Baltimore Orioles vs Tampa Bay Rays series preview

The Orioles and Rays square off at Camden Yards in a criticial four game series
St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles: Cedric Mullins of the Orioles reacts after hitting a grand slam against the Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles: Cedric Mullins of the Orioles reacts after hitting a grand slam against the Cardinals / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

After the Orioles saw their series win streak end at the hands of old friend Drew Rom and the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, they turn their attention to a four game series at Camden Yards against the Tampa Bay Rays, with plenty on the line this weekend.

Orioles and Rays square off in crucial four game series

90-57. September 14-17. 91-54. 7:15, 7:05, 1:35 PM ET. 21. MASN. Orioles vs Rays matchup. 11.


This series has major implications on the AL East race, with the Orioles and Rays separated by just two games entering Thursday. The Rays are coming off a series win against the AL Central leading Minnesota Twins, winning in dramatic fashion on Wednesday thanks to Randy Arozarena.


So far this season, the Orioles and Rays have met nine times, with the Orioles having gone 6-3 against them. They are 2-1 against the Rays at Camden Yards and 4-2 at Tropicana Field. This series will mark the last time they meet in the regular season, but a matchup in October is not out of the cards. If the Orioles can win just one game, they'll clinch the season series against the Rays.


Thursday, 9/14: Aaron Civale vs Kyle Bradish

Trade deadline acquisition Civale starts the series opener for the Rays. Acquired from the Cleveland Guardians, Civale has a 4.29 ERA in seven starts with the Rays, throwing 35 2/3 innings. He's averaging two walks per nine and 10.1 strikeouts per nine since the trade.

Bradish, in the midst of a strong season, starts the series opener. The righty owns a 3.03 ERA, 3.40 FIP, and 1.092 WHIP, averaging 2.4 walks per nine and 9.0 strikeouts per nine in 145 2/3 innings and 26 starts.

The last start for Bradish came in a 11-2 win over the Boston Red Sox, allowing two runs on four hits and nine strikeouts in six innings, picking up his fourth straight win and 11th on the season. Each of Bradish's last three starts, he has yielded two runs, keeping his ERA at 3.03 this season.

Friday, 9/15: Zach Eflin vs Jack Flaherty

Eflin, signed in the offseason, gets the ball in the middle game. He leads the AL in wins with 14, boasting a 3.53 ERA, 3.08 FIP, and 1.052 WHIP over 160 2/3 innings and 28 starts, averaging a sterling 1.3 walks per nine and 9.2 strikeouts per nine.

Flaherty starts the second game for the Orioles. He's had a rocky tenure in Baltimore since being traded for, allowing 22 earned runs and 23 overall in 27 2/3 innings, good for a 7.16 ERA in six starts. He's averaging 3.6 walks per nine and 11.4 hits per nine in an Orioles uniform.

The last start for Flaherty was another short one. Against the Red Sox, he failed to make it out of the fourth inning, allowing five runs on eight hits and a walk in 3 1/3 innings. This will be Flaherty's third start against an AL East opponent since joining the Orioles.

Saturday, 9/16: Tyler Glasnow vs Grayson Rodriguez

Glasnow, always a tough customer, goes for the Rays for game three. Through 18 starts this year, he has accumulated a 3.15 ERA, 1.041 WHIP, and 2.95 FIP, averaging 2.6 walks per nine and an outstanding 12.1 strikeouts per nine in 105 2/3 innings.

The Orioles budding ace in Rodriguez gets the start for the Saturday game. He's made 20 starts in his rookie season, authoring a 4.88 ERA, 4.33 FIP, and 1.394 WHIP, averaging 9.6 strikeouts per nine and 3.4 walks per nine in 103 1/3 innings.

Rodriguez had a shaky start against the Boston Red Sox in his last outing, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings, getting charged with the loss. This will be Rodriguez's third start against the Rays this season.

Sunday, 9/17: Zack Littell vs Dean Kremer

The reliever turned starter Littell gets the ball in the series finale. Over 23 games and 12 starts with the Rays, Littell owns a 4.06 ERA, 4.18 FIP, and 1.128 WHIP, averaging 7.4 strikeouts per nine and a sparkling 0.7 walks per nine in 75 1/3 innings. Littell previously pitched for the Boston Red Sox in 2023, allowing three runs in three innings.

Kremer takes the mound in the series finale for the Orioles. Entering his 30th start of the season, the righty has a 1.321 WHIP, 4.65 FIP, and 4.25 ERA, averaging 1.5 home runs per nine, 2.8 walks per nine, and eight strikeouts per nine in 159 innings.

Kremer's last start came against the St. Louis Cardinals in the series opener. He allowed all five runs the Cardinals scored, yielding seven hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings, getting a no decision. Kremer last faced the Rays in May, pitching six shutout innings.

This series is of very high importance to the Orioles, with the AL East lead at risk and every game counting. Four high stakes games are on deck, let's play ball!