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Orioles-Rays series preview: Back in Baltimore for the weekend

The Orioles are back in Baltimore for the weekend, looking to take another series from the Rays.

Two Baltimore Orioles celebrate a win over the Tampa Bay Rays
When last we saw the Rays in Baltimore, the Orioles were walking off twice in three games to win the series
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles return home tonight after their 4-4 road trip to face the third-place team in the AL East. The Rays are two games behind the Blue Jays for second place and just got swept by the first-place Yankees. They’re just 1-5 over their last two series.

This could mean the Rays are primed to be beaten, or it could mean they are ready for a bounce back. Like you, I am hoping for the former. But when you take a look at the pitching matchups, you might not feel very hopeful for that outcome.

When we last saw the Rays, they were getting beaten two out of three by the Orioles in Baltimore from May 20-22. It was an exciting series that saw two walk off wins by the Orioles. In game one of the series, the game went 13 innings before Rougned Odor hit a walk off home run onto the flag court for the exciting conclusion. In the series finale, it was again Odor playing hero with a walk off fielder’s choice in the 11th inning.

Game 1: Friday, 6:05 PM, MASN2

RHP Dean Kremer (1-1, 3.86 ERA) vs. Shane Baz (0-1, 19.29 ERA)

DraftKings odds: Orioles +1.5 runs is a -130 bet, or Orioles to win is +130

If you’re wondering why this game is starting at 6 instead of 7, that’s because of the postgame Flo Rida concert. Get hyped!

Dean Kremer will be making his third start of the season after coming back from the injured list and he held his own in the first two. Most recently, Kremer picked up the win against the Royals with a five-inning performance in which he gave up just one earned run (two overall). I still don’t have great faith in Kremer after his dismal 2021 season. But as of right now, he’s one of the best options for the struggling rotation. So go get ‘em, Dean!

Shane Baz is the Rays’ #1 prospect and the #12 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline. He appeared in three games at the end of last season but missed the start of 2022 after having arthroscopic surgery on his elbow. He made four starts for Triple-A Durham with a 1.38 ERA and was called up last week to make his season debut against the Twins. It did not go great, with Baz giving up five runs in just 2.1 innings.

Baz will look to turn it around against the Orioles tonight, and on his 23rd birthday! Let’s hope he isn’t the birthday boy pitching equivalent of Mike Trout, who loves to hit homers on his birthday.

Game 2: Saturday, 4:05 PM, MASN2

RHP Kyle Bradish (1-4, 6.86 ERA) vs. LHP Jeffrey Springs (3-2, 1.45 ERA)

Will Kyle Bradish turn things around this weekend? I sure hope so, but he hasn’t given us much to work with lately. He hasn’t completed five innings since May 21st and has given up at least five runs in three of his last five starts. It’s bleak, ok? But he’s young and making adjustments and maybe this will be his night.

Springs started the season in the bullpen for the Rays but has been in the rotation since May 9th. Over the course of seven starts he’s 1.72 ERA and held opposing hitters to a slash line of .197/.248/.333. One of those starts was against the Orioles on May 21st when he struck out seven in 5.2 shutout innings, though he did walk four.

Game 3: Sunday, 1:35 PM, MASN2

RHP Jordan Lyles (4-5, 5.10 ERA) vs. Corey Kluber (3-3, 3.50 ERA)

The so-called innings eater has been on a bit of diet lately. He pitched 5.1 innings against the Blue Jays on Tuesday, which was his longest start since going 6.2 on May 23rd. After his last game, his ERA went above 5 for the first time since April. I feel very gloomy talking about the Orioles starters.

The Klubot has put together a solid season so far for the Rays, pitching six innings in half of his 12 starts. His shortest outing of the year was three innings against our Orioles. He only gave up two runs that day but threw 73 pitches en route to an early exit.

Poll

How many games will the Orioles win this series?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    3 (sweep!)
    (14 votes)
  • 40%
    2
    (68 votes)
  • 47%
    1
    (80 votes)
  • 4%
    0 (swept)
    (8 votes)
170 votes total Vote Now