The Baltimore Orioles are currently out of the playoff picture, but are a team in control of its own destiny.
The O’s are three games back in the American League Wild Card race, but they host the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics, the two Wild Card leaders, this week. This opens a pivotal stretch for Baltimore in which each of their next 15 games will be against teams with winning records.
Tonight’s series-opener against the Rays pits David Price against Chris Tillman. Price, who has been especially strong since returning from the DL in early July, and all but guaranteed a victory tonight. Price’s quote from MLB.com:
“They’re a team that really kind of redefined themselves last year. They’re playing good baseball again this year, so they’re going to be in there at the end. This is a big series. We’re going to go out there on Monday and go for a series win on Tuesday.”
Over his last nine starts, Price is 5-1 with a 1.77 ERA and he sports a career 2.60 ERA against the O’s. Tillman is having a banner year, ranking second in the AL with 14 wins to go with a 3.70 ERA.
If Tillman is to have a good start tonight, he’s going to have to figure out how to get Evan Longoria out. The Rays third baseman is 9-for-21 (.429) with three home runs against him.
Of course you can’t talk about Baltimore without mentioning Chris Davis these days. He slugged his league-leading 45th home run yesterday and has five homers over his last 10 games. Davis is now hitting .306 and on pace for 59 home runs and 151 RBI.
Both clubs are looking to improve upon less than stellar splits, as Baltimore is just 24-23 against division rivals and the Rays are 29-29 on the road. The Orioles’ remarkable record in close games last season was well documented, but the team isn’t having similar success in 2013. Baltimore is 6-5 in extra innings and 14-21 in one-run games this year.
Tampa Bay leads the season series 7-5.
- Rays at Orioles
- Diamondbacks at Reds
- Indians at Angels
- Mariners at Athletics
- White Sox at Royals
- Pirates at Padres
- Astros at Rangers
- Cardinals at Brewers
- Blue Jays at Yankees*
- Red Sox at Giants
- Dodgers at Marlins
- Nationals at Cubs
- Rockies at Phillies
- Mets at Twins**
- Braves at Mets
- Twins at Tigers
*Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader is a makeup of 5/19 postponement
**Makeup of 4/14 postponement