Baltimore enters play today with two wins in a row, but they’re winless in six games against the Rays this season. They’ll try to get off the schneid in tonight’s series opener at Tropicana Field.

Since Orioles starter Spenser Watkins has never faced the Rays — he’s made a total of three appearances this year — the element of surprise is on his side. But with a FIP that’s more than three points higher than his 1.74 ERA, Watkins has been very lucky this season. We’ll see if that luck continues tonight against the Rays.

Ryan Yarbrough is on the bump for Tampa and he’s got a 3.35 ERA in 10 career appearances (five starts) against the O’s. The left-hander has 18 total appearances this season and he’s been better out of the bullpen than in the rotation. He’s got a 4.60 ERA in 13 games started and a 3.15 ERA in five relief appearances.

As a team, the Orioles are batting a solid .269/.325/.433 against left-handers in 2021. But they’ve been dismal against Rays pitching this season, mustering a triple slash line of .179/.274/.300 in 190 at-bats. In case you were wondering if it gets any worse than that, it does. At Tropicana Field, the Orioles are batting a collective .136/.208/.216 in 88 at-bats.

In 20 career at-bats versus Yarbrough, Trey Mancini is hitting an even .300 with three home runs. Anthony Santander is hitting .250 in 12 at-bats, and Pedro Severino is hitting .235 in 12 ABs. Cedric Mullins gets the night off with Austin Hays taking his spot atop the order.

Orioles lineup

Austin Hays LF
Trey Mancini DH
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Anthony Santander RF
Ramon Urias SS
Pedro Severino C
Ryan McKenna CF
Pat Valaika 2B
Kelvin Gutierrez 3B

RHP Spenser Watkins

Rays lineup

Brandon Lowe 2B
Ji-Man Choi 1B
Yandy Diaz DH
Austin Meadows LF
Randy Arozarena RF
Joey Wendle 3B
Mike Zunino C
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Taylor Walls SS

LHP Ryan Yarbrough

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