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.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

A-Rod goes 0-2 against Yankees pitching machine 'Iron Mike'

Redick: Flip Saunders told me to ‘shut the f— up’ three times

Ohio native Brian Hartline to visit Browns today

Report: Jets owner urging team to pursue Darrelle Revis

Kobe Bryant: Wife suffered miscarriage during rape trial

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Hernandez allegedly shot friend after fight over strip club bill

Report: Andre Johnson requests to be traded or released

James Harden suspended for groin kick to LeBron James

Mark Cuban will play the President in 'Sharknado 3'

Five most exciting one-bid conference tournaments

Report: Redskins interested in Ndamukong Suh

Museum to give away DeLorean if Cubs win World Series

Jameis Winston looking to trademark 'Famous Jameis'

Maple Leafs burned on Twitter by frustrated fan

Keith Olbermann putting an end to his Twitter 'batting practice'

Prospect receives 75 cent check from Yankees

Flores: If Nick Young takes a shot at me, he's going to miss

Ten most underrated NFL free agents

Who received franchise tags at the deadline and who did not

WATCH: Whiteside, Len ejected after getting into wrestling match

WATCH: Texas-Baylor fight leads to seven ejections

Nik Stauskas wears Michigan State gear after lost bet

Bret Bielema takes away player's car after DUI

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ten most underrated NFL free agents

Five potential landing spots for Andre Johnson

Texas-Baylor fight leads to 7 ejections

Mark Cuban will be Prez in 'Sharknado 3'

Report: Redskins interested in Suh

Report: Revis likely to hit free agency

Steve Spurrier joins Twitter

MJ makes Forbes billionaire list

Nick Young fires back at Robert Flores

Sad LeBron literally looks in mirror after loss to Rockets

MLS 2015 season preview

Report: Broncos to franchise Demaryius

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.