Texas Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles
Dates: Monday, July 17 – Thursday, July 20, 2017
Location: Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Though the Rangers suffered a walk-off defeat on Sunday, Jeff Banister’s squad is the only one of the two in this series with a pulse. Texas currently sits three games off the pace for one of the two AL wild card slots, but needs to improve upon its 20-26 road record if it’s to truly be a viable threat down the road.
Two wins in the last 10 games isn’t going to get it done for Buck Showalter’s Orioles who now sit 8.5 games out in the AL East. The pitching staff just allowed a struggling Cubs offense to gouge it for 41 hits and 27 runs, and it now has to deal with a formidable Texas attack that’s hit the third most home runs in the league.
Game 1 Probable Pitchers – Monday, July 17, 2017, 7:05 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Andrew Cashner vs. Chris Tillman
Cashner’s first start off the DL was forgettable after he gave up 5 ER through five innings against the Indians, but he bounced back nicely at home in his last turn against Boston by only allowing two unearned runs through seven innings to log his fourth win of the year. Texas has dropped six of his eight road starts where he’s the owner of a 4.37 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. He’s made only one career appearance at Camden Yards.
Tillman has been raked for a 7.90 ERA and .362 BAA in his 11 made starts, and he went into the All-Star break in poor form after allowing 23 hits ( 3 HR ) and 11 ER in his previous 13.1 innings. Baltimore checks in 3-4 in his seven home starts where he’s pitched to a 5.88 ERA and has taken a loss or no decision in all but one of those outings. Texas has peppered right-handed pitching to the tune of 5.0 runs per game ( No. 7 ).
Game 2 Probable Pitchers - Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 7:05 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Tyson Ross vs. Dylan Bundy
Ross has taken incremental steps towards getting back on track since making his 2017 debut back on June 16. Over his last three starts, the righty has gone 1-0 and pitched to a 3.24 ERA and 1.14 WHIP by allowing just 10 hits and 6 ER through 16.2 combined innings. Walks have been an issue early on with him issuing nearly 4.0/9 innings, and if that keeps up against an O’s club ranked third to last in taking them, it will be a bad omen.
The lone bright spot within Baltimore’s nightmarish pitching staff has been Dylan Bundy who has taken gigantic strides forward in his second full season in the bigs. That said, the righty has regressed terribly over the last month logging just a pair of quality starts in his last six outings. It’s seen his ERA bloat up to 4.33 and WHIP to 1.25. His ERA checks in at 7.88 over his last three starts with the over unsurprisingly cashing in each.
Game 3 Probable Pitchers - Wednesday, July 19, 2017, 1:35 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Martin Perez vs. Kevin Gausman
It doesn’t get much more yawnstipating than Martin Perez with his 6.2 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 averages to go along with a pedestrian 4.55 ERA and 1.64 WHIP. The veteran has however been able to limit the damage all season. He’s been a bit better on the road where he’s the owner of a 4.09 ERA, but his career .283 BAA against the O’s will likely scare most from backing the Rangers in what looks like a plus matchup on paper.
Off a 30 start season that saw him pitch to a 3.61 ERA and .262 BAA, many were of the belief Gausman would take a step forward and blossom in his fifth full season as a starter. That’s been far from the case. In fact, his regression has been so bad that talks of him being sent down to the minors to figure it out have recently surfaced. Only two of his last 10 starts have been of quality, and he was just blasted for 4 HR and 8 ER in his first start out of the break, yuck!
Game 4 Probable Pitchers - Thursday, July 21, 2017, 1:35 p.m. ET ( MLB Network )
Cole Hamels vs. Wade Miley
Hamels first start off the DL in Cleveland was tough to stomach after he got rocked for 7 ER through 4.1 innings. Since then, the veteran left-hander has gotten into a groove and he’ll enter start No. 10 off throwing back-to-back shutouts through 7.2 innings against the Royals and Angels. Baltimore’s offense will present a stiffer challenge, but it’s only middle of the pack against southpaws. Hamels owns a career 7.50 ERA and .277 BAA through two Camden Yards starts.
Ugly! That’s the best way to describe what Miley has brought to the bump over his last eight starts. None was of quality and six of them saw him concede 4 ER or more. The lefty was just blitzed for nine hits ( 2 HR ) and 7 ER in his post All-Star break start at home against Chicago. The loss dropped him to 4-8 and raised his ERA to 5.40 for the year. Baltimore’s 4-5 in his nine home starts with the over cashing five times.