Apr 18, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer (22) in the dugout in the fourth inning of the game against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Series #11 Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles

The Tampa Bay Rays have won four of their past five games, and the success couldn’t have come at a better time. The Rays won consecutive series for the first time all season, and did so against their AL East divisional rivals, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Now only two games under .500, the Rays open a six-game home stand with a three game set against the division leading Baltimore Orioles.

AL East Standings

AL East
W
L
GB
Run Diff.
Streak
Baltimore Orioles5242-+26W1
Toronto Blue Jays49474+19L2
New York Yankees47475-37L1
Tampa Bay Rays44539.5-26W2
Boston Red Sox43529.5-38W1

Things got even tighter in the AL East over the weekend, with the entire division now separated by only 1.5 games. Traditionally, the East has been a dominant division, yet so far in 2014, that is not the case, with all five teams hovering around .500 baseball. Over the past 7 days, the Rays have improved their playoff odds 8.9% and now have a 48.5% chance to make the postseason (best in the division). The New York Yankees still have a slight edge in the race for the division title (28.2% vs. 27.7%), but the Rays have a higher expected win percentage (.529).

Tampa Bay heads home to the comfortable confines of Tropicana Field, where they are 7-7 on the season. The Orioles enter on a two game skid, having lost 2 of 3 in Minnesota against the Twins. It would be great to take another series against a divisional foe, especially with Chris Archer and David Price scheduled to take the mound during the series.

 

Series Preview:

Game 1: Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Rays 

Tuesday, May 6th@ 7:10 p.m. EST

TV: Sun Sports

Radio: WDAE 620 AM /95.3 FM, WGES 680 (Sp.)

Chris Archer (2-1, 4.84 ERA/2.83 FIP) vs. Chris Tillman (3-1, 3.68 ERA/4.04 FIP )

Rays Win If…Chris Archer’s BABIP begins to regress to his career norm of .274 (currently it sits at .330). It would also help if he got his back-door slider going like this:

Archer Slider

 

Game 2: Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Rays 

Wednesday, May 7th @ 7:10 p.m. EST

TV: Sun Sports

Radio: WDAE 620 AM /95.3 FM, WGES 680 (Sp.)

Cesar Ramos (1-1, 2.91 ERA/3.70 FIP) vs. Bud Norris (2-2, 6.59 ERA/5.32 FIP )

Rays Win If…Cesar Ramos can avoid giving the O’s offense free passes (BB/9 of 5.82). And look for Wil Myers to keep his hot hitting going…

 

Game 3: Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Rays 

Thursday, May 8th @ 7:10 p.m. EST

TV: Sun Sports, MLB Network

Radio: WHNZ 1250, WGES 680 (Sp.), WXTB 98 Rock/97.9

David Price (3-2, 4.44 ERA/3.36 FIP) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (1-4, 5.19 ERA/4.85 FIP )

Rays Win If…David Price, like Chris Archer, stops getting BABIP’d (.333 on the season versus .282 career average).

 

For more information on the upcoming series, visit the Fansided team pages for the Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles.

 

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Tags: Major League Baseball Rays

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