Orioles vs Rays Odds, Picks, and Probable Pitchers (July 21)

Randy Arozarena takes a cut

Tampa Bay Rays’ Randy Arozarena swings at a pitch from the Baltimore Orioles during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, May 19, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • The Tampa Bay Rays are -165 home favorites to defeat the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday, July 21
  • Baltimore starting pitcher Keegan Akin is 0-5 this season
  • Tampa Bay has won 12 of 14 straight up from the Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles won a game this week from the Tampa Bay Rays. That was big news.

Monday’s 6-1 victory over the Rays ended Baltimore’s six-game losing streak against Tampa Bay. It was the Orioles’ first win at Tropicana Field since September 3, 2019.

Things returned to normal on Tuesday as the Rays whipped the O’s 9-3. Baltimore hasn’t won consecutive games, or won a series, against Tampa Bay in nearly a year. The Orioles swept the Rays in a three-game set at Baltimore July 31-August 2 at Camden Yards.

The Rays are -165 favorites to continue their winning ways against the Orioles. When facing Baltimore, Tampa Bay is 12-2 straight up over the past 14 games. Wednesday’s game is slated for a 12:10pm ET first pitch at Tropicana Field.

Orioles vs Rays Odds

Team Moneyline Runline Total
Baltimore Orioles +145 +1.5 (-150) O 8.0 (-115)
Tampa Bay Rays -165 -1.5 (+130) U 8.0 (-105)

Odds as of July 21st at DraftKings

Probable Pitchers

In some instances, a player’s numbers aren’t an accurate portrayal of his actual performance. In the case of Keegan Akin, the numbers are spot on. He’s been every bit as bad as the digits next to his name would suggest.

The Orioles’ second-year left-hander has surrendered at least four earned runs in each of his past seven appearances. He’s been chased after three innings in both of his last two starts. In his last start against the Kansas City Royals, Akin required 74 pitches in order to retire nine batters.

Akin’s xERA (5.92), xBA (.283), xWOBA (.366) and xWOBAcon (.431) all rate in the bottom 7% of the league. His WOBA of .393 ranks among the bottom 2% of AL pitchers. He’s taken the loss in five of his last seven appearances.

Akin vs Wacha

0-5 Record 2-2
8.19 ERA 5.14
5.92 xERA 6.23
1.80 WHIP 1.35
2.30 SO/W Ratio 3.46

Rays right-hander Michael Wacha, by contrast, has been all over the map this season. Consider his last four starts. In his most recent start, Wacha was roughed up by the Atlanta Braves for four earned runs and two home runs in four innings of work.

Prior to that, he allowed one earned run in six innings while beating Cleveland 8-1. On June 30, the Washington Nationals clouted three homers in three innings off of Wacha. Six days earlier, Wacha pitched six scoreless innings while blanking the Boston Red Sox 1-0.

Wacha has served up six home runs over his past three starts. His xERA of 6.23 places him among the bottom 2% of the league.

Batting Average vs Starting Pitchers

Rays Batters Batting Average vs Akin Orioles Batters Batting Average vs Wacha
Randy Arozarena .667 Kevin Gutierrez .000
Vidal Brujan .000 Austin Hays .000
Ji-Man Choi 1.000 Domingo Leyba .000
Yandy Diaz .333 Trey Mancini .000
Wander Franco .000 Ryan Mountcastle .400
Kevin Kiermaier .250 Cedric Mullins .667
Brandon Lowe .333 Anthony Santander .000
Austin Meadows .200 AJ Pollock .250
Franicsco Mejia .000 Pedro Severino .500
Brett Phillips .000 DJ Stewart .667
Taylor Walls .000 Ramon Urias .000
Joey Wendle .500 Pat Valaika .500
Mike Zunino .500 Austin Wynns .000

While the sample size is small, Baltimore’s DJ Stewart is batting .667 (2-for-3) with a home run and two RBI off of Wacha. Four other Orioles batters are hitting at least .400 against him.

Tampa Bay’s Brandon Lowe is 1-for-3 against Akin. But that one hit was a two-run homer. Lowe has driven in three runs off of Akin. He’s among six Rays batters hitting at least .333 when facing Akin.

2021 MLB MVP Odds Tracker

Orioles vs Rays Pick

What we have here is a failure to locate. This is a battle between a horrible hurler and a wildly erratic pitcher.

Based on recent history, a play on the Rays via the moneyline is probably going to be a winning wager. At -165 odds, it won’t pay much, though.

With Wacha and Akin on the bump, the total is way to go in this instance. Eight is a low number, considering that Akin’s last six starts and Wacha’s last three starts have all gone over that number.

Pick: Orioles/Rays Over 8.0 (-115)

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Robert Duff

Sports Writer