Series Preview: Orioles set to host final home series of 2017

There isn’t much to be excited about in this weekends series. The Orioles look completely lost and haven’t won a series all month. The visiting Rays find themselves in a slightly better condition but still on their last legs.

Similar to the series the O’s played in New York last week, this four game set is the last chance for Tampa Bay. The Rays are four games out of the second wild card spot and have just a 1.4% chance of making the postseason according to ESPN.

Th Orioles are just trying to get back to .500 in these final nine games. Baltimore currently holds a record of 73-80 so they are going to need a near perfect finish to avoid their first losing season since 2011.

Last Meeting: The Orioles and Rays last faced off in Tampa Bay at the end of July. The O’s picked up a shutout win in the opener but dropped the next two games to lose the series. The season series between them is currently split at 6-6 but they will be seeing a lot of each other before the season ends. The Orioles have nine games left and seven of them will be played against the Rays.

Game Times and Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Thursday, September 21, 7:05 pm – Gabriel Ynoa (1-2, 4.18 ERA) vs Matt Andriese (5-3, 4.44 ERA)

Game 2: Friday, September 22, 7:05 pm – Jeremy Hellickson (8-10, 5.47 ERA) vs Alex Cobb (11-10, 3.63 ERA)

Game 3: Saturday, September 23, 7:05 pm – Ubaldo Jimenez (6-10, 6.57 ERA) vs Jake Odorizzi (9-8, 4.46 ERA)

Game 4: Sunday, September 24, 1:35 pm – Dylan Bundy (13-9, 4.24 ERA) vs Chris Archer (9-11, 4.02 ERA)

Notes on the Rays:

  • Despite being a staple of the Rays rotation these past five years, Chris Archer has some pretty lackluster numbers against the O’s. The 28-year-old pitcher holds a 4-7 record and a 4.78 ERA in 14 starts against Baltimore. If you narrow that down to games played at Camden Yards, it gets even worse. Archer is 1-4 with a 6.06 ERA when pitching in Baltimore.
  • Trevor Plouffe joined the Rays in the middle of their 2017 season but has been far from a major force in their lineup. However, the former Twin has always played well against the Orioles. In 36 starts against the O’s Plouffe is batting .301 with 19 RBI’s.

Notes on the Orioles:

  • Zach Britton is more than likely done for the season. The Orioles closer will be receiving a stem cell injection in his knee that will hopefully help with an injury he says has been lingering since 2014. Everyone is hoping the issue will not require surgery but if it does, it would be best to get that done as soon as possible so he is 100% going into 2018.
  • Miguel Castro was arguably one of the most reliable arms on the O’s staff this season but has now seen a major slump in the past two weeks. With an 8.53 ERA in his last 6.1 innings, one has to question if he is fatigued. Castro has thrown over 60 innings this year, which is significantly more than his previous career high of 17.2 in 2015.

Up Next: The Orioles will play a quick two game series against the Pirates early next week before traveling down to Tampa Bay for the final series of the season. The O’s haven’t played an interleague series since the all-star break when they hosted the Cubs. However, the last time the Orioles played an interleague game on the road was all the way back in May.

Image Credit: USA Today Sports

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