After a 5-1 road trip against the Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians, the Tampa bay Rays are back in the Trop this weekend to face off against the Orioles. The Rays swept the Orioles in three game last weekend, although this series may be slightly more challenging for the Rays as neither David Price or James Shields is scheduled to pitch. Instead, the Rays will be counting on Jeremy Hellickson, Wade Davis, and Andy Sonnanstine to keep their hot streak alive against the O's.
Jeremy Hellickson (3.72 ERA, 4.38 FIP) will start tonight's game against the O's. His start last weekend was also against the O's, and Hellickson had a bit of a rough start against them; he didn't allow any runs to score, but he did struggle with his command and walk five batters. It was the second time this season that Hellickson has walked five batters in a game, which is very uncharacteristic for him; he normally succeeds with his pinpoint control. Thankfully the O's are slumping on offense right now - Brian Roberts, Vladimir Guerrero, Mark Reynolds, Nick Markakis, and J.J. Hardy are all off to a slow start - so Hellickson should be able to work on his command tonight without having to be afraid of letting up too many runs.
Starting for the Orioles is Jeremy Guthrie (4.09 ERA, 4.47 FIP), who has had mixed results against the Rays this season. He absolutely dominated the Rays when he faced them early in the season, holding them to just four baserunners over eight innings, but then he got lit up for 7 runs in five innings last weekend. Guthrie isn't normally a dominating starter (or a horrible one), and his true talent level against the Rays likely lies somewhere between those two starts. He could give the Rays fits, but hopefully not enough to keep the Rays from winning.
Tonight's game is scheduled for 7:10 PM.