The Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles will play game-two of a three-game AL East set on Saturday afternoon at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. The Orioles now find themselves within the cellar of the division while the Rays are currently second in the AL East behind only the New York Yankees.
Baltimore leading offensive weapon in shortstop Jose Iglesiaswas questionable with a quadricep injury on Friday night and may not suit up for this contest while first baseman Chris Davis is now out indefinitely due to undisclosed reasons. This will certainly limit the options for an offense that is ranked middle of the road as it relates to runs per game. This means that players such as shortstop Hanser Albertoalong with third baseman Rio Ruiz will have to step up at the plate in order to give Baltimore a chance to make this game challenging. Of course, their pitching will have to step up as well, something that they have struggled to do consistently early on in their 2020 campaign. In fact, Baltimore is ranked near the bottom when it relates to ERA, WHIP, as well as quality starts.
The Rays seek to get back on track after a disastrous set of road games versus the Atlanta Braves in their most recent series. They seek to get back on track versus a team that they have dominated in past matchups in the Orioles in winning seven of their last twelve matchups (six of the last ten at Camden Yards). Their two-straight losses versus the Braves makes the Rays losers of six of the last eight regular-season games. However, what better way to get back on track than to face a team that has one of the weakest pitching staffs in the league.
LeBlanc seeking better results versus RaysWade LeBlanc will make his second start of the year when he takes the mound on Saturday night for the Orioles. The veteran will be seeking his second win of the season after going five and two-thirds innings on the road versus the Red Sox on July 26th while giving up four earned runs along with two home run shots. LeBlanc has limited experience against the Tampa Bay Rays lineup; Yet, the left-hander has been strong when facing the likes of catcher Mike Zunino (.000 BA on six AB). Shortstop Willy Adames (.000 BA on four AB), second baseman Michael Brosseau (.200 BA on five AB), in addition to right fielder Hunter Renfroe (.167 BA on six AB).
Baseball. Is. Back. pic.twitter.com/FW2CZBNCHy— Baltimore Orioles 😷 (@Orioles) July 29, 2020
LeBlanc suited up for the Seattle Mariners in 2019 when he compiled a record of 6-7 with an elevated ERA of 5.71 in 121 innings (92 strikeouts). He faced the Rays twice last year as he picked up the no decision on the road in August 2019 in going just four and a third innings while allowing four earned runs on seven hits along with a homer in a 7-6 defeat. On the other hand, LeBlanc was much better on days before at home versus Tampa Bay in pitching six innings while giving up only one earned run on five hits in a low-scoring 1-0 victory.
Glasnow strong in first start of the yearDespite getting the no-decision in his first start of the year at home versus the Atlanta Braves, Tyler Glasnow was outstanding in four innings in allowing just one earned run in four innings of pitching while recording nine strikeouts. The right-hander will take the mound seeking to build from a 6-1 season last year with an ERA of 1.78 in 60.2 innings pitcher. Baltimore’s left-fielder Dwight Smith, Jr. has had the most success when facing Glasnow as he is batting .500 on eight at bats; However, first baseman Renato Nunez along with second baseman Hanser Alberto are a combined 2-12 versus the right-hander.
Is that all you got? pic.twitter.com/uSaR4lX2IP— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 20, 2020
Important to note that Glasnow went seven innings in each of his two victorious matchups versus the Orioles in 2019 as he allowed only three hits while recording eight strikeouts in a 7-0 victoryin May in addition to giving up two earned runs on six hits on eighty-seven pitches in a 4-2 Rays winin April. Furthermore, Glasnow has not picked up a win in four-straight road starts.
- The Orioles are 3-12 in last 15 home games
- The Orioles are 6-17 in last 23 games versus AL East opponents
- No trends to report
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Rays are now in desperate need of some wins after being swept by the Braves in their last time out. As stated, they should really be able to get back on track versus a shaky pitching staff for the Orioles. The Rays have dominated the Orioles at Camden Yards in recent matchups and I cannot see things being any different in this contest. Blake Snell will set the tone of this series on Friday night while Glasnow will have a strong performance versus what will likely be a shorthanded Orioles squad on Saturday. In all, take the Rays on the run line as I happen to believe that they will have a great night at the plate.
Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays -1.5
Full-Game Total Pick
While I certainly see the Rays having a much better night at the plate versus Baltimore, I do not see this as being a high-scoring affair. Again, Glasnow was lights out in his last start and I expect him to dominate a lineup for the Orioles that will likely be missing its best offensive weapon. The Rays will put just enough runs on the board to allow its pitching and defense the ability to preserve the win in the end. It is for this reason that one should take the under in this instance.
Prediction: Under 8.5