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Orioles, Rays lineups and probable pitchers for Wednesday night

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The Orioles and the Rays resume their four-game series on Wednesday night with the O's still having a chance at a sweep. Kevin Gausman is the Orioles starter, with Drew Smyly taking the ball for the Rays.

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles have won the first two games of a four-game series, keeping a sweep in play for now. Up by seven games in the division with 32 still to play, their magic number rests at 26. If they go .500 from here on out, they would finish at 91-61 and the Yankees would have to go 23-9 or better to catch them. That's not out of the realm of possibility yet. So just keep on winning, fellas.

Pitchers

LHP Drew Smyly, Rays
2014: 25 G, 22 GS, 134.1 IP, 3.42 ERA, 112 SO, 37 BB, .250 BAA, 1.22 WHIP
Last start (at Blue Jays): 9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO

Smyly was supposed to be the guy who made it okay for the Tigers to trade Doug Fister, and instead he's turned into the guy who was used to trade for David Price. Thus far, that exchange hasn't worked out for the best, but then, their bullpen really sucks. As for Smyly himself, he's fresh off his lone complete game of the season, so let's hope that there's no carry over from his dominance of Toronto.

With an average fastball velocity of 89.9 miles per hour, Smyly is probably in the realm of the dreaded soft-tossing lefty. While the Orioles are surprisingly 21-16 against left-handed starters this season, it seems like they're much worse against the junkballers. Smyly also mixes in a cutter that averages 84.8mph, the kind of thing that creates a tantalizing pitch to swing at and miss, provided it cuts. If it doesn't cut, well, Smyly has allowed 15 home runs so far this season.

RHP Kevin Gausman, Orioles
2014: 14 GS,  78 IP, 3.81 ERA, 55 SO, 29 BB, .268 BAA, 1.37 WHIP
Last start (at Cubs): 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 HR, 0 BB, 7 SO

The good news is that the seven strikeouts tied his career high, but it's hard to get excited about a five inning start with three runs allowed. That's happened to Gausman in two of his last three starts, and in the one where he went six innings he still walked four batters. If you've watched his games, it's no surprise to say he needs to work on being more aggressive in attacking hitters, although I'd feel some nerves about that if I had Chris Davis at third base and Nelson Cruz or Delmon Young behind me as well.

In two starts earlier this year against the Rays, Gausman had one game where he pitched six scoreless innings and another where he gave up five runs in five innings.

Lineups

Today's Lineups

TAMPA BAY RAYS BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Desmond Jennings - CF Nick Markakis - RF
Ben Zobrist - 2B Steve Pearce - 1B
Matt Joyce - LF Adam Jones - CF
Evan Longoria - 3B Nelson Cruz - LF
James Loney - 1B Delmon Young - DH
Wil Myers - DH J.J. Hardy - SS
Yunel Escobar - SS Chris Davis - 3B
Ryan Hanigan - C Caleb Joseph - C
Kevin Kiermaier - RF Jonathan Schoop - 2B
Drew Smyly - LHP Kevin Gausman - RHP

Cruz is the only Oriole with 10+ plate appearances against Smyly. He's 2-7 with a double and four walks. Probably nothing in those tea leaves.

For the Rays against Gausman, Longoria and Zobrist each have faced him exactly ten times. Zobrist has a 1.378 OPS on the strength of a 5-9 with a pair of doubles, while Longoria is 2-8 with a double, good for a .775 OPS.