opening barn burner, Estrada was tagged for six runs over five innings of work. His other three starts, though, have been excellent.

Tuesday at 7:07 ET

Dylan Bundy has had an up and down season. He got off to an excellent start and was Baltimore’s only good pitcher for a couple months, then hit a wall and struggled in June and July, but has since got his act together. He got spanked by the Yankees in his last outing, but before that, Bundy put together five quality starts in a row, including a complete game, one hit shutout of the Mariners. Bundy has faced the Blue Jays twice this season, both in April, and he’s allowed just one run in 13 combined innings.

Speaking of up and down seasons, Joe Biagini has been all over the grid in 2017. He started in the ‘pen, filled in the rotation due to necessity, set the world on fire, imploded, went back to the ‘pen, struggled, went to Triple-A, and has since returned to the rotation. Two starts have been bad, one has been very good. The good one came against the Orioles in which Biagini held Baltimore to five hits over seven innings while collecting 10 strikeouts.

Wednesday at 7:07 ET

Kevin Gausman was a key to Baltimore’s season. If he had a breakout year, it would have been huge for the team’s success. But that didn’t happen. Gausman has been bad this season, and recently lowered his ERA below 5.00 for the first time since his first start of the season. Overall, Gausman owns a 4.99 ERA and is having difficulties largely because he’s walking 3.8 batters per nine innings. That said, despite his mediocre season, Gausman has had some of his best starts against the Blue Jays, scattering five earned runs over five starts.

Marcus Stroman, on the other hand, has enjoyed a very good breakout season. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to propel the Blue Jays forward, as just about everything else aside from him went wrong in 2017. Stroman has faced the O’s just twice, one was a dominant seven-and-two-thirds innings start and the other he was forced to exit in the second after being drilled by a comebacker. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again on Sunday.