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Wednesday, May 03, 2006


O's vs. Rangers series preview

The O's picked up a much needed win last night, and are playing the Rangers in a short 2-game series before the O's head off to Fenway for a 3-game series with the Red Sox. It will be important for the O's to get a head of steam before that series, and here's my series preview.

Wednesday, May 3
John Koronka will be facing Daniel Cabrera in the bandbox of a stadium, the Ball Park in Arlington. The O's have struggled against lefties this year, and much to their dismay Koronka is one. His stats this year are solid. At home this year he has a 4.85 ERA(don't forget the ballpark factor), and has 9 K's and one walk in 13 innings. Daniel Cabrera stats are much worse. He has a 6.30 ERA away from OPACY, and has walked 14 batters in 10 innings(hopefully his 15 K's neutralize that).

O's key player:The bullpen. Easy pick, I know, but Daniel's consistently high pitch-counts cause him to leave game early, making the bullpens night longer. If the pen can go a couple scoreless innings I like our chances.

Rangers key player:John Koronka. If he can shut the O's down like all the other lefties we faced have, the Rangers bats will definitely give him a few runs to work with.

Prediction: Daniel goes 5, giving up 2 runs. Koronka goes 6, giving up 4. The Rangers bullpen choke late and the O's pick up the win. 8-4 O's.

Thursday, May 4
Looking at the match-up, I don't see any possible way the O's win. Bruce Chen, a flyball pitcher in a home run park. The Rangers ace on the mound. A couple O's player do hit him well, though, in a fair amount of AB's. 5 O's players have 10+ AB's vs. him, and 4 of them have an OPS over 1.000, the other has his over .800. The problem? 3 of those players are injured(though Millar and Javy may be back by then), and one of them is a utility infielder. Go Jeff Conine!

O's key player:Chen. If he can keep the ball down and keep the O's in the game, I think we have a shot. This team never stops battling, so I don't expect them to roll over.

Rangers key player:Mark Teixera. In 5 AB's vs. Chen, the switch hitter has 2 homers. If he has his way this game could be over quick.

Prediction:Chen gets shelled, gives up 5 in 3 innings. Millwood goes 7, giving up 2. Final score, 9-3 Rangers.

I would be happy with a split in this series, and ecstatic with a split. Let's pick up some momentum before we face the hated sawks!

Go O's!

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