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Baltimore Series – Game 1 Preview

July 27, 2012

The Athletics ship to Baltimore for the last three games in their road trip. However, they find themselves in the middle of a AL East stretch as they will play Tampa Bay and Toronto (again) once they return to the Bay Area. The Green and Gold helped their cause for a Wild Card push by going 2-for-3 in Toronto but will need another series win if they wish to keep pace with the Orioles. The Orioles now are a 1.5 games back of the A’s in the Wild Card hunt after dropping 2 of 3 to the Rays. With that, let’s get to know the park, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and the team.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards 

If the Rogers Centre was a hitters park, Oriole Park is a veritable launching pad. Courtesy of StatCorner’s rolling three-year Park Factor, the handedness breakdown looks like this;

Hit      (LHB / RHB)

gbH    96 / 105
1B     97 /104
2/3B   113 / 91
HR   132 / 109
ofH    101 / 96

Yikes.

Friday Probables 

Parker v. Britton

Zach Britton is making his third start since being recalled from AAA. Britton has long been one of the young arms that Baltimore has hoped to build a strong rotation around. He got 28 starts with the big club in 2011 and turned in a relatively decent season, posting an ERA/FIP/xFIP of 4.61/4.00/4.12 and amassing 2.5 WAR. This year through three starts his numbers are better, but he seems to be playing with fire.

So far he has posted a 3.60/4.27/4.85 line with a GB% 78.1 (it was 52.8 in 2011). Being wary of the SSS(nake) he is due for troubles soon, especially pitching at home. He features four pitches, a sinker, fourseam fastball, changeup, slider (in order of frequency). His changeup and slider are his swing-and-miss pitches while he forces you to put the ball in play with the fastball and sinker. And it’s a good sinker.

Jarrod Parker is in four a tough test tonight. For the documented struggles that Milone has had on the road, Parker has been just a bad. His K% drops two points and his BB% jumps two points on the road. His home / road FIP is now 3.10 / 3.82. And for a pitcher who has a near 60% flyball+linedrive  rate on the season, this could be troublesome. Six of the typical starting nine for the Orioles already have double-digit home runs, with one at nine. It will be imperative that Parker keep the ball in the yard if the A’s are going to have a chance in this game.

A’s Lineup:

Crisp
Gomes
Reddick
Cespedes
Carter
Inge
Norris
Hicks
Weeks

Again, for some reason, no Smith. I hate this. Also, 6-8 can turn into the Strikout Black Hole of Death for the A’s. Not a fan of this lineup.

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