For years the Tampa Bay Rays have joined the rest of the AL East have used the Baltimore Orioles to pad their winning records but in 2022 things have changed. Now a very young and talented Baltimore team comes to town tied with the Rays for the final AL Playoff spot with a little over a month left in the season.
So, the Rays, Jays, and who makes the playoffs will find the road to the postseason goes through Baltimore.
Here is the tale of the tape on the series.
Baltimore Orioles (58-53, fourth in the AL East) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (58-52, third in the AL East)
St. Petersburg, Florida; Friday, 7:10 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Orioles: Austin Voth (2-1, 5.53 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 54 strikeouts); Rays: Corey Kluber (7-6, 4.05 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 99 strikeouts)
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Rays -153, Orioles +129; over/under is 7 1/2 runs
BOTTOM LINE: The Tampa Bay Rays host the Baltimore Orioles to begin a three-game series.
Tampa Bay is 58-52 overall and 33-21 at home. The Rays have the third-ranked team ERA in the AL at 3.42.
Baltimore is 25-32 in road games and 58-53 overall. Orioles hitters have a collective .392 slugging percentage to rank seventh in the AL.
Friday’s game is the 17th meeting between these teams this season. The season series is tied 8-8.
TOP PERFORMERS: Yandy Diaz has a .274 batting average to rank seventh on the Rays, and has 21 doubles and six home runs. Brandon Lowe is 10-for-36 with two home runs and 10 RBI over the past 10 games.
Cedric Mullins has 26 doubles, a triple and nine home runs for the Orioles. Anthony Santander is 13-for-40 with four doubles and two home runs over the past 10 games.
LAST 10 GAMES: Rays: 5-5, .222 batting average, 3.38 ERA, outscored opponents by one run
Orioles: 7-3, .269 batting average, 3.48 ERA, outscored opponents by 13 runs
INJURIES: Rays: Matt Wisler: 15-Day IL (neck), Harold Ramirez: 10-Day IL (thumb), Shane Baz: 60-Day IL (elbow), Kevin Kiermaier: 60-Day IL (hip), Mike Zunino: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Josh Fleming: 15-Day IL (oblique), Wander Franco: 10-Day IL (wrist), J.P. Feyereisen: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Manuel Margot: 60-Day IL (knee), Andrew Kittredge: 60-Day IL (elbow), JT Chargois: 60-Day IL (oblique), Brendan McKay: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Tyler Glasnow: 60-Day IL (elbow), Nick Anderson: 60-Day IL (elbow), Yonny Chirinos: 60-Day IL (elbow)
Orioles: Tyler Wells: 15-Day IL (side), Jonathan Arauz: 10-Day IL (finger), Travis Lakins: 60-Day IL (elbow), Alexander Wells: 60-Day IL (elbow), Chris Ellis: 60-Day IL (shoulder), John Means: 60-Day IL (elbow)