I took a look at what the pitchers the Orioles will oppose during their 11 game road trip that begins tonight in Oakland if the A's, Mariners, and Angels keep all their starters on their current schedules. The news is fairly positive.
Scheduled Starters for A’s series: Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, A.J. Griffin, Bartolo Colon
Parker was good in his last start against the Rays (one run over 6 1/3 IP) but has struggled this season and brings a 7.50 ERA into tonight’s game. Milone and Griffin gave up six and nine runs, respectively, in their last starts and have just been okay on the young season. Colon has been very good for the A’s. He’ll bring a 2.42 ERA and three wins into Sunday’s series finale. The O’s will miss Brett Anderson who has struggled mightily five starts during the 2013 season.
Overall with several A’s starters struggling, the Orioles might be heading to Oakland at the right time even if they do have to face Colon instead of Anderson in the finale.
Scheduled starters for Seattle series: Joe Saunders, Brandon Mauer, Aaron Harang
Old friend Joe Saunders has not looked sharp his past two outings after getting off to an okay start. Saunders has a 6.33 ERA in five starts and has a very high 1.78 WHIP (12 walks and 36 hits in 27 IP). Saunders has allowed four or more runs in three of his five starts and 15 in his last two starts.
The youngster Mauer has a 7.45 ERA in four starts and his averaging under five innings per start. Harang has been downright awful in two starts since being traded to Seattle from Los Angeles (with a brief layover in Colorado in between) in allowing eleven runs in 9.2 IP. He has struck out eleven batters, however.
The best news for the Seattle series if that if everything stays on track, the O’s will miss Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma who have been two of the best pitchers in baseball thus far in 2013.
Scheduled starters for Los Angeles series: Joe Blanton, Jason Vargas, Tommy Hanson, Garrett Richards
Once again, the Orioles might luck out by missing the team’s best starters. This time if all holds according to schedule, the Birds will likely not face CJ Wilson while in Anaheim nor will they face staff ace Jered Weaver who is on the disabled list at the moment and not expected back before the end of the O’s series.
The homerun prone Joe Blanton has already allowed six long balls in 20.2 IP in 2013. A rate which would get him to over 50 homeruns allowed if he were to reach the 180 IP mark this season. Vargas has not gotten the groundball outs he relies on to be successful so far in 2013 (.65 GO/AO) and has given up a whopping 34 hits in 21.2 IP. Hanson – who is currently on bereavement leave and where he slots in upon return is a bit of an unknown – has been okay with a 4.24 ERA in three starts.
Clayton Richards has done his best to both look like and pitch like injured Angels ace Jered Weaver. Since moving to the rotation in place of Weaver, Richards has made two starts and allowed four earned runs over 13.1 IP.
This is baseball and any pitcher can beat any team on any given day. If nothing else, it does look like the Orioles will have some luck on their side in terms of pitching match ups during this west coast swing. An 11-game cross country road trip in the midst of 20 games in 20 days is a tall task to face. It will be hard to complain about a 5-6 or 6-5 trip. However, the Orioles have a chance to better that. With bigger ball parks out West, solid starting pitching and some timely hitting from the Orioles could spell success.