Series Preview: Orioles (39-39) vs. Rays (41-40)

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb pitches.

After banking two huge series wins on the road over the past week, the Orioles will look to continue their recent run of good form in their last home stand before the All-Star break versus Tampa Bay.

This weekend’s three-game clash will feature the third installment of the Orioles-Rays rivalry this season, and will determine whether the Orioles move up to third in the division or remain in fourth place before they head out to Milwaukee.

The Orioles (39-39) enter tonight’s match-up just 4.5-games off the pace of the first place Red Sox and remain only a game and a half out of the playoff picture. After going 4-2 over their latest two-legged road trip, the Orioles have upped their record this month to 12-15 as we head into the final contest of June. They also have notched an impressive 25-18 record versus the division on the year to date and own a stellar 24-14 mark in front of their loyal fans at Camden Yards.

The Rays (41-40) remain in third place in the division and just four games out of first place despite going 2-4 over their last six games. Their recent drop-off in form has resulted in the visitors going below .500 on the month at 12-13, while they have also been hindered by a subpar 15-19 record against the AL East. A 17-22 record away from Tropicana Field hasn’t helped their cause either, and that has been marred by a 4-8 record on the road in the month of June.

Going into the third set of the in-division showdown this year, the Orioles own a 4-2 advantage over their visitors. Since the start of the 2016 season, the Orioles have dominated the Rays to the tune of a 17-8 record overall along with a 9-3 record versus their Floridian rivals at OPACY during that span.

Will the Orioles continue that trend, or will their visitors send them closer to the cellar?

We’re about to find out… Let’s take a look at the starters.

 

Game One

Chris Tillman (1-5, 8.39 ERA) will take the mound versus Jacob Faria (3-0, 2.10 ERA) in tonight’s series opener.

After allowing four runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings during his last start in Tampa, Tillman will be looking for revenge against the same club in his own ballpark. Tillman has yet to get his season on track as he owns an 0-5 record with a 10.99 ERA over his last seven outings. Over his last four starts, Tillman has gone 0-2 with a horrible 13.80 ERA.

Faria allowed three runs on five hits over six innings during his first career start against the Birds last weekend, but still recorded his fourth straight quality start to begin his MLB career. The Rays 23-year-old standout rookie has allowed just six runs over his first 25 2/3 innings of his career while posting an amazing 29:5 K:BB ratio. The Rays seem to have another homegrown stud.

Game Two

Dylan Bundy (8-6, 3.73 ERA) will take the hill against Jake Odorizzi (4-3, 4.00 ERA) on Saturday.

Bundy finally bounced back into form by holding the Rays to just three runs on five hits over seven innings last weekend, and will look to do the same again this weekend. Over five starts this month, Bundy owns a 2-3 record and a 5.93 ERA. This will also mark Bundy’s ninth start at Camden Yards this season, and the Orioles ace owns a 4-3 record and a 3.26 ERA at home on the year.

After allowing four runs on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings against the Orioles during his last outing, Odorizzi now sports a 5.61 ERA over five starts this month. In six starts on the road this season, he’s posted a 1-1 record and a 4.81 ERA. To make matters even worse for Odorizzi, he’s gone just 3-4 with a 5.26 ERA over fourteen career starts against the Birds.

 

Game Three

Kevin Gausman (4-7, 6.07 ERA) will get the nod in the series finale versus Alex Cobb (6-5, 3.73 ERA).

Gausman turned in an impressive outing during his last start against the Blue Jays by allowing just four hits over 5 1/3 shutout innings. He sported an 0-3 record and an 8.02 ERA over four starts in June prior to that. In nine starts at Camden Yards this season, Gausman has gone 2-3 with a 5.05 ERA.

[Related: Rick Dempsey on Gausman – He Doesn’t Think Things Through Enough]

Cobb was dominant during his last start versus Pittsburgh and allowed just two hits over eight shutout innings. Over his last three starts, Cobb has recorded a stellar 1.66 ERA. To make matters worse for the Orioles, Cobb has posted a 4-1 record along with a sensational 2.00 ERA over nine career outings versus the Birds.

 

That’s it for now, everyone! Enjoy the weekend!!!

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

About Logan Quick

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

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