Series Preview: Orioles (35-37) @ Rays (39-36)

After dropping three of four to the defending American League champion Cleveland Indians at Camden Yards, the Orioles will look to avoid falling into sole last place in the division over a three-game set in Tampa.

The O’s kick off a six-game road trip starting this weekend at “The Trop.” For the Orioles, a lengthy stint on tour is just about the worst thing that they could have asked for due to their well-documented struggles away from the Yard this season.

After the Orioles (35-37) wrap up their weekend stay in Tampa, they’ll take a long-distance flight across the Northern border to take on the Blue Jays before returning home to host the Rays. After that brief home stand, the Orioles will hit the road yet again for a two-legged tour consisting of a three-game set in Milwaukee and a four-game stint in the Twin Cities before finally hitting the All-Star Break.

If you’re counting, that’s a stretch consisting of thirteen road games in a sixteen-game span before hitting the break.

That’s not exactly ideal when you’ve got two wins on the road over the last seven weeks. Since topping the Red Sox at Fenway on May 4th, the Orioles have gone just 2-16 while on tour since and own a dismal 11-23 record on the road thus far on the year.

The Rays (39-36) on the other hand, will be feeling pretty good due to racking up four wins out of their last five after stumbling through the first half of June. As a result, the third-place Rays find themselves just 2.5-games off the pace of the joint-division leading Yankees and Red Sox as they prepare to host the Orioles. Tampa boasts an impressive 23-16 mark at the Trop thus far on the year.

The other bit of bad news is that the Orioles struggling pitching staff will have to take on the fourth-highest scoring (4.8 runs per game) and the second-most powerful (115 HR) offense in the American League this weekend. The record might be theirs come Sunday.

But enough of that. If you’re looking for some positivity, it’s that the Orioles have owned the Rays to the tune of a 37-23 record since the start of the 2014 campaign.

On that note, let’s take a look at the starters.


Game One

Ubaldo Jimenez (2-2, 6.25 ERA) will take on Rays ace Chris Archer (5-4, 3.75 ERA) in tonight’s series opener.

In his first start since May 22nd, Jimenez was absolutely dominant versus St. Louis, allowing just two runs on four hits over seven sparkling innings. The win was Jimenez’s first since April 19th. Believe it or not, the Orioles are 6-3 when Jimenez starts the game on the mound. Over nine career starts versus Tampa Bay, the Orioles sporadic veteran owns a rock-solid 5-2 record and 3.47 ERA.

Archer may have just snapped a three-week winless skid after holding the Tigers to two runs on six hits over six innings during his last start, but he’s been nothing short of spectacular this season. He’s allowed three runs or fewer in ten of his fifteen starts on the year, while he’s also recorded ten-plus strikeouts in five of his last nine outings. He’s bringing it right now.


Game Two

Dylan Bundy (7-6, 3.72 ERA) will take the hill versus red-hot rookie Jacob Faria (3-0, 1.37 ERA) on Saturday.

After getting tagged to the sound of six runs on six hits over just 4 1/3 innings versus Cleveland during his last start, Bundy has won just twice in his last eight attempts. Over four starts in the month of June, Bundy has gone 1-3 with a 6.64 ERA and owns a 7.63 ERA over his last three outings.

Faria on the other hand, has gotten off to an almost flawless start to his major league career. The 23-year-old has won each of his first three career starts while allowing just one run over six-plus innings in each of them.  He’s also recorded 22 strikeouts to just four walks over his first 19 2/3 major league innings without allowing a single home run. Here’s hoping that the Orioles can bring him down to earth a little bit.


Game Three

Chris Tillman (1-5, 8.39 ERA) will get the nod against Jake Odorizzi (4-3, 3.78 ERA) in the series finale on Sunday.

After allowing five runs on eight hits over just four innings during his last start versus the Tribe, Tillman remains winless since his season debut on May 7th. The struggling veteran will try to forget about his 16.03 ERA over his last three starts, and the fact that he’s 0-5 with a 11.47 ERA over his last six outings. Can Tillman finally get his season on track at the Trop?

Odorizzi took a tough luck no-decision after allowing three runs on five hits over seven innings during his last start versus the Reds, but he’ll feel confident nonetheless going into his next start. After posting a stellar 2.78 ERA over six starts in May, he’s posted a subpar 5.31 ERA over four starts thus far in the month of June. The Rays standout hurler also owns a rock-solid 3.22 ERA over seven starts at home on the year.

With last place looming, the Orioles must recover from their letdown against the Tribe quickly.

On the bright side, they remain in the thick of the wild card chase. This season is far from over, but the clock is ticking. Consistency remains vital going forward.

Can the Orioles right the ship, or will they get knocked into the cellar?

It’s anyone’s guess, really. Let’s hope for the former.

This entry was posted in Bird Feed, Blog View, Featured by Logan Quick. Bookmark the permalink.

About Logan Quick

Logan Quick is a 23-year-old journalist from Harford County, Maryland. Loves hockey so much, there's ice in his veins, not blood. Breathes soccer. Kind of wishes he lived in Barcelona. Oh yeah, and his love for music, especially 1960's and 70's rock and roll, is unwavering. Also a lover of...more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Hot off the street

The Payoff Pitch: Show Me The Baseball!
The Payoff Pitch: Show Me The Baseball!

In this week's episode of The Payoff Pitch, I go over the Orioles' truncated 60-game schedule, wonder why a couple Orioles haven't been seen on the field yet, and tear into the Mid-Atlantic Sports more

The Payoff Pitch: Baseball is…Back?!
The Payoff Pitch: Baseball is…Back?!

Two weeks, two installments of The Payoff Pitch! It seems Major League Baseball and the Players Union got their heads out of their own posteriors long enough to reach an agreement on a 60 game season more

Baseball’s Back…But At What Cost?
Baseball’s Back…But At What Cost?

It's been a hell of a few months for all of us, not just as Orioles fans or even as baseball fans, but as humanity. The world has been turned upside down by a global pandemic, and the baseball world more

The Payoff Pitch: 2020 MLB Draft Recap
The Payoff Pitch: 2020 MLB Draft Recap

We're back! Hopefully MLB will follow shortly...why don't they already have a plan in place? Well, let's spend a few minutes talking about why Rob Manfred is the worst thing to happen to Major League more

O’s Look to Get Armed in Undrafted Signing Period
O’s Look to Get Armed in Undrafted Signing Period

While the fact that the 2020 MLB Draft was a shortened version of normal certainly isn’t ideal for a rebuilding team such as the Orioles, it does afford them a unique opportunity in the undrafted more

View More