Originally written on Camden Crazies  |  Last updated 11/18/14

The Orioles picked up their usual Opening Day win yesterday, and are tied for first place in the AL East. Going wire-to-wire is probably going to require a second victory today, so they'll need to make that happen to keep the dream alive.

The Twins (2011 stats):


Pos Batting UZR fWAR Denard Span CF .264/.328/.359 9 2.2 Jamey Carroll SS .290/.359/.347 -5 2.2 Joe Mauer CF .287/.360/.368 1 1.6 Justin Morneau DH .227/.285/.333 4 -0.3 Josh Willingham LF .246/.332/.477 -5 2.1 Chris Parmelee 1B
.355/.443/.592 1 1.3 Danny Valencia 3B .246/.294/.383 -6 0.5 Ben Revere
RF .267/.310/.309
10
2.0
Alexi Casilla 2B .260/.322/.368 0 1.4
Maybe Ryan Doumit's misplay on Nick Markakis' triple yesterday has something to do with Ben Revere being in right today.

Francisco Liriano:

K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP fWAR 7.5 5.0 48.6% 5.09 4.54
4.52 1.0
Liriano still has that killer slider and a great change, and though his fastball isn't overpowering, the sinker does let him keep the ball on the ground pretty well. The question is how good his control will be - if he's hitting his spots (and he did have a 33-5 strike-out to walk ratio in 27 Spring Training innings), then it could be a rough day for the O's.

The Orioles (2011 stats):


Pos Batting
UZR fWAR Nolan Reimold LF .247/.328/.453 1 1.5 J.J. Hardy SS .269/.310/.491 11 4.8 Nick Markakis RF .284/.351/.406 -5 2.2 Adam Jones CF .280/.319/.466 -9 2.9 Matt Wieters C .262/.328/.450 12 5.0 Mark Reynolds 3B
.221/.323/.483 -28 0.3 Nick Johnson
1B
.201/.316/.332 (AAA)


Ronny Paulino
DH
.268/.312/.351
-4
0.2
Robert Andino 2B .263/.327/.344 2 1.8
As I expected, Chris Davis moves to the bench in favor of Nick Johnson against the lefty. Johnson actually has a career reverse platoon split, and even regressed (staying with his career .370 wOBA) it's .373 against righties and .361 against lefties (so, pretty minor). Chris Davis has pretty much normal platoon numbers (.320 vs. LHP, .332 vs. RHP) while Wilson Betemit has big ones (.299 vs. LHP, .350 vs. RHP), but when you regress it favors the latter (who is a switch-hitter): .301 vs. .328 for Davis and .321 vs. .343 for Betemit.

It might even be worth playing Endy Chavez, actually. With Hunter on the mound and the Twins' better hitters being left-handed, the O's left-fielder could see some work (so upgrading from Reimold to Chavez makes some sense). Plus, Chavez doesn't have the biggest regressed platoon splits either (.283 vs. .298) - he is just a poor hitter in general (and so should not be anywhere near the top of the line-up, regardless of his speed). I think it's actually close.

Ronny Paulino DH'ing is a little surprising, given that he's the back-up catcher. He does crush lefites though (relatively speaking): .373 wOBA career against them, versus just .279 against righties (regressed it's .333 vs. .298). That probably is the best option as far as the line-up is concerned. Not sure who the 3rd catcher is; Robert Andino or Ryan Flaherty maybe?

Tommy Hunter:

K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP fWAR 4.8 1.6 41.0% 4.68 4.48 4.28 0.8
If Hunter's increased velocity from last year carries forward, he might be able to get that strike-out rate up a little. Doesn't have good enough stuff to miss bats consistently though, so batters are less forgiving than against Liriano (who has to sometimes get things in the zone, vs. Hunter, who has to not only throw strikes but quality ones). The O's defense is going to have to be on top of it's game, because a Mark Reynolds misplay or Adam Jones not getting back on a ball could lead to a big inning.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Chargers keep playoff hopes alive with comeback win

Robin Lopez responds to Khloe Kardashian dating rumors

Report: Jermaine O'Neal 'intrigued' about joining Mavs

Report: Robert Griffin III likely to return to Redskins

Izzo criticizes coaches, players after embarrassing loss

Report: Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Is Rampage Jackson heading back to the UFC?

WATCH: DeSean Jackson mocks Eagles after win

Michael Vick: Jameis Winston is the future of the NFL

Report: No NFL team is moving to Los Angeles in 2015

Report: 49ers looking for young, offensive mind as next coach

Sheldon Richardson: I'm on the same level as JJ Watt

Dan Mullen wears funny 'Christmas Vacation' sweater

WATCH: Redskins FB gets in Eagles fan's face after TD

WATCH: Utah runs trick play on first offensive play of game

Mick Cronin misses game with unruptured aneurysm

Steve Alford: Kentucky is best team I've coached against

Peyton Siva jokes that Rick Pitino is in the mob

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell ejected for throwing punch

UNC wearing Jordan-era throwback uniforms

Brian Kelly: Justin Brent gets 'distracted,' is in my doghouse

Five free agent signings that should happen in 2015

Reporter asks Rajon Rondo awkward question about trade

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets ejected

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.