The Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles open up a four-game American League series Thursday night at Camden Yards
Cleveland Indians at Baltimore Orioles
Cleveland is coming off a surprising first half of the season and sits just a half-game back of the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central divisional race. “It’s been a lot of fun,” said Justin Masterson. “I think we’ve probably maybe been higher than a little expected. We felt like we were a talented enough team to do this.” The Indians lost three of their last four games to the Blue Jays to close out a homestand before the All-Star break and now will look to turn around their 20-24 mark away from Progressive Field. Cleveland is 36-28 versus right-handed starters this season and 5-3 following three or more losses.
Indians starting pitcher Justin Masterson is 7-6 with a 2.64 ERA in 19 appearances (18 starts) this season and has won his last two starts. The right-hander was especially impressive in his last start, tossing eight shutout innings and scattering three hits in a 5-3 home win over the New York Yankees. Masterson has registered a losing 3-4 mark and 2.36 ERA in eight road starts, but has surrendered just two home runs in 53 1/3 innings. In nine career appearances (five starts) versus the Orioles, he is an even 3-3 with a 5.20 ERA, including a winless 0-2 mark and 9.00 ERA in four outings at Camden Yards. He picked up an 8-2 home win over Baltimore on April 15, allowing just a single run and four hits over seven frames.
Baltimore lost its last seven games before the break and suffered a four-game sweep against Boston over the weekend. “We are struggling,” said Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds. “We are not getting hits with runners in scoring position and we are not getting timely pitching.” The starting staff has certainly been an issue, posting a 7.41 ERA over the last 25 games. In the last 15 games, the starters are 2-11 with a 9.00 ERA. It’s an unfortunate turn of events for a squad that entered June 11 with a 30-31 record, only to drop 21 of its last 27 contests.
Orioles starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie has tallied a dismal 3-12 record despite carrying a respectable 4.18 ERA in 20 appearances (18 starts). The right-hander has posted a losing 2-4 mark and 4.37 ERA in 10 home outings (nine starts), as opponents are hitting .286 against him. In five previous games (three starts) versus the Indians, Guthrie has tallied a 2-1 record and 5.91 ERA, but was hammered in an 8-3 road loss to the Tribe on April 16. He surrendered six runs and 10 hits in just five innings of work in that particular start.
Bettors will likely back the Orioles due to their 4-1 record versus the AL Central, while the Indians are 1-5 in Masterson’s last six road starts