The Baltimore Orioles are no strangers for being a hot team. Their problems over the years has been plagued by inconsistencies. They’ve been unable to maintain success over the course of 162 games, but are good for some strings of winning moments. The Orioles won four in a row before the Red Sox ended that yesterday, 6-2. Tampa are coming off a loss of their own, a 6-4 loss to the Houston Astros in extra innings.
The Rays have been streaky this season, as they’re battling the .500 mark and hoping to shed their reputation of being a vanilla baseball team. Being vanilla is okay to an extent, just ask the Royals’ World Series team, but this is a different kind of vanilla. The Rays were pegged as a breakout candidate last season, but nothing participated. In fact, they played near the back of the majors all year long.
Chris Archer didn’t look like an ace, regressing from his numbers the previous three years. It was the first time of his career, minus the four starts he had as a rookie, where his ERA eclipsed 4.00.
He didn’t get hammered, but he fell back instead of elevating his game to what people perceived as him having a good chance at getting to a Cy Young level. I don’t know if he ever gets there, but I expect him to get his numbers in order and take his ERA under 4.00 again in 2017. Archer and the Rays will hit the road, where they’ll open up their week with a meeting in Baltimore against the Orioles. Get the Rays vs. Orioles pick below.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles Pick
Chris Archer (2-0, 3.20 ERA) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (1-0, 5.51 ERA)
Archer has been adequate on the mound thus far in 2017. He enters with a 3.20 ERA following four starts. That’s consistent with his numbers from 2013, 2014, and 2015. He didn’t allow more than 2 runs in an individual start, before the Tigers got to him for 4 runs in his last outing.
His lone start on the road in 2017, he posted a 1.59 ERA with only 1 run allowed in 5.2 innings. It’s been since September of this past season that he faced the Orioles. He was relatively strong, allowing 3 runs in 6.1 innings of work at Camden Yards.
The former Rockie, Ubaldo Jimenez, will look to outduel Archer this evening. Jimenez has racked up the innings. Coming into the majors in 2006, Jimenez saw his share of success as a Colorado Rockie between then and 2010.
Other than a 3.30 ERA in 2013 with the Indians, he’s failed to look like the same pitcher. He looked tired last season, ultimately posting an ERA of 5.44 which was the worst of his career. In two of his three starts in 2017, he’s allowed 5 runs each. However, a surgical performance against the Reds on the road, allowing no runs across 7.2 innings got him back on track. I don’t expect him to follow it up with another strong start, though. He’s had trouble doing just that the past few years. Jimenez has been overvalued during that time as well. I see Archer and the Rays getting this one on Monday over the Orioles.
PICK: RAYS (-118)