Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Rays Face Off for First Place in American League East

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles

This week the Baltimore Orioles will travel to Tampa to take on the Tampa Bay Rays for a four-game series. Both teams are currently tied for first place in the American League East, which, so far this season, has been the best division in baseball. Tampa Bay led most of the season after jumping out to a 13-game winning streak, and at the end of May, they were 40-18; since then, they are 20-21, and in their last 15 games, the Orioles are 10-5 which has allowed Baltimore to catch the Rays. Head-to-head this season, the Orioles have taken three of five games from the Rays. Heading into this series, the Orioles lost two out of three in their last series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, while the Rays were swept by the Texas Rangers.

Baltimore Orioles (58-37) @ Tampa Bay Rays (60-39)

Game 1:

Date: Thursday, July 20
Time: 6:40 PM
Broadcast: MLB Network

Game 2:

Date: Friday, July 21
Time: 6:40 PM
Broadcast: Bally Sports Sun/MASN

Game 3:

Date: Saturday, July 22
Time: 4:10 PM
Broadcast: Bally Sports Sun/MASN

Game 4:

Date: Sunday, July 23
Time: 1:40 PM
Broadcast: Bally Sports Sun/MASN

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Kyle Gibson (9-6, 4.77 ERA) vs. Tyler Glasnow (3-3, 3.78 ERA)

Gibson vs. Glasnow
(Gibson) Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Glasnow) Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Gibson faced the Rays back on May 8, and in that outing, he went six innings giving up two runs on six hits; he walked two and struck out four. This season Gibson posts a 3.95 FIP, a 1.34 WHIP, a 3.0 BB/9, and a 7.0 K/9. Glasnow faced the Orioles on June 20, going 4.1 innings, giving up six runs on six hits; he walked two and struck out seven. Glasnow comes into this start with a 3.69 FIP, a 1.23 WHIP, a 3.4 BB/9, and a 13.4 K/9.

Game 2: Kyle Bradish (6-4, 3.06 ERA) vs. Zach Eflin (10-5, 3.59 ERA)

Bradish vs. Eflin
(Bradish) Photo by Gavin Napier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images (Eflin) Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Bradish got the ball against Tampa Bay on June 20, and in that start, he picked up the win going five innings, giving up two runs on four hits; he walked two and struck out eight. He comes into this start with a 3.48 FIP, a 1.12 WHIP, a 2.4 BB/9, and an 8.6 K/9. Eflin will face the Orioles for the second time this season with his first start back on May 9, and in that start, he went six innings giving up four runs on seven hits; he walked one and struck out four and took the loss. Eflin comes into this one with a 3.14 FIP, a 1.02 WHIP, a 1.3 BB/9, and a 9.0 K/9.

Game 3: Grayson Rodriguez (2-2, 7.33 ERA) vs. Shane McClanahan (11-1, 2.56 ERA)

Rodriguez vs. McClanahan
(Rodriguez) Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (McClanahan) Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Rodriguez faced the Rays on May 9 and got his second win of the season, going 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits; he walked two and struck out four. Rodriguez has been up and down between the Orioles and AAA this season, but in Baltimore, he posts a 5.64 FIP, a 1.74 WHIP, a 4.1 BB/9, and a 10.7 K/9. Rodriguez will face McLanahan for the Rays, and McLanahan started against the Orioles on May 8, going six innings; he didn’t allow a run but gave up four hits; he walked four and struck out seven en route to his seventh win on the season. McLanahan posts a 3.84 FIP, a 1.12 WHIP, a 3.4 BB/9, and a 9.4 K/9.

Game 4: Tyler Wells (7-5, 3.54 ERA) vs. Taj Bradley (5-6, 5.29 ERA)

Wells vs. Bradley
(Wells) Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images (Bradley) Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The finale starters haven’t been announced but it lines up to be Tyler Wells and Taj Bradley, who happened to face each other back on June 21, and in that start, Bradley and Rays got the better of Wells and the Orioles. Wells went five innings, giving up four runs, only two earned on four hits; he walked three and struck out six. Bradley went six innings, giving up one run on three hits; he didn’t walk anyone and struck out eight. Wells this season posts a 4.76 FIP, a 0.98 WHIP, a 2.2 BB/9, and an 8.9 K/9. Bradley posts a 3.96 FIP, a 1.38 WHIP, a 2.8 BB/9, and a 12.1 K/9.

Baltimore vs. Tampa Bay Batting Leaders

Orioles vs. Rays Hitting

Wrap-UP

With this being a four-game series, there is a chance that these teams could come out still tied for first place in the American League East. But if one of these two teams can take three of four, we will have a team in sole possession of first place in the best division in baseball, so who do you have taking the series and taking a division lead into the final week of July?

CJ

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