David Price has been remarkable at home against the Baltimore Orioles, which will allow the Tampa Bay Rays to avoid getting swept in this three-game series Thursday night. Inspect the MLB betting odds for this American League East matchup at Tropicana Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Baltimore has won the first two games of this series despite being without two of its top hitters, since first baseman Chris Davis (oblique) and catcher Matt Wieters (elbow) both are battling injuries. The Orioles dropped 11 of the final 13 meetings in this rivalry a year ago, but they’ve outscored the Rays by a 19-7 margin to win the first four in 2014. MLB handicappers will find that the club is 2-3 versus left-handed starters this season, with the UNDER going 4-1 in that situation.
Trying to avoid a sweep
Tampa Bay has compiled a 8-2 record in its last 10 opportunities after losing the first two games of a series, but it’s still important to point out that the club has dropped six of 10 contests since April 27. The Rays will need third baseman Evan Longoria to get back on track, as he’s gone 2 for 15 at the plate against the Orioles this season. Over the last two-plus seasons, the franchise is 18-11 as home favorites of -175 to -200, with the 'over' going 16-12-1 in those 29 affairs.
Orioles starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (1-4, 5.19 ERA) picked up his first victory of the season last time out, as he allowed just three hits over 7.1 shutout innings in a 3-0 road victory over the Minnesota Twins. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.63 ERA in three road outings, with opposing hitters batting .227 against him. In four starts versus the Rays, Jimenez has tallied a 3-1 record and 2.73 ERA, but he allowed five runs in a 6-0 defeat in his only outing at this ballpark in 2012.
Rays starting pitcher David Price (3-2, 4.44 ERA) has watched the club alternated wins and losses over his last five appearances, as he didn’t earn a decision in a 10-5 road victory over the New York Yankees last time out. The left-hander is 2-1 with a 4.94 ERA in four home starts—serving up five home runs in 27.1 combined innings. Price has gone 3-0 with a 2.29 ERA in his last eight overall meetings against the Orioles, while posting a 1-0 mark and 1.37 ERA in his last four at this venue.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Rays as one of their MLB picks, as they’ve gone 4-1 in Price’s last five starts as a home favorite of -151 to -200.
Free MLB Pick: Tampa Bay Rays -175