Baltimore Orioles (99-70) at Tampa Bay Rays (77-85)
|Date & Time||Monday April 6, 2015, 3:10 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Tampa Bay Rays -129 / Baltimore Orioles +119 --- Over/Under: 7
|TV Channel||Stream live sports and ESPN originals on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Start your 7-day free trial today!|
The Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays will face off at Tropicana Field this Monday afternoon to kick off their 2015 MLB seasons.
The Baltimore Orioles once again had a very successful season and won the AL East with a 96-66 record however, might have trouble having the same success as they’ve lost some key players and didn’t make many off-season acquisitions. Baltimore will be relying heavily on their pitching this season which finished with a 3.43 team ERA last season. The Orioles will hope that Ubaldo Jimenez will start to pitch like the ace they envisioned when Baltimore signed him to a 4 year/50 million dollar deal prior to last season, and might be able to bring up one of their best prospects in Dylan Bundy who is coming back from Tommy John Surgery last year. On the offensive side, they should have both Matt Wieters and Manny Machado back, however, lost both Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis in free-agency and won’t have Chris Davis for the opener as he finishes this 25-game suspension for use of an unauthorized substance. Baltimore will most likely be competitive as they are solid in many of the positions with players such as Wieters, Machado, and their star center fielder in Adam Jones, however, will need to hope that their pitching holds off over the long season as their offensive might not have enough power to be able to outscore many teams.
The Tampa Bay Rays couldn’t live up to the expectations in 2014 and had one of their one seasons in recent memory as they finished with a 77-85 record and finished in 4th in the AL East. Tampa Bay has been one of the more consistent teams in baseball however, had a roller-coaster offseason in which they saw their manager, GM, and many key players leave for other organizations. Tampa Bay has had one of the strongest and most consistent starting rotations and will hope that Alex Cobb and Chris Archer can continue the success that the Rays have had on the mound. Offensively, Tampa Bay still have one of the most dynamic 3rd basemen in the league in Evan Longoria, however, they no longer have Wil Myers, Ben Zobrist, and Yunel Escobar. Tampa Bay was one of the worst offensive teams in the major leagues in 2014 and it looks as if they once again will struggle in 2015 as they don’t have much pop in the bat outside of Longoria. Tampa Bay’s Bullpen looks a little questionable at the moment as last year’s closer Jake McGee had surgery in December and won’t be ready until May and will have to rely on Brad Boxberger to hold down the fort until McGee is ready or Grant Balfour can find his 2013 form when he was with Oakland.
The Orioles are 10-2 in their last 12 Monday games and 5-1 in Tillman’s last 6 starts vs. the American League East. The Rays are 5-2 in their last 7 during game 1 of a series and 2-6 in Archers last 8 home starts.
I really like Chris Archer and think he is going to have an incredible year however, I just can’t trust the Tampa Bay offensive, especially when they are a favorite. Baltimore is not going to be as good as they were last year, however, I think they are getting good value here against a bad Tampa Bay team. I’m taking Baltimore in this one.