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Royals series preview: The Baltimore Orioles

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MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals travel to Camden Yards to face an Orioles team whose season has been a disappointment. Four games under .500 at the trade deadline with no obvious path toward a playoff spot, have five teams standing between them and the last postseason slot.

Alex McDonald at numberFire sent their projections over for the series. They are as follows:

As the Royals start a new series against Baltimore, here's our projections for each of those games.

In the first game of the series, we give the Royals a 52.97% chance to win.

In the second game, a 49.75% chance.

And in the third game, a 55.69% chance.

The game times and pitching matchups are as follows:

  • Monday, July 31, 6:05 PM CDT - Danny Duffy (L) versus Ubaldo Jiménez
  • Tuesday, August 1, 6:05 PM CDT - Ian Kennedy versus Dylan Bundy
  • Wednesday, August 2, 6:05 PM CDT - Jason Vargas (L) versus TBD

Royals at Orioles pitching matchups

Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Danny Duffy (L) 16 101.0 79 19.0 28 6.8 3.56 3.44 4.67 4.59 2.4 2.8
Ubaldo Jiménez 21 98.2 88 19.8 46 10.4 6.93 5.85 4.78 4.78 -0.3 -1.0
Ian Kennedy 19 103.2 90 21.2 41 9.7 4.43 5.04 5.05 4.73 0.5 1.3
Dylan Bundy 20 119.1 92 18.6 39 7.9 4.53 5.03 5.23 4.93 1.1 1.6
Jason Vargas (L) 20 120.0 86 17.4 32 6.5 3.00 4.08 4.91 4.79 1.9 3.9
TBD - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Orioles’ rotation has been a disaster. Wednesday’s start will likely either be Chris Tillman or deadline acquisition Jeremy Hellickson. Both Tillman and Jiménez could justifiably be removed from the rotation, so it’s also possible each could get one last chance to prove that they shouldn’t be moved to the pen. Jiménez has been bad. Unlike Tillman, he can’t point to a .378 BABIP and try to lay blame for his struggles there. Bundy has been one of the only bright spots in the Orioles’ rotation. Of course, he still hasn’t lived up to the billing of best pitching prospect in baseball a few years back.

Baltimore Orioles position players

Player Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Player Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Jonathan Schoop 2B 424 24 65 79 0 .305 .354 .563 .381 139 2.8 3.4
Manny Machado 3B 437 18 48 53 6 .243 .311 .435 .316 94 2.2 2.4
Trey Mancini 1B/LF 344 17 41 56 1 .299 .346 .522 .366 128 1.3 1.7
Welington Castillo C 245 10 27 32 0 .280 .318 .440 .324 99 1.2 0.8
Chris Davis 1B 308 17 41 37 0 .226 .325 .457 .331 104 0.9 0.5
Caleb Joseph C 181 5 19 20 0 .298 .333 .462 .339 110 0.8 1.8
Seth Smith RF 270 11 38 23 2 .264 .344 .460 .343 112 0.7 0.5
Adam Jones CF 427 19 56 51 1 .272 .310 .454 .324 99 0.7 1.6
Joey Rickard OF 192 3 21 15 5 .251 .289 .358 .280 69 0.5 1.0
Johnny Giavotella IF 10 0 0 0 1 .100 .100 .100 .088 -63 -0.2 -0.3
Craig Gentry RF 72 1 11 5 3 .197 .286 .279 .256 52 -0.2 -0.2
Ruben Tejada 2B 120 0 17 5 0 .227 .286 .282 .255 52 -0.3 -0.3
Mark Trumbo DH/RF 443 17 62 50 1 .238 .300 .405 .304 86 -0.5 0.1

As a team the Orioles are slashing .257/.313/.430 with a .318 wOBA and 95 wRC+. Their offense has been a bit better than the Royals’ (.311 wOBA and 90 wRC+), but defense matters too. Per the defensive component of fWAR, the Orioles are the fifth-worst defense in baseball, dragging their offensive contributions down. Per fWAR, the Orioles position players have been the 23rd-best unit in baseball. Jonathan Schoop and Manny Machado have been Baltimore’s best players this year, but Machado’s season has to be qualified as a disappointment after two straight MVP-caliber seasons.

Poll

How will the Royals fare in Baltimore?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    Royals sweep
    (139 votes)
  • 58%
    Royals take two of three
    (253 votes)
  • 7%
    Orioles take two of three
    (32 votes)
  • 1%
    Orioles sweep
    (6 votes)
430 votes total Vote Now

All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference through action on Sunday, July 30.

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