Tampa Bay Rays vs Baltimore Orioles (7/25/22) Starting Lineup, Betting Odds, Prediction

Outside of the Seattle Mariners, the Baltimore Orioles are the biggest story in baseball right now. After years of ineptitude, this O’s squad is 12-5 this month and within striking distance of a Wildcard spot.

The Tampa Bay Rays have been consistent, albeit slightly underwhelming. But they haven’t had a full roster all season and still find themselves in the AL’s second Wildcard spot.

If you want to make the postseason, you have to win your divisional games. That being said, who’s going to win this one?

Read on for the starting lineups, betting odds, and my prediction for this Monday’s matchup.

Tampa Bay Rays vs Baltimore Orioles Odds

Corey Kluber is not his old self, but he’s strung together some quality starts lately. But the Rays will always be favored over the Orioles until Baltimore shows us differently.

I have no reason to trust in Austin Voth, but I have reason to believe in the Baltimore bullpen and might have reason to believe in the O’s at this price.

The wind is projected to be blowing straight out to center field on Monday evening, which points me towards the over.

Let’s dive a little deeper to see where the best value is.

Tampa Bay Rays Starting Lineup

3B Y. Diaz R
2B B. Lowe L
LF R. Arozarena R
1B I. Paredes R
DH J. Choi L
C F. Mejia S
RF J. Lowe L
SS T. Walls S
CF B. Phillips L

Tampa Bay Rays vs Austin Voth

Voth has had a brutal year. But, he’s due for a ton of negative regression.

A .373 BABIP is extraordinarily high and his strand rate shouldn’t stay below 60% for the season. As a result, his xERA is closer to 4.50 than 7.00 and his xFIP is in the 3.50 range. There’s room for improvement with Voth.

Voth has good stuff. Both his fastball spin rate and curveball spin rate rank above the 85th percentile of qualified pitchers. He’s also developed a cutter that he’s used more and more over the years.

chart 2022 07 24T205836.652

Image credit: Baseball Savant

Unfortunately, none of his pitches have been too effective yet. But all his pitches are due for regression still.

The Rays’ offense has been overwhelmingly mediocre. But they haven’t gotten many contributions from Wander Franco and now Kevin Kiermaier is on the IL. Harold Ramirez has the highest OPS+ on the team and he’s banged up as well.

Thank god for Ji-Man Choi, who has been very consistent on both offense and defense.

Baltimore Orioles Starting Lineup

CF C. Mullins L
DH T. Mancini R
LF A. Santander S
1B R. Mountcastle R
RF A. Hays R
C A. Rutschman S
3B R. Urias R
2B R. Odor L
SS J. Mateo R

Baltimore Orioles vs Corey Kluber

Kluber looked like prime Kluber for the first five innings against the Red Sox, before giving up two runs in the sixth. But then again, it’s not hard to shut down the Red Sox these days.

Kluber is much better than the replacement level, having accumulated 2.0 fWAR this season, but he’s not the same. His ERA, xERA, FIP, and xFIP are all in the high-3.00s, and he’ll likely never reach the same heights he did with Cleveland.

The Rays teach their pitchers to throw strikes, and while Kluber’s strikeouts have fallen, his walk rate has been cut in third (from 9.7% to 3.9%). He’s also become primarily a cutterballer, which hasn’t helped his batted ball profile but has seemed to help his control.

The Orioles are just frisky. They don’t strike out a ton, and six guys in the regular nine-man lineup have an OPS+ above 100. Plus, this team has taken on a new identity with Adley Rutschman carrying his weight. Rutschman has a whopping 17 doubles in just 48 games this season.

Tampa Bay Rays vs Baltimore Orioles Pick & Prediction

My picks: Baltimore Orioles ML (+115 at WynnBet Sportsbook)

I love backing divisional home underdogs.

The O’s just took down the Yankees at home and have won two of the last four against Tampa, so why can’t they do it again here? I also project small value on the O’s with plus-money in general, and I’m looking to bet them down to about the +105 range.

Surprisingly, Baltimore has the edge in both the bullpen (3.12 reliever ERA, fifth in MLB) and defensively (49 Defensive Runs Saved, third in MLB). So, even with the starting pitcher discrepancy, there are enough edges here to look towards the O’s.

Let’s see if Baltimore can sneak over .500 past the All-Star Break for the first time in five years.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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