Tonight’s pitching matchup: Guthrie vs. Price

Here is a breakdown of tonight’s starting pitchers.

Jeremy Guthrie will make his third opening day start in the last four seasons for the Orioles. Guthrie is 1-1 with an ERA of 6.35 in his previous day one starts in 2008 and 2009.

Guthrie against Tampa in 2008: 5 1/3 IP, 9H, 6R, 5ER, 1BB, 2K.

Guthrie against NYY in 2009: 6 IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 3K.

I remembered that Guthrie was good after the All-Star break last year, but the stats show he was really, really good then. He went 8-4 with an ERA of 2.76 after the break last summer with a 3.88 strikeout to walks ratio and a 0.99 WHIP. That is strong stuff.

Overall last year, Guthrie was 11-14 with an ERA of 3.83 over 32 starts. The Orioles scored just 22 runs during those 14 losses while he was in the game.

The right-hander has increased his innings pitched total each of the last four years going from 175 to 191 to 200 and last year to 209 1/3 innings which was the 14th most in the AL.

Guthrie against Tampa Bay:
In 2010: 2-2, 2.73 over four starts and 26 1/3 IP.
Career: 5-7, 4.14 in 15 games, 13 starts.
At the Trop: 2-4, 4.12 in 8 games, 7 starts.

Tampa’s big boppers against Guthrie:
Johnny Damon: Is 8 for 37 at bat, .216 average with one HR.
Evan Longoria: Is 4 for 20 with no homers and 3 RBI.
Manny Ramirez: Is 5 for 14 with one HR and 3 RBI.

So those three are a combined 17 for 71 against the right-hander for an average of .239 with two homers and nine RBIs.

Meanwhile, the O’s new-look lineup tonight has to battle against 25-year-old lefty David Price, who finished second in the AL Cy Young vote last year when he went 19-6 with an ERA of 2.72 over 31 starts.

Price was amazing pitching at home last summer, going 9-2 with an ERA of 1.96 and he is 17-5, 2.32 in his career at home. Price, who made the All-Star team last year, also finished second in the AL in wins, was third in ERA and eighth in strikeouts.

Price against Baltimore:
2010: 2-0, 0.60 in two starts, 15 innings.
Career: 4-0, 1.95 in five starts.

In those five starts against Price since he reached the majors, the O’s have hit just one homer with five extra-base hits off the lefty. He holds O’s hitters to a batting average of .226. Tampa is 5-0 in those games.

I guess the O’s hitters have to say ‘bring on the challenge.’ Tonight they face a pitcher that was great last year and has great career stats against them.

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