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Rays to start relievers in all three games of weekend series with Orioles

Tampa Bay Rays v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 20: Sergio Romo #54 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches in the first inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on May 20, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays will start a reliever in each of the three games of the club’s weekend series at home against the Orioles. Sergio Romo will start Friday, Ryne Stanek will start Saturday, and Romo will start again Sunday. The Orioles’ starters are TBA at the moment.

This continues the trend that drew attention last weekend, resulting in Angels third baseman calling the strategy “bad for baseball.” I wrote about the potential labor impacts of this strategy as well. The Rays did it against the Angels because they had a right-hander-heavy top of the lineup and didn’t want lefty Ryan Yarbrough to have to face that top of the lineup three times.

The O’s have a righty-heavy top of the lineup as well, as various combinations of Trey Mancini, Adam Jones, Manny Machado, and Jonathan Schoop have batted 1-2-3-4 for most of the season. Romo has limited right-handers to a .702 OPS this season.

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