Rays @ Orioles Preview: TB Looks to Sweep Os

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The finale between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles is going to be a game that matters for both teams.

The Rays will be looking to put some more distance between themselves and the Boston Red Sox who are hot on their heels, not even a fraction of a game behind.  Instead the Rays hold the AL East by the grace of a slightly better winning percentage (.581 compared to .578).

The Orioles, on the other hand, do not seal their postseason fate with this game, but they would still like to avoid the sweep while simultaneously keeping the New York Yankees in their rear view mirror, while firmly racing toward the Red Sox and Os.

Baltimore may have their best chance yet in this series to defeat the Rays as they will be starting left-hander Wei-Yin Chen.

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Chen has pitched very well against the Rays this season.  The second year starter has been on a roll when pitching at home.  He has five quality starts and a 3.12 ERA in his last six outings when on Baltimore soil.   He has a 3.00 ERA when pitching against Tampa Bay.  Pretty solid numbers, however, he is also 1-3 against the Rays this season.

Chen has an overall ERA of 3.23.  He has also been struggling in later innings. 17 of his 34 runs this season have come in the sixth inning or later.  In his last outing he gave up four runs in a loss to the Colorado Rockies.

The Rays will be countering with right-hander Jeremy Hellickson.  Hellickson has had an on and off season exemplified by his last few outings.  He has gone 0-3 with an 8.00 ERA in his last four starts.  However, he put up a quality start in a loss to the Toronto Blue Jays his last time on the mound, allowing only three earned runs.

Hellickson’s overall ERA is at 4.91.  He will be looking for his first win since late July as he attempts to sweep the Os.

The odds are close in this one with Baltimore taking a slight edge with a -120 moneyline compared to the Rays EVEN over at Bovada.  This game start at 7:05 p.m. ET.

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