Early afternoon baseball on Sunday to get the day started. We head to Florida where the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays conclude their weekend series. The Rays have been playing good baseball of late, but they were derailed last night by a score of 8-2.
It was a nice way to respond after getting routed, 15-5, the night before on Friday. The Rays are hanging in there with a record of 40-37, which amounts to 2.5 games back of the Yankees. The Rays had some people believing that they were going to be the surprise team of 2016, but maybe they can do something with the rest of 2017?
Ala the Kansas City Royals, the Rays looked like a team who fit the mold of an under the radar team ready to breakout. It didn’t come close to becoming a reality last season, they looked like the same team, with the same bleak outlook.
Evan Longoria had a big year, as he accumulated the most deep balls in his career with 36. The Rays’ leader, though, watched his talents go to waste for the most part. Nobody else seemed to step up, resulting in yet another disappointing year.
They are in a decent position in any event. Along with 2.5 games back in the division, the Rays are 0.5 back of a wildcard at the moment. It doesn’t really mean much, it’s only June, but there is at least some hope in Tampa. The most promising sign with the Rays has been their offense.
It’s improved drastically and much of an improvement over what we’ve seen from them in recent years. It’s some fresh air for the Rays, who are witnessing their win total go up a well. Jake Odorizzi will match up with Chris Tillman this Sunday afternoon. Get our free Orioles vs. Rays pick at The Sports Geek below.
Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Rays Pick
Chris Tillman (1-5, 8.39 ERA) vs. Jake Odorizzi (4-3, 3.78 ERA)
Chris Tillman really can’t get much worse that he’s been. Tillman has been getting torched, which is somewhat of an understatement. The lack of great talent available really helps guys like Tillman out. Ten years ago he’d be pitching in the minors with these numbers, but lack of depth has helped out immensely.
Tillman enters with an overall ERA of 8.39, with a 2.17 WHIP and .431 OBA. Those are some of the worst stats you’ll find from a starter in the majors. Additionally, he has a 13.91 ERA and 3.09 WHIP in his last three starts. In other words, on average, he juiced the bases every inning.
In 11 innings pitched on the road, Tillman has amassed a lousy ERA of 13.91, with a 2.91 WHIP and .500 OBA. What can the O’s do, though? They are 30th in the majors as a team in pitching, with an ERA of 5.20. There really isn’t anywhere they can go but hope Tillman does something, the situation in the minors isn’t the best for immediate relief. It’s beyond me why they don’t give it a shot, however.
The Rays have averaged 8 runs across their last four games. Baltimore have been hitting righties well, though, as they own a team BA of .305 in their last five outings. Odorizzi has been okay lately, as he enters with a 4.50 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in his last three. He’s allowed 3 runs each in his last four games. How’s that for consistency. At the end of this one, there should be an ample enough runs to push this one OVER the total on Sunday afternoon.
PICK: OVER 9.5 (+105)