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Orioles-Rays series preview: Tampa rides a sweep into Baltimore

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After losing three of four games against Cleveland, the Orioles will look to get back on track against a Tampa Bay team that’s on a bit of a hot streak.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Baltimore Orioles Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles just wrapped up a four game series against the Cleveland Indians, going 1-3 to start the current 10-game home stand. Now the division rival Tampa Bay Rays come to town for a three game series, the first matchup of 2018 between these two teams.

Tampa Bay sits in fourth place in the AL East standings, one spot ahead of the basement-dwelling Orioles. The Rays own an 8-13 record on the year, including a 2-6 record on the road. They are 5-5 in their last 10 games and also winners of their last four games in a row, including a three-game sweep of the Twins. Tampa had an off day yesterday, so they come into this series well rested.

As of Monday morning, the Rays were tenth in the AL in ERA at 4.71. They rank eleventh in WHIP at 1.38 and seventh in BAA at .249. In terms of offense, the Rays are middle of the pack in runs scored, ranking eighth in the AL with 88. Tampa ranks seventh in AVG at .251, fifth in OBP at .327, 12th in SLG at .375 and they are tied with the Royals for second to last place in HR with 16.

Last year the Orioles went 8-11 against the Rays, including a 5-5 record against them at Camden Yards.

Game One: Tuesday, 7:05 PM

RHP Alex Cobb (0-2, 15.43) vs. RHP Jake Faria (1-1, 5.82)

Alex Cobb will pitch the first game of the series against Tampa Bay, the only team he knew before joining the Orioles late this spring. Cobb was drafted by the Rays in the fourth round of the 2006 MLB draft and spent 11 subsequent years in their organization.

The Orioles will hope that Cobb can bounce back from a pair of rough starts, including losses to Boston (eight runs, seven earned in 3.2 innings) and Detroit (seven runs, five earned in 3.1 innings). On the year, Cobb’s ERA stands at 15.43 with a 3.14 WHIP, two walks and four strikeouts.

Jake Faria will take the mound for the Rays. In four starts covering 17 innings this year, Faria is 1-1. He has given up 16 hits, 11 earned runs, 11 walks, 15 strikeouts and two home runs to go along with a 5.82 ERA and 1.59 WHIP.

In his last start, Faria got a win on the road against the Texas Rangers, pitching six innings of one run ball with five hits, one walk and six strikeouts. In his career against Baltimore, Faria is 1-0 in four games (three starts) with a 4.09 ERA, 18 hits, 10 earned runs, three walks, 22 strikeouts, five home runs allowed and a .220 BAA.

Game Two: Wednesday, 7:05 PM

RHP Dylan Bundy (1-2, 1.42) vs. RHP Chris Archer (1-1, 6.59)

Orioles ace Dylan Bundy will face the Rays in game two of the series. Bundy will look to build on his spectacular start to the season, where so far he has a sparkling 1.42 ERA to go along with a 1.11 WHIP. His 40 strikeouts rank third in the AL, behind only Chris Sale and Gerrit Cole. For his career, Bundy is 1-2 against the Rays in six games (five starts) with a 6.26 ERA and 1.50 WHIP, including 12 home runs surrendered in 27.1 innings.

Talented right-hander Chris Archer will oppose Bundy on Wednesday. So far this season, Archer is 1-1 with a 6.59 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. In 27.1 innings, he has given up 30 hits, 21 runs (20 earned), 10 walks, 29 strikeouts and five home runs. He is coming off a quality start against Minnesota where he gave up two runs in 6.2 innings with four hits, one walk and five strikeouts.

In 95.1 career innings against the Orioles, Archer is 5-8 with a 4.81 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and a 2.76 strikeout to walk ratio. But Camden Yards has been a house of horrors for Chris Archer since he came into the league. In 36.1 innings career innings in Baltimore, Archer has a 6.69 ERA, 1.82 WHIP and 1.94 strikeout to walk ratio.

Game Three: Thursday, 7:05 PM

Chris Tillman (0-4, 9.87) vs. TBD

The Orioles will send Chris Tillman to the mound for the series finale. He had a serviceable start last time out against Cleveland, despite getting the loss, when he pitched six innings with eight hits and four earned runs, including three home runs.

On the positive side, Tillman showed better control and missed some bats, with five strikeouts and only one walk. His previous walk totals by start were four, four and two. His previous season high in strikeouts was three. On the season, Tillman has an 0-4 record in 17.1 innings (four starts) with a 9.87 ERA and 2.37 WHIP.

Poll

How many games will the Orioles win in this series?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    3 (Orioles do the sweeping)
    (26 votes)
  • 27%
    2
    (46 votes)
  • 42%
    1
    (70 votes)
  • 13%
    0 (Orioles get swept)
    (23 votes)
165 votes total Vote Now