Orioles, Rangers: Your weekend series preview and predictions

April 24, 2009 |

Maybe it’s a sign that making predictions is a futile enterprise. A day after I called Adam Eaton “a major league hitter’s dream,” dude takes the mound, strikes out nine, and tosses seven plus scoreless innings in the O’s series-clinching victory over the White Sox.

Jim Johnson allowed two inherited runners to score, but it was a hard earned W for Eaton and a much needed win for The Birds. Who woulda guessed?

Still, it’s the weekend, and that means it’s time for your weekend series preview and predictions. The O’s are playing a four games series against the Rangers this weekend. The good news is it’s the same Rangers they took two of three from last week. The bad news is it’s the same Rangers that beat them 19-6 last week.

It’s supposed to be sunny and 80 degrees in Baltimore this weekend. You know you don’t want to hole up in a dark room eating takeout and watching the yawnfest that is the NFL draft. Get out of the house and catch some live professional baseball.

Here are the weekend’s scheduled matchups:

Friday, 7:05 pm: Vincente Padilla (1-1, 9.64 ERA) vs. Koji Uehara (2-1, 5.29 ERA)

Koji is 2-1, giving up 7 runs in his worst performance and only 1 in his best. In his worst performance, he earned the W in Texas on April 13, but he got a lot of help from the O’s lineup. The O’s feasted on Padilla last week, earning 7 runs in 11 hits in 3.1 innings. His velocity is down, and The Birds will be confident when he takes the mound at Camden Yards. Look for a strong Koji performance, coupled with good hitting from the middle of the lineup.

Bold Prediction: O’s 6, Rangers 4

Saturday, 7:05 pm: Scott Feldman (0-0, 12.15 ERA) vs. Mark Hendrickson (1-2, 3.86 ERA)

The NFL draft day game has the potential to end with an NFL-like score. Hendrickson’s ERA isn’t too bad, but he puts a lot of guys on base, and a team of heavy hitters like the Rangers can capitalize. Hendrickson started last Wednesday’s 19-6 massacre. With Kris Benson out (insert Anna Benson joke here), Scott Feldman is moving from the pen to the rotation for the start. It could go either way, but I’ll take the over on 20 runs.

Bold Prediction: O’s 8, Rangers 14

Sunday, 1:35 pm: Some Guy (?????????) vs. Brad Bergesen (1-0, 1.59)

As of the writing of this report, the Orioles’ official website is reporting that the Rangers have not announced a starter for Sunday. Other sources are saying that guy will be Brandon McCarthy. Either way, I’m buying high on Bergesen. He looked like a solid MLB starting pitcher Tuesday against the White Sox. Like all pitchers, he will struggle at times, but I’m guessing more often than not those first year struggles will come after his first time through the league. McCarthy’s only loss thus far in ’09 came at the hands of the O’s. He gives up a lot of long balls. Look for him to give up one or two to the O’s on Sunday.

Bold Prediction: O’s 5, Rangers 3
Note: An O’s win on Sunday would likely bring Chad Moeller’s win streak to two.

Do you agree with these predictions? Disagree? Who knows what can happen this weekend. After Eaton’s performance on Thursday, I’m willing to believe anything is possible. Maybe Saturday’s game is a 12 inning 1-0 pitcher’s duel. Hey, it can happen.

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