After coming off a beautiful series victory over the Angels, the Orioles now host the best the American League has to offer, the Tampa Bay Rays.
This three-game set marks the last time these two teams will meet, and for my sanity, thank goodness. The Rays have absolutely owned the Orioles this year, good for a 13-1 record against the O’s.
On the mound for the Orioles will be Matt Harvey, John Means, and Spenser Watkins. Opposite of them will be Shane Mclanahan and two “to be determined” starters for games two and three.
The Orioles in general haven’t played the Rays well at all this year, but that goes especially for John Means. Means has pitched in 20.1 innings against the Rays and has allowed 10 runs in those games. He had a single one-run start against them, while the other three netted a minimum of four runs.
The bullpen will play a big part in this series, as they will attempt to limit the damage done by the starters. Tyler Wells is back fully healthy, and a revamped Tanner Scott will be pivotal as well. Hopefully Marcos Diplán can get back on track in this series.
For being a team without an incredible amount of power, the Rays can score a lot of runs. And in this series, much like the previous ones against the O’s, they will score a lot of runs. The Orioles have to match that offense.
The average with RISP was much improved last series, and that will be needed again. The O’s went 13-for-31 against the Angels and were able to put up 10 or more runs in the last two games of that series. To supplement the pitching staff, the O’s offense will need that kind of production.
To come away with a victory or two in this series, the Orioles must rely on these Baltimore Battery ❌-Factors!
The first ❌-Factor is Tyler Wells. In this series, you can expect to see Wells in most likely two games in high leverage. Wells has been solid against both right and left-handed hitters, and this Rays lineup is perfectly balanced with both. Someone like Wells will play a big part in these games if they are close.
The next ❌-Factor is Trey Mancini. As of late, Trey hasn’t been all there. He does enter this series on a six-game hitting streak, however. What this offense needs is for Mancini to continue to hit and start hitting the long ball again. With Trey in the middle of the order, it seriously helps the rest of this lineup. With Mullins starting to get hot again, Mancini’s bat becomes even more valuable, while having the lead-off hitter almost always on base. Expect Trey to continue his hitting streak throughout this series, as he has always hit well against the Rays, despite the team’s overall struggles.
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