Rays Chasing Yankees
Following six home games and two series victories, the Tampa Bay Rays hit the road for a brief three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles.
Tampa Bay has won five of its last seven contests since being no-hit last week. Meanwhile, Baltimore snapped its six-game skid with a big win over the New York Yankees on Thursday and now looks to carry it over against another playoff contender.
Rays of Hope
The Tampa Bays Rays wrapped up a road trip by getting no-hit against the Los Angeles Angels and rookie pitcher Reid Detmers. But the Rays wiped away any concerns immediately afterward, beating the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers in back-to-back series heading into Friday.
The 2021 American League champs now sit at 23-15, good for second in the AL East.
Even after two series victories, Tampa Bay’s bats don’t rank very high. The Rays’ offense has a .239 average with 162 runs, sitting 14th and 13th respectively.
Two of their top hitters, Wander Franco and Randy Arozarena, also make up 10 of Tampa’s 31 team steals, which ranks first in the AL. On the mound, the Rays still carry a strong 3.47 ERA and a league-best 1.08 WHIP.
Jalen Beeks, one of Tampa Bay’s many relievers, is making his first start of the season. The 28-year-old lefty has been lethal out of the bullpen, tossing a 1.72 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. However, don’t expect him to throw more than 40 pitches.
Orioles Avert Sweep
It’s safe to assume many bettors making MLB picks have profited from betting against the Baltimore Orioles. The O’s have finished last in the AL East in five of the last six seasons and reside there again with a 15-24 record.
That said, Baltimore’s six-game skid ended on Thursday after Anthony Santander blasted a three-run, walk-off homer against the MLB-leading Yankees.
Even after its last game, Baltimore’s lineup is among the worst in baseball. Despite having guys like Trey Mancini and 2021 All-Star Cedric Mullins, the Orioles have a combined .228 average and .648 OPS, which rank ninth- and sixth-lowest, respectively.
For the pitching side, the Orioles have a 3.86 ERA but an opponent batting average of .254, the sixth-highest in MLB.
Baltimore hopes to add another win with Tyler Wells drawing the start. In his first season in the rotation, the big righty has a 4.18 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 19 strikeouts in 28.0 innings.
Rays vs Orioles Head-to-Head
The Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles opened their 2022 campaigns against one another. However, it was a lopsided affair as the Rays secured the three-game sweep at home, outscoring the Orioles 15-4
That series was a continuation of Tampa’s dominance against its division foe. In 2021, the Rays beat Baltimore 18 times in 19 meetings. Since 2020, the O’s are 5-27 against Tampa Bay.
Rays vs Orioles Game Information
- Game: Rays (23-15) vs Orioles (15-24)
- Location: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore
- Day/Time: Friday, 7:05 p.m. ET
- Rays vs Orioles Livestream: MLB.TV
Rays vs Orioles Betting Lines
|Tampa Bay Rays
J. Beeks -L
|-1½ +120||-130||9 -105o||4½ -125o
T. Wells -R
|+1½ -140||9 -115u||3½ -130o
Rays vs Orioles Prediction
The MLB lines aren’t what you’d expect from a playoff team taking on its last-place rival, especially with their recent history so one-sided. Despite their dominance over the Baltimore Orioles, the Tampa Bays Rays are only -130 to win Friday’s contest. Baltimore, meanwhile, is +120.
Another interesting observation while betting online is the over/under. Oddsmakers see this game as one of the higher-scoring matchups on Friday’s MLB slate, placing -105 odds on over nine runs.
However, there are obvious reasons to like runs in this contest. In 19 meetings last season, the Rays scored five or more runs 16 times. They kept it going this season, hitting the five-run threshold twice in their three games against the last-place Orioles.
On what’s expected to be a warm night in Baltimore, look for the bats to be hot as well. Tampa Bay has simply dominated this rivalry and should be much more than a -130 favorite. The Rays have also teed off against Wells this year, scoring four runs in just 1.2 innings.
Head to the sportsbook and grab the Rays to win this one. It’s also worth it to consider the over and Tampa Bay at -1½ (+115).
Pick: Tampa Bay Rays (-130)