Padres head to Baltimore as Manny Returns for First Time Since Being Traded

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Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres are in Baltimore, looking to salvage their road trip against the Orioles in a two-game series.

It was no secret that Manny Machado was on his way out his last year in Baltimore. In hopes of getting something in return for Machado, the team opted to trade him to the Los Angeles Dodgers for five prospects. For the first time since that trade, Machado will play in Camden Yards but as a member for the San Diego Padres.

The Padres look to head to Baltimore in hopes of bouncing back from a bitter and disappointing three-game series sweep in Pittsburgh. With Manny Machado’s return, Logan Allen‘s second career start, and Matt Strahm looking to bounce back- this should make for a very interesting series.

Game 1 (Tuesday, June 25 – 4:05 PM PST): Logan Allen (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. TBD)

The series opener will feature a Logan Allen start. He is coming off of a dream-like MLB Debut in which threw seven scoreless innings, allowed just three hits, while striking out five batters against one of the leagues best hitting teams in the Milwaukee Brewers. From the dominating performance, John Cena being in attendance to pay up on a bet the two had, and a button made by a fan that featured a picture of Allen and his older brother- everything about Allen’s first start was perfect.

A harder test will await Allen when he and the team arrive at Camden Yards on Tuesday. Not only will it be his first outing on the road as a major league starter, but it will come against a fan base that has some extra motivation.

Manny Machado will be making his first return to Camden Yards since being traded away to the Los Angeles Dodgers in July of last season. As these returns usually go, fans will cheer Machado but have extra motivation to root for his and the rest of the Padres downfall Tuesday night.

Machado talked to The Baltimore Sun about this game and said that he wasn’t expecting much in regards to what kind of crowd will turn out. “I’m just going to go out there and play, and I know what Baltimore has meant to me in my heart and meant to my family as well…I know [the Orioles] will probably do something nice and the fans will be there to support as well” he told Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun.

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

There’s not really much we can predict about what kind of crowd will show up to see Machado’s return, but what we do know is outside of some nostalgic nervousness being back at the ballpark, this is just another game for the red-hot third baseman.

The Orioles have yet to decide who will take the mound, but as a pitching staff the team ranks dead last in ERA, wins, losses (most in MLB) and home runs allowed (most in MLB); they are also amongst the bottom ten percent in walks allowed, strikeouts, and batting average against. So it really doesn’t matter who they put on the mound, the Padres hitters should not have much to worry about.

Game 2 (Wednesday, June 26 – 12:05 PM PST): Matt Strahm (2-6, 4.85 ERA) vs. Dylan Bundy (3-9, 4.59 ERA)

Matt Strahm has been up and down all season long. After a weak start April 1, he got a nice groove going five-plus innings and allowing three runs or less in nine straight outings.

The month of June, however, has been a fairly rough month for Strahm. In three outings he has thrown just 12.2 innings and given up 17 runs for and ERA of 12.08 for the month. He has given up more home runs this month that any other month and he still has about two more outings to go in June.

The Orioles are amongst the bottom of the league in average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage while playing all of their home games in a top-10 hitter-friendly ballpark.

Dylan Bundy is in his fifth season with the Baltimore Orioles; he will be making his 16th start of this season. Throughout his career, Bundy has been a consistent 4+ ERA guy showing his ability to eat innings while limiting damage. He has consistently had 2x more strikeouts than walks and has never had a batting average against above nor below .200 (lowest .200 highest .274).

A few trends to look at for Bundy, he pitches slightly worse at home (shocker), lefties are hitting at a rate of .256 off of him while righties are hitting .237; however, his ERA to lefties is lower at 3.08 than his ERA against righties which sits at 5.95. The right-handed pitcher does slightly worse the more runners advance into scoring position, hitters are hitting at a .224 rate when runners are at first but that averages grows up to .267 once they get over to third base. Same goes for outs as hitters average .186 with one out in the inning, but .253 with two outs.

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When it comes to the Orioles bullpen, the team’s overall ERA is currently sitting at it’s worst (5.78) since 1939 (6.01), it’s still early in the season but if the Padres should ever look at an opportunity to get a nice groove going before the All-Star break this is the series to do so.

The overall message going into this series? Surprise, the Orioles suck. With series’ against St. Louis, San Francisco, and the LA Dodgers before going into the All-Star break, the Padres need to use this series against the Orioles to get a rhythm going. If they can take some confidence and momentum into the St. Louis series at home, they could put them self in a comfortable spot going into the break.

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