The BALTIMORE and the TAMPA BAY will both be gunning for a victory on 9/7/2018 at 7:10 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
GAME: Baltimore Orioles (41-99) at Tampa Bay Rays (75-64)
DATE/TIME: Friday, September 07 – 7:10 PM EST
WHERE: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
TV: 7:10 PM
PREDICTION: TAMPA BAY , BALTIMORE
Oddsmakers currently have the TAMPA BAY listed as -235 point favorites versus the BALTIMORE, while the game’s total is sitting at 7.
The Tampa Bay Rays begin a nine-game homestand that will likely determine whether they are a real contender for an American League wild-card spot Friday night with the first of three against the major league-worst Baltimore Orioles. The Rays lost for just the third time in 16 contests Wednesday with a 10-3 setback at Toronto and sit eight games out in the race for the second wild-card behind Oakland, whom they host Sept. 14-16.
“It’s not going to be easy,” Tampa Bay center fielder Kevin Kiermaier told reporters after belting two homers Wednesday and improving to 7-for-13 in his last four games. “We have to do a lot of things right and hope a couple other teams falter down the stretch. It’s one of those things we know we’re not going to win every game from here on out. It’s just not how this game works.” The Rays, who are 41-24 in Tampa Bay this year and play 16 of the final 23 games at Tropicana Field, start the crucial stretch with Cy Young hopeful Blake Snell and his 8-1 home record on the mound Friday. Dylan Bundy tries to begin adding some positives to a mostly disappointing season when he gets the start in the opener for Baltimore, which has dropped five of six and is one away from reaching 100 losses for the first time since 1988. Outfielder Joey Rickard, who was drafted by the Rays in 2012, is riding a six-game hitting streak overall and has punished Tampa Bay this season to the tune of 12-for-26 with three homers and 15 RBIs in eight contests.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Baltimore), FS Sun (Tampa Bay)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Dylan Bundy (7-13, 5.36 ERA) vs. Rays LH Blake Snell (17-5, 2.02)
Bundy went winless in five starts last month with a 9.24 ERA, but he did begin September with an improved performance against Kansas City on Saturday. The 25-year-old former fourth-overall pick limited the Royals to three runs on eight hits and a walk with eight strikeouts without being involved in the decision. C.J. Cron is 4-for-13 with three homers versus Bundy, who is 2-1 with a 4.82 ERA in three starts against Tampa Bay this year.
Snell has given up one earned run or fewer in six straight starts since the beginning of August after permitting one across 6 2/3 innings in a victory over Cleveland on Saturday. The 25-year-old Seattle native is 5-0 with a 1.10 ERA in six outings since spending a short period of time on the disabled list with shoulder fatigue. Adam Jones is 3-for-7 with a homer against Snell, who is 1-2 with a 4.98 ERA in four career games versus Baltimore.
1. Jones is 13-for-33 in his last eight games overall and has batted .386 with three homers and 10 RBIs – both of which are his most against any team – against the Rays this season.
2. Tampa Bay OF Tommy Pham (groin), who is riding a 10-game hitting streak, missed Wednesday’s contest but could return as early as Friday.
3. The teams have split 16 games this season, but the Rays won four of the six meetings in Tampa Bay.
PREDICTION: Rays 6, Orioles 1