Padres Series Preview: Friars Battle Birds in Baltimore

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

The San Diego Padres have just split a four game series against the Washington Nationals. The Padres will now take on another first place team in the Baltimore Orioles. The O’s have had an outstanding season so far. They currently lead the AL East with a 40-29 record.

The series will only be a brief two game series at Camden Yards. The Padres should be in for quite a challenge in this series. The Orioles are currently on a decent run. They are coming off winning their last two series. This would include a series against the Boston Red Sox in the mix as well.

The Padres on the other hand have had some recent struggles. The last time they have won a series was three series ago. To add to it. that series would be against the Atlanta Braves. So really nothing to brag about there. Despite this, the Padres have manged to win their last two games. The Friars also performed very well in this last series against the Nationals. At the end of the day this series can go either way, but the pitching matchups may say otherwise.

Pitching Matchups

Luis Perdomo vs Tyler Wilson 4:05 p.m.

Erik Johnson vs TBA 4:05 p.m.

Pitching really isn’t going to be the highlight of this series. The backend of the Padres rotation will go for both the Padres and Orioles. Pitching hasn’t really been a strong suit for the Orioles as is. Buck Showalter is yet to decide who will toss the ball on Wednesday. Guys like Odrisamer Despaigne and Ubaldo Jimenez have been demoted to the bullpen due to poor performances. They are the strongest candidates to get the nod on Wednesday, but a minor leaguer could also potentially be brought up.

As far as the first game goes we could see an interesting pitching matchup. Luis Perdomo has looked very solid in his last couple of outings. He has tossed 11 and a third innings and has allowed six runs in his last couple of outings. Not bad numbers at all. If Perdomo can have another outing like that they should be able to get the win. Tyler Wilson has not looked sharp for the O’s this season. In 10 starts, Wilson is 3-5 with an ERA of 4.16. Not great numbers to say the least. The Padres are capable of winning this game. But with the type of offense the Orioles possess, who knows.

Game two still asks the question of who will start for the Orioles. We do know that Erik Johnson will get the nod for the Padres. With Johnson on the mound it really may not matter who starts for the O’s. Johnson really has been abysmal so far for the Padres. Since joining the Pads, Johnson has already allowed five home runs. Not a good sign at all. To make matters worse the Orioles lead the whole MLB in dingers with 107. Yeah this could be a tough game for Johnson and the Padres. If everything goes to perfection the series will be split at a game a piece. Realistically though I say that the Padres will drop both of the games. Both teams will have weak pitching on the mound. But the Orioles definitely have the advantage in terms of offensive production. I believe that will be the difference maker in this series.

Players to Watch

Mark Trumbo

Mike Trout‘s former sidekick is killing it this year with the Orioles. Trumbo currently has a BA of .281 and leads the A.L. with 20 home runs. Trumbo is one of the front-runners to start the All Star Game in the American League outfield as well. We will more than likely see Mark Trumbo in the mid summer classic. Trumbo really has looked fantastic in this 2016 season. He has shown how much power he really has. With guys like Perdomo and Johnson going in this series for the Padres, Trumbo will surely get a blast or two.

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

Jonathan Schoop

Every knows Trumbo, Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Chris Davis. But how about Jonathan Schoop. Not enough is being said about the O’s second baseman. Schoop is currently batting .281 with 12 home runs and 41 RBI as well. Schoop will is definitely an underrated player to take a look at in this series. He could be a difference maker.

Alexei Ramirez

Alexei Ramirez has had an average season hitting .251 with three home runs and 24 RBI. Ramirez also had a poor series against the Nats going 3-11. Then why is this guy in the players to watch? Well “The Cuban Missile” has had a nice history against the Orioles. In 56 games Alexei has a career BA of .268 against the Birds. More impressively Ramirez has an OBP of .322 in the 56 games. Ramirez is definitely capable of a nice series at Camden Yards.

Matchups

Melvin Upton Jr. vs The Orioles

When Melvin was known as B.J. he was quite the player with the Tampa Bay Rays. That of course meant that he did see the O’s quite a bit. He has had some nice success against the Birds. In 111 games Melvin has a BA of .270 with a whopping .358 OBP. Upton also has 15 home runs, 30 doubles and 24 stolen bases in the mix as well. Melvin definitely has the most experience of any of the Padres, playing against the O’s. I believe that Melvin will have a very nice series in Baltimore.

Wil Myers vs The Orioles

Myers is another former Ray on the Padres. However, unlike Melvin, Wil only played a few games against the Orioles. Also unlike Melvin, Wil has not had success against the O’s. In only 19 games against the Orioles, Myers only has a BA of .224 with no home runs. Myers numbers at Camden Yards are even worse. In nine games in Baltimore, Myers has a BA of .176. Myers has struggled heavily against the Birds in his career. I still feel that Myers can have a very nice series. Just based on his form alone, Myers should be able to prevail from his unfavorable past.

Storyline

Erik Johnson Doesn’t Need to Do Well

Erik Johnson really has really not looked sharp since joining the Padres. But in reality does it even matter? At this point in the season we just need people to eat up innings. Hence the signing of Edwin Jackson. You can say that Johnson has been a bust. The thing is look at how James Shields has been performing. It’s a good thing we got rid of him. Apart from him doing bad. Remember he’s the type of guy that makes a fool of himself even more when his performance doesn’t meet standards. Like when he gave up the home run to Bartolo Colon. While Johnson doesn’t seem to be working out, his success isn’t necessary. I hope that he can pull off a decent start on Wednesday. With the explosive offense the Orioles possess, I really don’t see it happening though. However this is baseball and crazier things have happened. Go Padres!

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.

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