After all the awesomeness on Wednesday night, yesterday's game was markedly much less awesome. The Birds pitcher's couldn't hold a lead for even an inning and the bats failed to cash in on big opportunities a few times. On top of that, the Red Sox completed an improbable comeback against Dellin Betances and the Yankees in the ninth inning. So, while there were dreams of being tied at the top of the AL East, all of that went up in smoke in an instant. Instead, the O's are now two games back and must hope that Ubaldo Jimenez can stay hot and top Chris Archer to get the team back on track.
Both hurlers are in good form, so this should be a lower scoring game than on Thursday. But baseball doesn't make sense all the time, so you can probably ignore that factoid.
Something you should pay attention too though; eight of the Orioles hitters tonight have faced Archer before (with Kim being the lone exception). As a unit, they have a slash line of .263/.316/.449. But those numbers are sunk by Bourn (1-for-12) and Jones (3-for-29). Everyone else has a career average of .292 or better versus the righty.
On the flip side, Tampa's hitters combined for a slash line of .215/.276/.327 against Jimenez, but that includes the injured Logan Morrison who is 5-for-8 in his career with a home run and two doubles. Without him, the Rays lack any history of punch with Ubaldo.
So, on paper, the O's have the advantage. But paper is dumb and gets beat by scissors. Everything is digital nowadays. What I'm trying to say is, come on, O's! Beat these Rays! Also, go Yankees, Indians and may the Astros and Mariners play to a never-ending tie!
|TAMPA BAY RAYS||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Logan Forsythe - 2B||Adam Jones - CF|
|Kevin Kiermaier - CF||Hyun Soo Kim - LF|
|Evan Longoria - 3B||Manny Machado - 3B|
|Brad Miller - LF||Chris Davis - 1B|
|Corey Dickerson - DH||Jonathan Schoop - 2B|
|Steven Souza - RF||Pedro Alvarez - DH|
|Richie Shaffer - 1B||Matt Wieters - C|
|Alexei Ramirez - SS||J.J. Hardy - SS|
|Bobby Wilson - C||Michael Bourn - RF|
|Chris Archer - RHP||Ubaldo Jimenez - RHP|