Baltimore Orioles Preview: Tampa Bay Rays series starts Monday

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 01: Ruben Tejada
BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 01: Ruben Tejada /

After the 10-game home stand, the Baltimore Orioles make their way to Tampa Bay for a three-game series.

The Baltimore Orioles finished their latest home stand with a 5-5 record winning the series against the Texas Rangers, but losing the two series against the Chicago Cubs and the Houston Astros.

But, winning the final game against the Astros hopefully will be a little boost as the team travels to the Trop.

The Orioles have faced the Rays in three series so far in 2017. At Camden Yards, the Birds have a .500 record against the Rays. But, at the Trop, the O’s are 2-1. The Birds have won two of the three series so far. The two teams have 10 more games to complete in 2017.

The two teams are nearly equal with runs scored. The Rays have 49 to the Birds’ 48. Unfortunately, the Birds have allowed the Rays to score more than 10 runs in two of the losses. Two of the games have gone into extra innings.

Both teams have already announced their probable pitchers for the series. Kevin Gausman will face Blake Snell, then Wade Miley will face Jacob Faria. Finally, Ubaldo Jimenez will face Alex Cobb.

The Orioles have not seen Snell often, but Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop each have .333 averages against him. Of the Rays, Trevor Plouffe has a .444 average and one home run off of Gausman. Hopefully, Gausman can have a similar outing to his July 2 game where he only gave up one run in the 7-1 win against the Rays. If the right Gausman shows up, the Orioles could easily defeat the Rays on Monday.

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Tuesday, the Miley and Faria match-up shows promise. Miley has held Evan Longoria to a .192 average while Joey Rickard has a .600 average against Faria. But, Faria is performing well in his rookie season with a 2.52 ERA in his 50 innings pitched. Miley, who has a 5.58, will have to deliver.

Wednesday, well, Wednesday doesn’t look so good. Jimenez’s ERA continues to grow with nearly every start, but he has a win and a loss against the Rays. So, Wednesday could be determined by the Jimenez who shows up. Cobb has half the ERA that Jimenez, but he has given up home runs to Machado and Mark Trumbo. The O’s will have to battle hard to get a win.

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The Rays do have a winning record and are 3.5 games back from the Boston Red Sox. The Rays are 27-22 at home, while the Birds are 17-30 on the road. This series promises to be one to watch as the two teams have been evenly matched in all of 2017.