I’m sure you haven’t heard enough Opening Day starter talk for one day, so here’s another one: Baltimore will go with Jeremy Guthrie in Game 1, followed in the rotation by Brian Matusz, Brad Bergesen, and Jake Arrieta.
Because the Orioles may not need a fifth starter for the first several weeks they could carry an extra reliever rather than a full rotation initially. Once they do need a No. 5 guy, Chris Tillman and Zach Britton will likely be in the mix.
Kevin Millwood got the Opening Day start last season and went 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA, so it’s not a particularly tough act for Guthrie to follow, although he actually had a Millwood-like 2009 before bouncing back with a 3.83 ERA in 209 innings last year.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning during Sunday’s game against the Braves, blowing his first save since August 26 last season. He had converted 34 consecutive saves.
Jansen yielded back-to-back singles to lead off the ninth inning, staked to a 4-1 lead. After getting two outs, Matt Adams hit a three-run home run down the right field line to knot the game at four apiece.
After Sunday’s lackluster performance, Jansen is now 24-for-25 in save chances this season with a 1.49 ERA and a 62/2 K/BB ratio in 42 1/3 innings.
Orioles closer Zach Britton finished Sunday’s 9-7 victory over the Astros with a scoreless ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. He has now earned the save in 55 consecutive opportunities dating back to September 2015, setting a new American League record. Tom Gordon previously held the record with 54 consecutive saves. Eric Gagne holds the major league record at 84.
Britton’s last blown save came on September 20, 2015, then converted two more saves before the end of the regular season. He went 47-for-47 in save chances last season and is six-for-six so far this year.
Along with his six saves, Britton has a 2.65 ERA and a 13/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this season. The lefty came off the disabled list earlier this month after missing two months with a strained left forearm.