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The Tampa Bay Rays take on the Baltimore Orioles on Friday in the first game of a four-game series. The Rays come out of the all-star break with a record of 52-39 while the Orioles are 27-62. Right-hander Dylan Bundy (4-10) gets the start for the Orioles, while right hander Yonny Chirinos (7-4) gets the start for the Rays. Game time is 7:05 p.m. ET at Camden Yards in Baltimore.
Rays take momentum into second half
The Rays finished the first half of the season strong, winning their last 2 games and 6 of their last 9. They sit at 52-39 and are in second place in the AL East, 6.5 games behind the Yankees. Those last 2 wins before the break were against those same Yankees, which was huge for the Rays at they cut the lead to a manageable 6.5 games. In the series finale last Sunday, their ace, Charlie Morton, won his 10th game of the season, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits in 5.2 innings in the 2-1 win. Emilio Pagan locked down his 5th save. The Rays got all the runs they would need in the first innings as Tommy Pham and Avisail Garcia had RBIs and Morton and the bullpen did the rest.
That’s been the formula all season long — good pitching and timely hitting. The Rays average 4.5 runs per game, which is 19th in the league. They have a team batting average of .254, which is 12th in the league and they have a slugging percentage of .423, which is 20th. They are 22nd in home runs. Austin Meadows leads the Rays with a batting average of .289 with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs. Brandon Lowe is batting .276 with 16 home runs and 49 RBIs, while Ji-Man Choi is batting .266 with 9 HRs and 33 RBIs. Yanny Diaz is batting .277 with 11 HRs and 32 RBIs, while Tommy Pham is batting .281 with 13 HRs and 38 RBIs. Avisail Garcia is hitting .276 with 12 HRs and 43 RBIs, while Kevin Kiermaier is hitting .252 with 10 HRs and 41 RBIs. Both Lowe and Choi went on the 10 day IL before the break.
Orioles playing for pride
The Orioles season, for all intents and purposes, is over. But that doesn’t mean they are not competing and that does not mean they won’t play spoiler. They came into the all-star break actually playing pretty well, winning 3 of their last 4. The Orioles lost the finale to the Blue Jays 6-1 to fall to 27-62, which is the worst record in the AL. They are 30.5 games behind the Yankees. The only bright spot for Baltimore last Sunday was Chance Sisco, who had 2 hits including a home run and the lone RBI. Asher Wojciechowski (0-2) took the loss, giving up 3 runs in 4.1 innings. The Orioles offense is pretty anemic.
They average 4.2 runs per game, which is 26th in the league. They hit just .240 as a team, which is 25th, and they have a slugging percentage of .402, which is 25th in baseball. They are 23rd in home runs. Trey Mancini leads the Orioles, hitting .291 with 17 HRs and 40 RBIs. Hanser Alberto is hitting .309 with 3 HRs and 25 RBIs, while Jonathan Villar is hitting .259 with 10 HRs and 37 RBIs. Dwight Smith Jr. is batting .241 with 11 HRs and 44 RBIs, while Renato Nunez is hitting .239 with a team-high 20 home runs and 94 RBIs. Also, Chance Sisco is hitting .283 with 6 HRs and 17 RBIs.
- Orioles are 16-41 in their last 57 games following an off day.
- Orioles are 14-37 in their last 51 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
- Orioles are 14-38 in their last 52 home games.
- Orioles are 14-40 in their last 54 overall.
- Orioles are 3-8 in Bundys last 11 starts after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game.
- Orioles are 3-8 in Bundys last 11 starts when their opponent allows 2 runs or less in their previous game.
- Orioles are 1-4 in Bundys last 5 home starts vs. a team with a winning record.
- Orioles are 1-4 in Bundys last 5 starts when their opponent scores 2 runs or less in their previous game.
- Rays are 4-1 in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400.
- Rays are 4-1 in their last 5 games following a win.
- Rays are 8-2 in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
- Rays are 4-1 in their last 5 games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Rays are 21-10 in their last 31 after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Take the Rays. Tampa Bay gained some momentum with some big wins over the Yankees before the all-star break and as their reward, they got to play the worst team in baseball on the other side. They have a chance to win 3 or 4 games over the weekend against the Orioles to gain some more ground and they won’t let that opportunity slip. I like the pitching match up, too. Chirinos is coming off a good start versus the Yankees while Bundy has been inconsistent all year. The Rays are 9-3 in the last 12 meetings against Baltimore.
Prediction: Tampa Bay -154
Full-Game Total Pick
Take the over here. Coming off the all-star break, teams will be fresh and rested and ready to go. Neither one of these teams are great hitting teams, but the Rays, even with key injuries, should be able to feast on the inconsistent Bundy and the horrible Orioles bullpen to push this into the over. The over is 3-0-1 in Rays last 4 when their opponent allows 5 runs or more in their previous game and 5-2-1 in their last 8 games vs. an American League East opponent.