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Series Preview: Season comes to a close

Wait till next year!

Stoke City v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays will finish the season with a three game set against the Baltimore Orioles in St. Petersburg. The teams split a four game series less than a week ago in Baltimore.

The Matchups:

Friday 7:10 PM: Wade Miley vs Jake Odorizzi
Saturday 6:10 PM: Miguel Castro vs Chris Archer
Sunday 3:10 PM: Kevin Gausman vs Blake Snell

The Rays get another shot at one of the worst starting rotations in baseball.

Wade Miley will make his 32nd start of the season and staying healthy enough to pitch is about the only positive for Miley this season. He has a 5.52 ERA and 5.21 FIP. He’s struck out 19.3% of batters faced, but his 12.5% walk rate has been his downfall. In his last two starts he got hit around allowing six runs in each outing to the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. In his two starts against the Rays this season he had one good start and one bad. In his last outing against the Rays he allowed five runs in six innings. In his fourth start of the season he held the Rays to two runs in seven innings.

This will be Miguel Castro’s first start in the majors after making 75 appearances out of the pen. This year he has a 3.29 ERA and 4.87 FIP. He has a 13.6% strikeout rate and 10.5% walk rate. Left handers in particular have hit him hard with a .244/.360/.451 line and .339 wOBA.

Kevin Gausman hasn’t been able to build off a very successful season as a starter last year. He has a 4.81 ERA and 4.44 FIP which is solid, but a step back. He has made 33 starts and thrown 179.2 innings. He has a 21.5% strikeout rate and 9.0% walk rate. In his last start he allowed six runs in four innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Gausman is always capable of spinning of a gem. He’s held teams scoreless in seven starts. Two of those seven outings have been against the Rays.

The Orioles bullpen has had to cover a ton of innings.

The Orioles bullpen has thrown 585.1 innings with a 3.86 ERA and 4.54 FIP. That is over 50 innings more than the Rays bullpen has thrown.

With Zach Britton injured and missing half the season Brad Brach (2.53 ERA/3.52 FIP) and Mychal Givens (2.78 ERA/3.71 FIP) have stepped up in high leverage roles.

Darren O’Day has had a nice rebound after a disappointing, injury plagued 2016 season. He has a 3.47 ERA and 3.74 FIP. His 31.8% strikeout is just a tenth of a percent lower than his career high he posted in 2015. His 10.2% walk rate is the highest of his career.

Richard Bleier (2.04 ERA/4.43 FIP) and Donnie Hart (3.61 ERA/4.57 FIP) are their two lefties.

Manny Machado has had a disappointing season at the plate.

As a team the Orioles have hit .262/.314/.439 and have a 97 wRC+.

Manny Machado has 33 homers, but the rest of the results haven’t been what most expected. He’s hitting .261/.313/.476 and has a 104 wRC+. He’s still played magnificent defense.

Jonathan Schoop has been the guy to step up this year. His 123 wRC+ leads the team with anybody receiving 250or more plate appearances.

Welington Castillo was a nice signing this winter to replace Matt Wieters. In 362 plate appearances he has a 115 wRC+ with 20 homers.

Trey Mancini has had a really good rookie year with a 113 wRC+.

Chris Davis’s 94 wRC+ isn’t what the Orioles were hoping for in year two of a massive seven year contract.

It looked like the Mark Trumbo signing at 3/$37.5MM would end up being a decent signing, but a 80 wRC+ with negative defensive value isn’t good. His -1.2 fWAR is tied with Trevor Plouffe for second worse in the majors only ahead of Albert Pujols.

As the season winds down we look to 2018.

After the game on Sunday afternoon the Rays will turn the page on an up and down season. Whereas last year they were out of it by the middle of June, this year they seemed to be in a good position going into August. Somehow this season felt worse.