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Fresh off a surprising series loss to the Seattle Mariners, the Tampa Bay Rays will be trying to bounce back with a series win over the Baltimore Orioles, starting with the first game of their four-game weekend series on Thursday night. The game will be played at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and is scheduled to begin at 7:05 PM. ET.
(This preview was written before Wednesday’s game was played).
Rays Trying To Fend Off Athletics in Wildcard Standings
The Rays are coming off a series loss to the Seattle Mariners, which cost them their lead in the Wildcard race and now has them tied with the Oakland Athletics in the final playoff spot. They will be trying to fend off the Athletics by picking up a win against the Orioles.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 21, 2019
Tampa Bay is an average offensive team. The team’s .252 batting average is 15th in the league. Their .325 on-base percentage is 14th, while their .427 slugging percentage is 21st in the league. The 590 runs they have scored is 19th in the league.
Avisail Garcia leads the team with a .278 batting average, while Austin Meadows leads the team with 21 homers and 62 RBI.
Tampa Bay’s pitching has been much better than the team’s offense. Opponents have a .229 batting average against the Rays, which is third in the league. Their 3.51 ERA is second, while their 46 quality starts are 10th in the league.
In his last start, Yarbrough gave up three hits and zero earned runs in 6.1 innings, helping the Rays get a 1-0 win over the Detroit Tigers. He has given up six hits and no earned runs in his last two starts and the Rays have won nine of his last 10 starts and will like their chances against the Orioles on Thursday.
Orioles Trying To Snap 10-Game Losing Streak In AL East
The Orioles come into this series on a 10-game losing streak against AL East opponents and will be trying to pick up their first division win in their last 11 contests when they play the Rays on Thursday. They will also be trying to make it more difficult for the Rays to make the playoffs with a win, which will drop them behind the Oakland Athletics and Cleveland Indians in the Wildcard standings.
BuT hAnSeR cAn'T hIt RiGhTiEs pic.twitter.com/j1SxRXMtLo
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) August 21, 2019
Baltimore has struggled offensively. The team’s .244 batting average is 23rd in the league. Their .309 on-base percentage is 24th, as is their .409 slugging percentage. The 547 runs they have scored are 26th in the league.
Hanser Alberto leads the Orioles with a .318 batting average, while Trey Mancini leads the team with 29 homers and 73 RBI.
Baltimore’s pitching is one of the worst in the league. Opponents have a .275 batting average against the Orioles, which is 29th in the league. Their 5.94 ERA is 30th, while their 29 quality starts are 25th in the league.
In his last start, Wojciechowski gave up five hits and two earned runs in 4.1 innings, leading to a 4-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox. He has given up 16 runs in his last five starts and will need to play better to give the team a chance to win this game.
- 17-57 in their last 74 home games vs. a team with a winning record.
- 14-41 in their last 55 vs. American League East.
- 15-59 in their last 74 during game 1 of a series.
Tampa Bay is:
- 9-1 in their last 10 road games.
- 8-1 in their last 9 games on grass.
- 5-2 in their last 7 vs. American League East.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Orioles are in the middle of one of their worst slumps of the season and have only two wins in their last 15 games. Wojciechowski, who has lost three of his last four starts, struggled against the Rays in two appearances this season and is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA against them. Despite their series loss to the Mariners, the Rays are playing well, especially on the road, where they have won nine of their last 10 games. Yarbrough, who has been impressive in his second season, has played well against the Orioles and is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two appearances against them. With the team tied with the Oakland Athletics in the AL Wildcard standings, they can’t afford to lose this game so expect them to get their ninth win in their last 13 games against the Orioles.
Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays -1.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Both teams are playing well offensively at the moment with the Orioles averaging five runs per game in their last three games and the Rays averaging four runs per game. The Rays have also played over the total in nine of their last 11 road games, while the Orioles have played over the total in five of their last six games against teams with winning records. Baltimore will struggle to score against Yarbrough, who is giving up less than two runs per game against them, but the Rays will tee off Wojciechowski, who is giving up an average of six runs when he faces the Rays. Expect to see a high-scoring game.
First Five Innings Side Pick
The Rays will win the first five innings of this game because they have outplayed the Orioles in the first five innings of their last three games, averaging 2.67 runs per game while the Orioles average 2.33 runs per game.
Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays
First Five Innings Total Bet
The Rays and Orioles are averaging five combined runs per game in the first five innings of their last three games and they will go over the first five-inning total in this game if they maintain their current scoring pace.