Expert Cappers Picks
Major League Baseball
Preview
Baltimore at Tampa Bay
When: 7:10 PM ET, Friday, May 25, 2018
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida

The Tampa Bay Rays are expected to start relief pitchers in all three games of their series with the visiting Baltimore Orioles, beginning with Sergio Romo in Friday's opener. The Rays have utilized relief pitchers in starting roles multiple times this year and will rely heavily on their strategy over the weekend, with Romo starting twice and Ryne Stanek opening Saturday's tilt.

They were able to get through a 6-3 win over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday while utilizing three pitchers, as Blake Snell coasted through six scoreless innings and Wilson Ramos had three hits and two RBIs. The Orioles did not immediately name a starter for Friday but they have a rested staff after Dylan Bundy tossed a complete game in Thursday's 9-3 win over the Chicago White Sox. David Hess, who won his major league debut against the Rays earlier this month, is a candidate to make the start. Adam Jones homered among three hits and scored three times on Thursday for Baltimore, which matched their runs total from the previous five games combined.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MASN (Baltimore), FS Sun (Tampa Bay)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH David Hess (1-1, 6.75 ERA) vs. Rays RH Sergio Romo (1-0, 4.34 ERA)

Hess gave up three runs in six innings to defeat the Rays on May 12 at home, striking out three and walking none. He was unable to carry over the momentum and gave up five runs in 4 2/3 frames at Boston on Sunday for his first career loss. Matt Duffy took Hess deep for all three runs in the first encounter at Baltimore.

Romo made 18 relief appearances to begin the year before starting back-to-back games last weekend at the Los Angeles Angels. He totaled 2 1/3 scoreless innings and recorded six strikeouts in those two outings and has 26 strikeouts in 18 2/3 frames on the year. The current Baltimore roster is 5-for-34 with 11 strikeouts against the 35-year-old Romo.

WALK-OFFS

1. Orioles OF/DH Mark Trumbo (knee) has missed two straight games and may have an MRI.

2. Ramos is batting .471 with six RBIs during a five-game hitting streak.

3. Baltimore SS Manny Machado has 10 RBIs in six games against Tampa Bay this year.

PREDICTION: Rays 6, Orioles 5
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Baltimore 16-34 W1 10-13 6-21 8-12 8-12 0-9 0-1
Tampa Bay 23-25 W1 9-12 14-13 9-15 9-3 5-2 0-5
Last Meeting
Baltimore Tampa Bay
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
5/13/18 TB 1 BAL 17 .432 4 1.308 .167 0 .552
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Baltimore A. Jones .375 9 1.025
Tampa Bay J. Wendle .440 11 .903
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Baltimore M. Machado 3 6 10
Tampa Bay C. Cron 2 4 7
Pitching ERA Avg K
Baltimore 5.33 .292 41
Tampa Bay 7.76 .307 42
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Baltimore M. Machado .335 65 1.043
Tampa Bay M. Duffy .317 44 .777
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Baltimore M. Machado 15 27 44
Tampa Bay C. Cron 11 28 28
Pitching ERA Avg K
Baltimore 5.08 .234 401
Tampa Bay 4.29 .262 395