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Rays Look To Salvage Win

David Price will take the mound as the Rays look to avoid a sweep.

David Price will take the mound as the Rays look to avoid a sweep against the Orioles on Thursday.

Having dropped the first two games of the series, the Tampa Bay Rays will look to salvage a victory over the Baltimore Orioles when the two sides meet in Thursday’s finale.

First pitch at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

After dropping a 5-3 game on Tuesday, the Rays succumbed to a pair of Adam Jones solo home runs on Wednesday, losing the game 4-3 to move to 0-4 against the Orioles this season.

Now the Tampa Bay side will look to get something from the series finale or face a further gap opened up in the AL East standings.

20140507_AL_EastAfter a slow start to the year, Tampa Bay (15-19, 7-9 home) currently sits 3 1/2 games back of the Orioles and New York Yankees in the division. While some have suggested this has been a disastrous start for the Rays, with the AL East beating up on itself – no team has more than a +4 differential between wins and losses within the division – Joe Maddon’s club is still very much in the hunt and will, in all likelihood, remain their through September.

But having dropped four to their division rivals already, the Rays could do with the psychological boost that would come from beating the Orioles on Thursday and avoiding a first sweep in the series in two years.

Baltimore (17-14, 10-8 road) meanwhile has climbed into a virtual tie with the Yankees at the top of the division and will be looking to make a statement with a sweep of the Rays.

The Orioles continue to be without Chris Davis, who is currently on the 15-day DL with a strained oblique muscle. The latest reports suggest the injury may keep him out even after he is eligible to return to action.

Buck Showalter’s club got some good news this week when it was revealed catcher Matt Wieters would not need elbow surgery. He could rejoin the team on Thursday in a designated hitter role. Wieters currently leads the side with a .341 batting average.

On Thursday night, Tampa Bay will send left-handed ace David Price (3-2, 4-44 ERA) to the mound. Price has had a sketchy start to the year, allowing six or more hits in six of his first seven starts. Last time out, he surrendered two earned runs on eight hits to the New York Yankees, recording a no decision before the bullpen threw the game away.

Baltimore will counter with Ubaldo Jiminez (1-4, 5.19 ERA). After recording four losses in his first five starts, Jiminez came out and pitched his best game last Friday night against the Minnesota Twins. He allowed no runs on three hits in 7 1/3 innings, striking out 10 and walking just one. He’ll look for a similar performance on Thursday.

Matt Weiters may return to the Orioles' lineup.

Matt Weiters may return to the Orioles’ lineup.

Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Rays odds for 05/08/2014

Tampa Bay (-173) opened as the favorite over Baltimore (+163) on the moneyline and has remained a steady favorite.

The Orioles have won four of their last five against the Rays, including both games this series. Prior to those two wins, the O’s had dropped four straight at Tropicana Field.

Baltimore (+1.5) is preferred to cover the spread, as has been the case in the first two games of the series.

The total (7.5) is preferred to go under, despite 14 of Tampa Bay’s last 19 having seen the over pay out. The under has paid out in four of Baltimore’s last five road games, including Wednesday’s 4-3 victory.

Looking ahead, Tampa Bay will stick around at The Trop this weekend to host a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians. Baltimore will return to Orioles Park at Camden Yards to host the Houston Astros for three games.


For a full list of today’s Major League Baseball odds, click here.

For MLB Futures odds, courtesy of Bovada, click here.

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For player prop bets, click here.

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