Photo Credit: Exclusive Vip Sports
The Baltimore Orioles have been on a hot streak lately, sweeping the Texas Rangers in their last series; they’ve chosen Ubaldo Jimenez (4-5, 7.01 ERA) for their next game as they look to capitalize on their four-game win streak. While the Houston Astros have chosen Mike Fiers (5-4, 3.75 ERA) to start their series against the O’s at Oriole Park.
Ubaldo Jimenez, Photo Credit: MLB
Jimenez just came off one of his worst performances this year after he gave up a season-high 11 hits in 3.2 innings against the Chicago Cubs on July 16; he also allowed six runs and one homer while only striking out two batters in that span. However, he did deliver a solid performance in a no decision against the Astros last May 28; he only gave up two runs on five hits while he struck out five hitters in six frames.
Mike Fiers, Photo Credit: MLB
While Fiers had one of his best stints on the mound this year after he struck out a season-high 11 batters in seven frames versus the Minnesota Twins on July 16; he only gave up two runs on four hits with two homeruns in that game. To make things even better, he hasn’t given up more than five runs in this season compared to Jimenez who’s allowed that to happen four times this year.
Houston Astros vs Jimenez, Photo Credit: MLB
Carlos Beltran and Josh Beltran, Photo Credit: Eric Christian Smith, The Oakland Press
Astros’ Carlos Beltran and Josh Reddick have both been successful throughout their careers against Jimenez. Beltran has gotten four runs on 10 hits with three homers in 28 at bats while posting a .357/.438/.786 stat line and a 1.223 OPS versus the Orioles’ pitcher. While Reddick has four runs on eight hits with one homer in 19 at bats with a .421/.450/.684 line and a 1.134 OPS throughout his career against the righty.
Baltimore Orioles vs Fiers, Photo Credit: MLB
Jonathan Schoop, Photo Credit: MLB
On the other hand, all of Baltimore’s batters haven’t faced Fiers this year yet. However, Jonathan Schoop could pose a threat to Houston’s starting pitcher. Schoop is currently enjoying the best season of his career with a .302/.350/.540 line and a .890 OPS while he’s been on a roll recently with four runs on seven hits with one homer in his past three games.
The last time these two teams faced each other, it was a lopsided affair; the Astros swept the Orioles in three-games from May 26-28 at Minute Maid Park. However, this time the Orioles will look to settle the score at home where they have a 29-19 win-loss record.
Even though Carlos Correa won’t be batting for Houston in this game after he suffered a thumb injury, the Astros would still get by after posting a 33-11 record on the road. Plus, Fiers’ success in his last game was no coincidence at all because he’s been using his two-seam fastball effectively lately and that could be problematic for the Orioles.
Projected Winner: Houston Astros