As a fixture in the Orioles rotation for several years, Jeremy Guthrie has seen a lot of the Rays. There are four Rays players with more than 25 PA against Guthrie in their careers who also have an OPS of over .900 against him. They are Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, Matt Joyce and Casey Kotchman. B.J. Upton and Reid Brignac are sporting an OPS over .800 against Guthrie. Those men are all in the starting lineup tonight. Watch out, Guts.
The Rays, of course, actually have something to play for as a team. Boston lost to Toronto already today, so the Rays could get back within three games with a key four-game series on the way. The Orioles don't particularly care and I don't either. Guthrie seems to be motivated to avoid losing 20 games, or even 18 games (which Daniel Cabrera lost in 2007). A lot of losses have not been his fault but a lot have been too. He threw seven shutout innings in his last start. It's hard to lose if you throw shutout innings, though that's simply not likely to happen against the Rays.
So, the offense will have to get some runs. They will have to do this against Wade Davis. He's what passes for a weak link in the Tampa Bay rotation, with their worst ERA, a 4.36. That would make him the #2 Orioles starter, behind Guthrie. He is not left-handed, so that's a good sign, and Buck isn't doing the "let's play all our crappy lefty hitters against a righty" thing that gets both Matt Angle and Kyle Hudson into games. Angle is playing, though. He's in CF, with Adam Jones out of the starting lineup for a fifth straight game. Last night's MASN broadcast informed us that Jones can run, field and throw but cannot swing a bat due to a thumb issue, and it seems he is still sidelined tonight.
No one on the Orioles has the kind of sustained, gaudy success against Davis that I would highlight, probably because he's only been a big league starter for two seasons. Also because the Orioles are not a good baseball team and don't have very good players. But if I did want to play a little with small, non-meaningful sample sizes, I might point out to you that J.J. Hardy is 6-17 off Davis with three doubles, and Matt Wieters is 7-18.
So hey, at least there's that. Go O's!
|Rays (W. Davis - R) @ Orioles (J. Guthrie - R)|