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Series preview: The Orioles return home to face the Rays, looking for better results

The Orioles come home for a three game series against the Rays.

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The Story So Far:

This is going to be a short preview. Two losing teams with virtually no shot at making the playoffs doesn't really inspire me to write a lot here. The Orioles of course just got swept by the Rangers. They were ugly losses and at this point I think we have to kind of hope they can just find some way to finish strong and finish at or above .500. I never thought I'd wish it was 2013 again, when the O's were still very much in it at this point, but I do.

The Rays are 64-66 and just moved past the Orioles in the standings. They're 5-5 over their last ten games, something the Orioles could only hope for.

I should probably note that I'm writing this as I watch Jake Arrieta take a no-hitter into the seventh inning. If you think he could never have been good for the Orioles you might be right, but that says more about the Orioles organization than it does Arrieta.

Pitching Matchups:

Monday: Wei-Yin Chen vs. Chris Archer

Adam Jones said after Sunday's game that he wanted a crowd for this game when the team came back home that could help pick them up. I was at a Monday game against the Rays around this time last year, except it was a couple days before school had started again, not after like this year. I had been going to games all summer and was shocked at how empty that stadium was. And that was for a team about to win the division. If he thinks people are going to come out for this team...

Tuesday: Chris Tillman vs. Drew Smyly

MLB.com still shows this as a 'TBD' for the Orioles. This will be the first September game, so its possible one of the call-ups could get the nod. But this is also going to be the game that commemorates Cal Ripken Jr.'s '2131' game, so it feels like a good one to keep Tillman in.

In three games started against the Orioles, Smyly is 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA. The only runs he's ever given up to them have been home runs, two of those at Camden Yards. Davis and Jones have hit them. Here's hoping they haven't forgotten how.

Wednesday: Kevin Gausman vs. Erasmo Ramirez

Gausman's last start wasn't great, or even that good, but he's the young guy on the team. I expect him to have the bad start more often than the other members of the rotation. Anyway, at this point it doesn't matter much what he does. He just needs to stay healthy, work on his pitches, and get ready for next season.

Ramirez will be pitching against the O's for the fourth time this season. He's 1-1 with a no decision (a game the Rays lost). That win though was at Camden Yards. He had a really good stretch in the middle of the season, but lately has started giving up some earned runs again.

Other Notes:

- The Rays pitching is pretty good (they're currently giving up 3.90 runs per game) but their offense ranks last in the AL with 3.72 runs per game. The Orioles get 4.37 runs per game, but we see how much good that does them, so maybe none of this means anything.

- Tied with Logan Forsythe for leading the Rays in home runs (15), Steven Souza is currently on the DL. James Loney and Asdrubal Cabrera were also kept from starting Sunday's game (though they would come in late). Maybe  day-to-day situation? Take some of these guys out of an already bad lineup and that could be a big help for the O's.

- The Orioles were shutout on Sunday, the ninth time this season that's happened. It happened 11 times last season, which is kind of surprising. It feels like so many more this year.

- Aaaaand Arrieta just finished his no-hitter. I hate everything.

Prediction:

I'm actually going to pick the O's to win two of three. The Rays aren't very good either and the Orioles are at home, where they've played much better this year. It's also hard to imagine they keep losing like this. This is not a playoff team, but they're better than this.