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Monday night Orioles game thread: at Rays, 7:10

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Starting a three-game series on the road tonight, the Orioles will try to win their first game of the season against the Rays.

Chicago White Sox v Baltimore Orioles
Orioles starting pitcher Spenser Watkins delivers a pitch against the White Sox at Camden Yards.
Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Baltimore enters play today with two wins in a row, but they’re winless in six games against the Rays this season. They’ll try to get off the schneid in tonight’s series opener at Tropicana Field.

Since Orioles starter Spenser Watkins has never faced the Rays — he’s made a total of three appearances this year — the element of surprise is on his side. But with a FIP that’s more than three points higher than his 1.74 ERA, Watkins has been very lucky this season. We’ll see if that luck continues tonight against the Rays.

Ryan Yarbrough is on the bump for Tampa and he’s got a 3.35 ERA in 10 career appearances (five starts) against the O’s. The left-hander has 18 total appearances this season and he’s been better out of the bullpen than in the rotation. He’s got a 4.60 ERA in 13 games started and a 3.15 ERA in five relief appearances.

As a team, the Orioles are batting a solid .269/.325/.433 against left-handers in 2021. But they’ve been dismal against Rays pitching this season, mustering a triple slash line of .179/.274/.300 in 190 at-bats. In case you were wondering if it gets any worse than that, it does. At Tropicana Field, the Orioles are batting a collective .136/.208/.216 in 88 at-bats.

In 20 career at-bats versus Yarbrough, Trey Mancini is hitting an even .300 with three home runs. Anthony Santander is hitting .250 in 12 at-bats, and Pedro Severino is hitting .235 in 12 ABs. Cedric Mullins gets the night off with Austin Hays taking his spot atop the order.

Orioles lineup

  1. Austin Hays LF
  2. Trey Mancini DH
  3. Ryan Mountcastle 1B
  4. Anthony Santander RF
  5. Ramón Urías SS
  6. Pedro Severino C
  7. Ryan McKenna CF
  8. Pat Valaika 2B
  9. Kelvin Gutierrez 3B

RHP Spenser Watkins

Rays lineup

  1. Brandon Lowe 2B
  2. Ji-Man Choi 1B
  3. Yandy Díaz DH
  4. Austin Meadows LF
  5. Randy Arozarena RF
  6. Joey Wendle 3B
  7. Mike Zunino C
  8. Kevin Kiermaier CF
  9. Taylor Walls SS

LHP Ryan Yarbrough