It’s the continuation of a series between AL East rivals on the diamond down in the Sunshine State. The Baltimore Orioles are on the road as they play the middle game of a three-game weekend set with the Tampa Bay Rays Saturday afternoon. Baltimore split a two-game interleague set at home with the Mets as they were clobbered 14-1 in the finale of the series Wednesday. Tampa Bay split a two-game interleague set with the Nationals at home as they were beaten 9-7 in 11 innings Wednesday night. The pitching matchup for the opening game of the series Friday night saw Keegan Akin take the mound for the Orioles against the Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough. First pitch in the contest from Tropicana Field is slated for 7:10 pm ET.
Baltimore Orioles Hoping to Climb in AL East StandingsBaltimore was clobbered by the Mets in the finale of their short two-game interleague set Wednesday night. The Orioles entered Friday in the basement of the AL East, 16 games behind the Rays for the division lead. Baltimore finished Wednesday with six hits in the contest. Maikel Franco was the lone player with two hits while Ryan Mountcastle knocked in the lone run for the Orioles as he knocked in Cedric Mullins in the opening frame. Matt Harvey (3-7) was roughed up against his former team as he took the loss on the mound. He threw three innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits with a walk and two strikeouts before departing.
CEDRIC THE HUMAN HIGHLIGHT REEL 😱 pic.twitter.com/pCctqFswqC— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) June 9, 2021
Jorge Lopez is on the mound for the Orioles as he makes his 13th start of the season in this contest. He comes in 2-6 with a 5.30 ERA, a 1.429 WHIP, 25 walks and 54 strikeouts over 56 innings of action on the year. Lopez earned the win in the decision in his last start, which came Sunday at home against Cleveland. He threw five innings, allowing three runs on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts in a game the Orioles won by an 18-5 score. In his last three starts, Lopez is 1-1 with a 3.71 ERA, a 1.29 WHIP, nine walks and 12 strikeouts over 17 innings of work. Lopez makes his 4th career appearance and third start against the Rays in this contest. He comes in 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA, a 1.583 WHIP, five walks and eight strikeouts over 12 innings of work against them. Lopez is 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA, a 1.667 WHIP, four walks and three strikeouts over six innings in two career appearances, one start, at Tropicana Field.
Tampa Bay Rays Look to Extend AL East EdgeTampa Bay rallied multiple times but ended up falling in extra innings to Washington in their previous contest to wind up with a split of their two-game set. The Rays entered Friday with a one-game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East race. Tampa Bay got three hits from Randy Azorarena (run, three RBI) while Yandy Diaz (run) and Joey Wendle (run, two RBI) each had two in the loss. Wendle (his seventh) and Taylor Walls (his first) each homered in the contest. Shane McClanahan didn’t factor in the decision as he threw three innings, allowing three runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Diego Castillo (2-3) took the loss as he allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits with no walks and two strikeouts.
Rich Hill is on the mound for the Rays as he makes his 13th start of the season in this contest. He comes in 5-2 with a 3.05 ERA, a 0.984 WHIP, 20 walks and 63 strikeouts over 62 innings of work on the year. Hill earned the win in his last start, which came last Saturday on the road against the Rangers. He threw five scoreless innings, allowing two hits with one walk and three strikeouts in a game the Rays won 3-0. In his last three starts, Hill is 2-1 with a 1.00 ERA, a 0.78 WHIP, three walks and 18 strikeouts over 18 innings of work. Hill makes his 15th career appearance and fifth start against the Orioles in this contest. He is 3-0 with a 1.32 ERA, a 0.878 WHIP, 13 walks and 27 strikeouts over 27.1 innings of work. Hill is 3-2 with a 2.82 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP, 15 walks and 71 strikeouts over 54.1 innings in 12 career appearances, nine starts, at Tropicana Field.
The top trends for this contest are:
- Orioles are 14-37 in their last 51 games on astroturf
- Rays are 4-1 in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
While the Orioles have played better in June, going 5-2 entering Friday after a miserable 5-23 month of May, but the fact remains that they have a lot of holes to try and patch. John Means is on the IL, taking their ace out of the mix for the near future. Baltimore doesn’t do a ton offensively and that can be problematic when it comes to facing a Tampa Bay team that has a very good pitching staff. The Rays are better at the plate and on the mound. Throw in the fact that they are at home here and you have to give them the upper hand in this contest. The Rays get the victory in this one to maintain their edge atop the AL East standings.
Full-Game Total Pick
Baltimore has seen the under record a 31-29-1 mark on the season entering Friday’s action. The Orioles are 21st in runs per game as they put up an average of 4.11 runs per contest. Baltimore stands 26th in run prevention by allowing 5.08 runs a night this season. That puts the Orioles’ average total at 9.19 runs per contest. Tampa Bay has seen the over go 36-26-1 in their games entering Friday’s action. The Rays stand 3rd in runs per game by putting up 4.95 runs a night on the year. Tampa Bay is 5th in run prevention as they give up 3.76 runs a night, putting their average total at 8.71 runs per game. Lopez pitched well in his last two starts and the Rays have quality pitching throughout their staff. This one ends up short of the mark as Tampa Bay doesn’t need double-digit runs to put the game in the win column.