The Baltimore Orioles are fresh off of an off day and a series win over the Chicago White Sox in which they used late inning heroics to walkoff twice in the series for victories. Today the Birds begin a three-day, four game series against the struggling Tampa Bay Rays and we decided we would take a look at the numbers as we preview the series.
Baltimore enters this series having won six of their last eight games and enter today's double header two games behind the AL East leading Toronto Blue Jays, while the Rays have gone 9-15 this month and are 12 1/2 games out of first place.
The series gets underway today with a day-night double header followed by an evening matchup at 4:05 p.m. on Saturday and the typical Sunday matinee at 1:35 p.m.
Here are the pitching matchups for the four game series with the Rays:
- Friday Game 1 – Kevin Gausman (2-1, 2.74 ERA) vs Alex Colome (0-0, 4.50 ERA)
- Friday Game 2 – Chris Tillman (6-4, 4.45 ERA) vs Jake Odorizzi (3-7, 4.29 ERA)
- Saturday – TBA (We believe Wei-Yin Chen) vs Erik Bedard (3-5, 4.25 ERA)
- Sunday – TBA (We believe Miguel Gonzalez) vs Alex Cobb (2-6, 4.10 ERA)
The Orioles are expected to place Bud Norris on the DL today with a groin strain, but it will be backdated to the last day he pitched, which was June 21, so essentially he will just be missing this start and be ready for his next turn in the rotation. The Orioles are hopeful and optimistic that the groin issue is just a minor thing and he should be good to come off the DL as soon as eligible. In turn, the Orioles will apparently recall Evan Meek, as MASN's Rock Kubatko reported that Meek was spotted at BWI Airport.
Baltimore enters the series with one of the more potent offenses in all of baseball, as they come in ranked third in MLB with a .265 team average, third with 89 home runs, sixth with 715 hits and 14th with 326 runs scored. Tampa on the other hand has one of, if not the worst offense in all of baseball. The Rays are ranked 19th in MLB with a .247 team average, 26th with 58 home runs, 17th with 671 hits, and 27th with just 295 runs scored.
On the mound, the Rays have been uncharacteristically not near the top of the league. The Rays currently rank 19th with their 3.89 ERA, 13th in WHIP with 1.26, 8th with their .240 opponents batting average and are dead last in baseball with their 13 saves. Baltimore's pitching staff has been pretty fantastic in June, but overall they rank 20th with their 3.90 ERA, 23rd with their 1.35 WHIP, 22nd with their .258 opposing batting average and 8th with 33 saves.
When it comes to facing the Rays this season, the Orioles are 7-1 and have compiled a 2.28 ERA, 1.197 WHIP, and have held the Rays hitters to just a .227 average. On the flip side, the Orioles offense is hitting .252 against Rays pitching with 10 home runs, 34 RBI, 14 doubles, and have scored 35 runs in the ten games against Tampa.
Coming into this season, this four game series would have looked much more dreadful than it currently is, but having said that, this is Major League Baseball and anyone can beat anyone on any given day. The Orioles would likely not consider this a successful series unless they can take three out of four, especially when you consider the fact that they will avoid David Price.
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