It has been a bizarre week for MLB, and the Baltimore Orioles were directly impacted with their home-and-home series against the Miami Marlins postponed. The Orioles final two games of that series instead turned into two vs. the New York Yankees, who had their meeting with Philadelphia altered a bit.
Baltimore lost both of those games against the Bronx Bombers to fall to 2-3 on the year, and now welcome the Tampa Bay Rays to Camden Yards for a weekend series. The Rays are 4-3 on the young season, fresh off losing both games in Atlanta.
Last year the Rays went 12-7 against the Orioles, including a 6-4 mark in Baltimore. Tampa Bay won or split each of the six series between the two teams in 2019. The last time Baltimore won a series against the Rays was July 26-29, 2018, when they won three of four at home.
Tampa Bay Rays Outlook: Keep Scoring
Through the first seven games of the season, no team in the American League has scored more runs than the Rays’ 38, and they also lead the league with 32 walks. Tampa’s pitching has also held up their end of the bargain, ranking top five in the AL in strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP. The downside for the Rays has been their defense with seven errors, the most in the AL.
Tyler Glasnow takes the mound for the Rays on Saturday night. He took a no-decision as he went only four innings on 72 pitchers against Atlanta on Monday while striking out nine and allowing just one run. The 26-year-old will stay on a strict pitch count after missing four months last season, but the Rays are 11-2 in his previous 13 starts.
Brandon Lowe and Willy Adames are off to hot starts for the Rays, batting over .300 in the first week. OF Hunter Renfroe leads Tampa with two homers and six RBI, but six regulars enter the series batting under .200.
Baltimore Orioles Outlook: Start Fast
The Orioles pitching has been a disaster over their first five games, ranking dead last in MLB with a 7.16 ERA. They are allowing ten hits per game, nearly two homers per contest, and have a 1.48 WHIP.
Wade LaBlanc takes the hill for the Orioles in his second start of 2020. On Sunday, he picked up a win allowing four runs on four hits over 5 2/3 innings at Boston. LeBlanc went 6-7 with a 5.71 ERA last year in 26 games for Seattle.
On the offensive side, Jose Iglesias is off to a hot start batting .500 through five games while Hanser Alberto is batting .400. Rio Ruiz has three of the team’s seven homers and also leads the squad with five RBI.
Tampa Bay Rays/Baltimore Orioles Betting Lines
Tampa Bay Rays to win: -220
Baltimore Orioles to win: +188
Over/Under: 9 runs (O -120, U +100)
Glasnow is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in three career starts against the Orioles with both wins coming in 2019. LeBlanc is 0-2 with a 5.17 ERA in his career against Tampa and allowed five runs on 12 hits over 10 1/3 innings in two outings last year. Glasnow may not work deep into this game, but the Rays have the better offense, better starting pitcher and better bullpen, look for the Rays to win the middle game of this three-game series.
FREE PICK: Rays to Win (-220)