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Orioles-Rays series preview: The month of the AL East continues

The Orioles meet the Rays for the first time in 2017 for three games at Yard.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles are continuing their April gauntlet of AL East opponents as the Tampa Rays come into Baltimore for a three game series against the Orioles starting tonight. This is the first time these AL East teams will be meeting in the 2017 season.

The Rays (10-10) are coming off of a series loss to the Houston Astros. They are 5-5 in their last ten games. Their middling start has been led by Steven Souza Jr. who is batting .347/.424/.613 and has already accumulated 1.2 WAR in the 2017 season. Their rotation has been led by Chris Archer, who the Orioles will see this series, and a bunch of mediocrity.

The Orioles (12-5) are coming off a bad loss, but a series win. The Rays are starting three right handed pitchers against the Orioles which means Hyun Soo Kim may finally see some playing time. The question then becomes if Trey Mancini will also get some playing time in this series.

Game 1: Monday, 7:05pm

Chris Archer (2-0, 3.20 ERA) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (1-0, 5.51 ERA)

The first game of the series brings the Rays ace pitcher against the mercurial Ubaldo Jimenez.

In his last start Archer got beat up by the Tigers a bit throwing five innings giving up four runs on seven hits. However, his usual nasty stuff did show up as he struck out nine Tigers in only five innings. Archer in his career has been touched by the Orioles compared to the rest of the league.

In 12 career starts, Archer has a 4.50 ERA (with a 5.88 ERA in Camden Yards) with the home run being his downfall. He has given up 14 to Orioles hitters in 74 innings pitched.

Jimenez has pitched well against the Rays in his career. In eight starts he has pitched to a 3.19 ERA striking out 50 and walking only 16 in 53.2 innings pitched. Jimenez is coming off a great start in Cincinnati pitching 7.2 innings of shut out ball walking two and striking out three. He gave up only two hits. He induced a total of 14 ground balls. Possibly recreating his end of 2016 run? The Orioles better hope so.

Game 2: Tuesday, 7:05pm

Erasmo Ramirez (2-0, 3.07 ERA) vs. Wade Miley (1-0, 1.89 ERA)

Coming off one of the best Orioles starts in my recent memory Wade Miley will face off against Erasmo Ramirez. Miley pitched eight innings giving up only two hits (one homerun) walking only one and striking out eleven Reds on just 101 pitches. A masterpiece. Miley has also pitched well in his career against the Rays posting a 2.60 ERA in 9 career starts.

Ramirez has been in and out of the bullpen for the Rays. His last appearance was a start against the Tigers. He pitched five innings, giving up two hits (one home run), one run, and struck out five. Ramirez has appeared in 14 games against the Orioles, but has only started 6 posting a 3.38 ERA in 53.1 innings.

Game 3: Wednesday 7:05pm

Alex Cobb (1-2, 4.88 ERA) vs. Dylan Bundy (3-1, 1.37 ERA)

Cobb has struggled in the early going falling victim to the long ball (his Achilles heel) in each of his four starts. His last time out he gave up four runs on nine hits in six innings pitched against the Astros. However, in his career Cobb has dominated the Orioles posting a 1.84 ERA in eight career starts against the Orioles. He has surrendered only two home runs to the Orioles hitters in 49 innings pitched.

Bundy has shown the ace level stuff and composure in 2017 that Orioles fans have waited years for. Last time out against the Red Sox, Bundy went seven innings giving up only six hits, striking out three, and gave up zero runs. The long fabled cutter/slider has made Bundy a force in the Orioles rotation.

However, Bundy has struggled mightily in his career against the Rays posting a 8.10 ERA in three games (two starts). He has given up five home runs to Rays hitters in only ten innings pitched.

The Rays are once again a middling team and the Orioles are looking to stay undefeated in series in the 2017 season. If the Orioles are going to keep on contending in 2017 winning home series against the Rays is going to be a big part of it. The first 3 of 19 games begin tonight. Come back to us for the game thread.

Poll

How many games will the Orioles win in this series?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    The Orioles will be swept by the Rays
    (5 votes)
  • 6%
    1
    (22 votes)
  • 62%
    2
    (222 votes)
  • 29%
    The Orioles will sweep the Rays
    (105 votes)
354 votes total Vote Now