The O’s had the day off on Monday, but they start a crucial and winnable series against the Rays on Tuesday. Baltimore sits 1 game back of the Yankees, with 22 games left to play. After splitting their final four game series with New York over the weekend, they have some tough matchups left in those 22 games. The O’s still have to play the Rays six times, (three at home starting this week) and the A’s three more times on the road in Oakland.
Early MLB Odds have the Orioles as +120 underdogs at home in the first game against Tampa Bay. The Rays will go with Matt Moore on the mound to try and slow the Baltimore offense, and the O’s will counter with rookie Miguel Gonzalez who has been up and down against the Rays this season.
Moore brings in a 10-9 record, with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP, which is very solid for the AL East. Gonzalez has been solid this season, going 6-4, with a 3.62 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. In 12 career starts this season, (72.1 Innings) the native of Guadalajara has 55 strikeouts and 26 walks.
For the rest of the series, Jason Hammel will take the mound in the second game. Alex Cobb will counter him. In the rubber game of this series against Tampa, the O’s will face Jeremy Hellickson, and counter with Wei-Yin Chen.
Even though the Yankees have the easier next three weeks, (16 games against below .500 opponents) Baltimore has the pieces to keep pace. The Yanks haven’t exactly been invincible recently, like they were a month or so ago. After starting the month of August 12-6, New York has lost 13 of their last 20 games, including three at the hands of the O’s.