The Tampa Bay Rays will cap a three-city road trip in Baltimore, where they are set to start a three-game series against the Orioles on Friday. After sweeping the Red Sox in Boston, the Rays split a four-game set against the Royals in Kansas City. The Orioles are coming off a series loss against the White Sox.
Don’t let the fact that the Orioles 10-games below .500 record deceive you, they have been better than the Rays, offensively speaking, over the last 14 days — outperforming Tampa Bay in most of the important categories.
Baltimore’s pitching staff, however, leaves a lot to be desired — performing to an overall 5.89 ERA/6.19 FIP across the first 36 games of the season. The starting rotation hasn’t been good, yet the relievers haven’t done the team any favors, combining for a 6.27 ERA/6.13 FIP across 135 innings of work. The bullpen has given up 34 of the 74 total home runs relinquished by Oriole hurlers (46%), and almost half of all the runs given up by the entire pitching staff (93 of 197, 47%).
The Rays enter Oriole Park at Camden Yards having taken two out of three from the Orioles a few series ago … not to mention the Orioles are 3-10 at home this season. Tampa Bay needs to bust out of its offensive slump, and a three-game series against Baltimore might just be what the doctor ordered.
Rays Pitching Probables
Over the next three days, Kevin Cash will lean on Tyler Glasnow (5-0, 1.75 ERA), and bulk guys Yonny Chirinos (4-0, 3.48 ERA) and Jalen Beeks (1-0, 2.45 ERA), both of whom will likely follow an opener. Brandon Hyde will respond with Dan Straily (1-1, 6.75 ERA), Dylan Bundy (0-4, 6.64 ERA), and John Means (3-3, 2.81 ERA).
Tyler Glasnow allowed two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out nine across 6-2/3 innings on Sunday. Glasnow was spotted an early four-run lead and left the ballgame with a 4-2 lead after giving up a run in each of his final innings of work. The right-hander, who was named the AL pitcher of the month, has been stellar through six starts this season, posting a 1.75 ERA to go along with a 0.94 WHIP with 38 strikeouts in 36 innings of work.
Dan Straily gave up one run (unearned) over four innings on Saturday. He allowed three hits and one walk while fanning three in the Orioles 9-2 loss. The run came in the third inning on a single, an error and a sacrifice fly as the right-hander threw a hefty 89 pitches (55 strikes, 62% strike rate). Straily has compiled a 6.75 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP to go along with a 1.29 K/BB this season. The 30-year-old relies primarily on a 90 mph four-seam fastball, an 84 mph circle changeup that dives down and out of the zone, and an 84 mph extreme fly ball slider. Key Matchups: Kevin Kiermaier (1-4, 2B, BB), Tommy Pham (1-2, 2B, RBI), Mike Zunino (1-4, HR, RBI)
Yonny Chirinos struck out four and walked one and scattered two hits while giving up four runs (two earned) over 5-2/3 innings against the Royals. Chirinos followed Ryne Stanek as the opener and came within an out of a quality outing, tossing 73 pitches (46 strikes, 63% strike rate) en route to his fourth win of the season. The right-hander is putting up good numbers this season, sporting a solid 3.48 ERA, a 0.84 WHIP and a 4.33 K/BB over 31 innings of work.
Dylan Bundy gave up four runs on five hits (including two home runs) and three walks while striking out eight over five innings on Sunday. Home runs have been a problem for Bundy, and he gave up two more solo shots in this outing. The right-hander induced 19 whiffs, however, he continues to allow too many baserunners and home runs to be effective. Bundy has a 6.67 ERA with a 2.62 K/BB over six starts this season (28-1/3 innings). The Rays got to Bundy in his last start at the Trop, tagging him for three runs on three hits (including a homer) and two walks over five innings. Key Matchups: Willy Adames (1-4), Ji-Man Choi (1-2, 2B, 2 BB), Avaisail Garcia (5-9, HR, 2 RBI), Kevin Kiermaier (4-11, 2 HR, 6 RBI, BB)
Jalen Beeks fired off 6-2/3 scoreless frames on Wednesday, allowing a hit, two walks, and a hit batsman. He fanned six. Beeks turned in a highly impressive performance after the opener, Ryne Stanek, gave up three earned runs over his sole inning of work. Beeks has excelled in the “bulk guy” role in two consecutive appearances, also blanking the Royals across 4-2/3 innings on April 23, racking up seven strikeouts along the way. The southpaw has put up good numbers, sporting an outstanding 2.45 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP, and a 2.6 K/BB across 25-2/3 innings of work
John Means yielded four runs on six hits and a walk over five innings on Monday. He struck out two batters and allowed two homers. Means hadn’t allowed more than one run in any of his seven appearances (three starts) prior to Monday’s outing, yet he has performed to a lucky .271 BABIP, which is belied by a 4.48 FIP. Put another way, he’s been very lucky this season. Means relies on a whiffy 92 mph four-seam fastball with a lot of backspin and an 80 mph changeup with slight cut action, while also mixing in an 84 mph slider with little depth, and a 76 mph 12/6 curveball.