(Jalen Beeks photo courtesy Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports)
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When and Where: Sunday, Aug. 25, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Md., 1:05 p.m. EDT.
Jalen Beeks looks to end a string of poor outings Sunday when the bulk reliever is expected to get the ball for the Tampa Bay Rays in the finale of their four-game series versus the Baltimore Orioles.
Beeks out to fix command woes
The Rays are going with their standard duo when Kevin Cash uses an opener as Diego Castillo (2-6, 3.44 ERA) will pitch at least the first inning and give way to Beeks (5-3, 4.10) after one or two innings.
Both pitchers had their issues in Tampa Bay’s 7-4 loss to Seattle on Tuesday, when Castillo was nicked for two-run homer and Beeks yielded four runs — only two earned — over five innings while walking four. The left-hander has had only one good outing in his last six, going 0-3 with a 7.46 ERA while opponents are hitting .321.
“I’m frustrated with the walks. That’s really unacceptable to me,” Beeks told the Rays’ official website. “I gotta step up. That’s just the bottom line. I just have to give my team a chance to win when I get in the game.”
“I thought there was some promise early on,” manager Kevin Cash added. “It looked like he was throwing the ball with a little bit more conviction, willing to throw it over the plate; then a couple plays came on, couple baserunners came on, and things started to take a toll. Maybe lost command, fell behind, and they came up and got some big hits.”
Beeks’ lone appearance versus Baltimore was a middling effort, giving up three runs in as many innings in Tampa Bay’s 6-5, 11-inning loss April 18. Castillo, who would be making his fifth opener appearance if he gets the ball, has given up runs in his last two turns in that spot.
Bundy pitching better but not getting wins for O’s
Dylan Bundy (5-13, 5.03) is winless in his last five starts, going 0-2 with a 4.66 ERA in that stretch, but there also have been a pair of quality outings in which the right-hander has done well keeping the ball in the park.
One of those outings came Tuesday, when he handcuffed the Kansas City Royals over seven innings and conceded only one run and five hits. Bundy did not get the win as Baltimore pushed across three runs in the eighth and won 4-1, but manager Brandon Hyde was pleased the righty pushed into the seventh.
“He pitched, and that’s what he’s been doing,” Hyde told The Baltimore Sun. “He’s just had really some tough luck, from my standpoint, of that sixth inning has been a bugaboo for our whole club, especially for him. I was just really happy with how he threw the ball.”
Bundy has had wildly varying starts against the Rays this year, going 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA. One of his best outings came in a 3-0 home win May 4 when he scattered three hits in 7 1-3 innings. One of his worst came in the most recent matchup July 12 when Tampa Bay pounded him for seven first-innning runs en route to a 16-4 rout.
He is 4-6 with a 6.39 ERA in 12 career starts versus the Rays, going 3-3 with a 5.79 ERA in seven at Camden Yards. Kevin Kiermaier is 5 for 15 with two homers and a double versus Bundy, and Avasail Garcia is 6 for 13 with a home run.
The Orioles are:
- 7-20 in Bundy’s last 27 home starts.
- 6-20 in Bundy’s last 26 starts following a quality start in his previous appearance.
- 0-4 in Bundy’s last four home starts vs. above-.500 teams.
The Rays are:
- 7-1 in their last eight road games vs. right-handed starters.
- 23-4 in their last 27 Sunday games.
- 5-1 in their last six during game 4 of a series.
OVER 9.5 runs (-115)
These teams have vexed the bettor in the last two games, clearing the five-inning number but falling short in the full game. The belief is the over finally comes through, with it posting a 5-2 record in Tampa Bay’s last seven road games vs. right-handed starters and an 8-3 mark in the last 11 after the Rays have yielded five or more runs in the previous game.
While the general trends for Bundy have been to the under, the over has delivered in this head-to-head matchup. The over is 9-2 in his last 11 matchups versus Tampa Bay and 6-1 in the last seven at Camden Yards. Beeks’ recent struggles offer confidence the over will get the job done.
Rays -1.5 runs (-115)
Though Beeks is struggling, the feeling is the Rays took their medicine Saturday night in losing to Means and will bounce back strongly in this contest. Their Sunday record is spectacular and have fared well when Castillo opens on the road, winning the last seven and going 12-3 in the last 15 overall.
Baltimore’s track record when Bundy faces division rivals is also a factor as the Orioles are just 6-23 in the last 29 such games.
Rays OVER 5.5 runs (Even)
It is a big number, but the Rays have cleared it once in this series and came up just short on a second occasion. But this is about Baltimore’s pitching and more specifically, everyone not named John Means. The Orioles have given up six or more runs in 13 of their last 16 games versus above-.500 teams and five or more runs in their last four Sunday contests.
The Rays have also scored six or more runs in eight of their 15 meetings with the Orioles this season, including that 16 against Bundy and company last month.
Rays -0.5 runs first 5 innings (-115)
The teams have alternated holding the five-inning lead in the last two games, but the season-long trend has been in Tampa Bay’s favor, and the Rays will get the nod here. They are 10-4-1 at the five-inning mark overall, including 6-2-1 at Camden Yards.
Additionally, the Orioles have trailed at the midway point in Bundy’s last three starts and are 4-7-1 in their last 12 at home.
OVER 5.5 runs first 5 innings (-105)
The over is 5-1 in Tampa Bay’s last six games and 11-3 in Tampa Bay’s last 14 road games. The over is also 7-3 in Baltimore’s last 10 at home. While the under is 3-0-2 in Bundy’s last five starts, there have been six runs scored in three of those games.
Rays OVER 2.5 runs first 5 innings (-131)
The expectation is for the Rays to get to Bundy again, with the Orioles having yielded three or more runs in the first five innings in 14 of their last 23 games.