Series Preview: O's @ Rays (20-23 Sept.)

Could be lots of smiles in Baltimore with a solid series against Tampa - David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The O's took two out of three from Boston and now head to Tampa for a critical four-game set. Hammel, TBD, Feldman, and Chen for the O's. Price, Cobb, Hellickson, and Archer for the Rays.

Friday, 20 September:  Jason Hammel vs. David Price
Career Numbers Hammel vs. Rays
Price vs. O's
IP 21.0 98.1
ERA 5.57 2.65
FIP 5.51 2.73
Slash Line (Past Teams) .256/.299/.462 .234/.284/.333
Slash Line (Current Players) .267/.303/.453 .294/.337/.417

Jason Hammel will make just his second start after returning from the DL.  His last start in Toronto didn't go so poorly and he'll be called on again to help make up ground with Tampa.  Hammel's previous four outings vs. Tampa don't inspire a ton of confidence, although they're similar to his stats against Toronto.  Six walks to ten strikeouts in 21 innings no great shakes, as is the .462 SLG number.  Additionally, his numbers at the Trop, his former home park, are pretty similar to his career stats.  James Loney (.996 OPS, 37 PA) has his number, as does Ben ZobristEvan Longoria has just one hit in 11 PA vs. Hammel.

David Price has exceptional career numbers against the O's, even if he hasn't been as sharp in his more recent starts.  He strikes out nearly one per inning and has allowed just 6 homers in almost 100 innings of work.  He's had less success against the current lineup (and recently).  Price tends to own Nick Markakis and Adam Jones, but Matt Wieters has a solid .966 OPS.  Small sample, but both Danny Valencia and Mike Morse have good numbers.  Morse has two extra base hits in the six times he's faced Price, including 1 homer.

Saturday, 21 September:  TBD vs. Alex Cobb
Career Numbers TBD vs. Rays
Cobb vs. O's
IP - 17.2
ERA - 2.04
FIP - 3.37
Slash Line (Past Teams) - .188/.288/.234
Slash Line (Current Players) - .196/.297/.250

Good ole TBD has likely faced the Rays before, but there are no known statistics.

Alex Cobb is one of Tampa's several young starts and he's improved as he's gotten older.  He has dazzling numbers against the O's, allowing less than a .600 OPS in three starts.  His FIP is a little high from the 8 walks he's allowed in 17.2 innings, but he's also added 18 strikeouts.  He also tends to pitch well in his home park.  No Oriole has reached 10 PA yet, but Matt Wieters does have a homer in 9 PA.

Sunday, 22 September:  Scott Feldman vs. Jeremy Hellickson
Career Numbers Feldman vs. Rays
Hellickson vs. O's
IP 38.0 94.2
ERA 2.13 3.33
FIP 4.03 4.14
Slash Line (Past Teams) .183/.288/.244 .228/.279/.383
Slash Line (Current Players) .239/.318/.407 .290/.325/.439

Scott Feldman has solid numbers in 11 appearances against Tampa, but the majority have been from the bullpen.  He does, however, have two solid starts at Tropicana Field.  He might face David DeJesus, who owns a 1.615 OPS in 17 PA.  He might also face Luke Scott and Ben Zobrist, both of whom he has pitched very against (Zobrist has one single in 13 trips).

Hellickson is another of Tampa's young starters, but he's struggled with the long ball this season.  He's posting his best SO/BB ratio, but he's on pace to allow the worst HR/9 of his career.  He does have pretty good numbers against the O's (seems to be a theme for Tampa starters), although he's been homer-prone.  Hellickson is another who gets better when he pitches at home.  Adam Jones has taken advantage of Hellickson's homer problem, slugging 4 in 41 ABs (1.016 OPS).  Chris Davis has 2 in 27 ABs, but has a better OPS.  Alexi Casilla has not yet managed a hit in 11 ABs.

Monday, 23 September:  Wei-Yin Chen vs. Chris Archer
Career Numbers Chen vs. Rays
Archer vs. O's
IP 46.0 10.2
ERA 2.93 1.69
FIP 4.00 6.17
Slash Line (Past Teams) .247/.298/.367 .139/.262/.167
Slash Line (Current Players) .243/.298/.330 .147/.256/.206

Chen is in his second MLB season, but will already face the Rays for an 8th time.  Key stat:  .666 OPS.  That's playing with fire right there.  Ben Zobrist has great numbers against Chen, reaching base in over half of his PAs, but Chen has been solid against the remaining lineup.  Notable bats such as Desmond Jennings and Evan Longoria have been pretty well silenced.

He's only faced the O's twice, but Archer has dominated the Oriole lineup, allowing just a .429 OPS (even if his record is 1-1).  He has allowed two homers and a number of walks in a short span, so there is some hope.  manny Machado is 2-4 and Mike Morse 2-5, but many of the remaining members of the lineup are hit-less.

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