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Series Preview: Baltimore Orioles

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By rule we must post a Brandon Inge photo every three days.
By rule we must post a Brandon Inge photo every three days.

Matt LaFave is the author of this piece, however I am posting it for him. The gamethread is set for 2:30 by the way. -- Kurt

Detroit Tigers (1-2) at Baltimore Orioles (3-0)

Probable Pitchers:
Monday April 4, 3:05p: RHP Rick Porcello vs. RHP Jake Arrieta
Wednesday April 6, 7:05p: RHP Justin Verlander vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie
Thursday April 7, 7:05p: RHP Brad Penny vs. RHP Chris Tillman

Lineup Notes:
Tigers: Although outfielder Magglio Ordonez missed Sunday's game with a sore ankle he is back in today's lineup. Brennan Boesch also gets the start in left field today in place of Ryan Raburn. Boesch went 4-4 with 4 RBIs in Sunday's game against the New York Yankees.

Orioles: With middle infielder Robert Andino carrying a .750 average against Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello, he could see some at-bats in Monday's game.

Game 1:

DET - Rick Porcello (1-1, 3.00 ERA, 3 BB, 5 K vs. Baltimore)
Hitter to Fear: Mark Reynolds (2 for 2, 1 HR vs. Porcello)
Hitter to Fail: Matt Wieters (0 for 4, 1K vs. Porcello)

BAL - Jake Arrieta (0-0, 1.42 ERA, 2 BB, 4 K vs. Detroit)
Hitter to Fear: Alex Avila (.333, 1 RBI vs. Arrieta)
Hitter to Fail: Victor Martinez (0 for 3, 2 K vs. Arrieta)

Game 2:

DET - Justin Verlander (5-0, 2.52 ERA, 42 K vs. Baltimore)
Hitter to Fear: Vladimir Guerrero (.375, 1 2B vs. Verlander)
Hitter to Fail: Nick Markakis (.217, 10 K vs. Verlander)

BAL - Jeremy Guthrie (3-1, 2.83 ERA, 31 K vs. Detroit)
Hitter to Fear: Magglio Ordonez (.600, 2 2B, 1 HR vs. Guthrie)
Hitter to Fail: Miguel Cabrera (.200, 4 K vs. Guthrie)

Game 3:

DET - Brad Penny (1-0, 7.71 ERA, 5 BB, 5 K vs. Baltimore)
Hitter to Fear: Mark Reynolds (.417, 6 RBI, 1 HR vs. Penny)
Hitter to Fail: Brian Roberts (.167, 2 K vs. Penny)

BAL - Chris Tillman (1-0, 3.20 ERA, 11 BB, 16 K vs. Detroit)
Hitter to Fear: Miguel Cabrera (.333, 1 HR, 3 RBI vs. Tillman)
Hitter to Fail: Jhonny Peralta (1 for 10, 2 K vs. Tillman)

Analysis:


The Orioles find themselves in a strange position to start the season, in first place and undefeated. After an off-season that brought in Vladimir Guerrero, Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy, the Orioles are a team to ignore no more. A young talented rotation led by ace Jeremy Guthrie and a bullpen with a lot more depth than meets the eye.

This could be a tough series for the Tigers. Obviously one plot to follow will be how Ordonez and his fragile ankle play after a tough start in New York. One has to wonder which Porcello will show up for his first start of the season, and Brad Penny struggled against American League teams during his time in Boston.

This Tigers' best chance to win may be Game 2, when Verlander squares off against Guthrie. It will be a great pitching match up but the edge goes to Verlander, no question. If the Tigers can somehow squeeze out two wins in Baltimore, it will give them some great momentum heading into the home opener at Comerica Park on Friday.