Believe in Bundy? The Orioles’ No. 4 overall draft pick from 2011 makes his long-anticipated starting debut Sunday against the Rays. After he cruised through the Orioles’ minor-league system in his first year, he pitched twice out of the bullpen in 2012, but a series of injuries befell him and he didn’t pitch again in the big leagues again until this year. In 2016, he has a 3.08 ERA in 22 relief appearances totaling 38 innings. What does the rookie have in store for his first start?
Bullpen bonus: The Orioles’ bullpen has come out of the All-Star break firing. On Friday, Mychal Givens, Chaz Roe, Brad Brach and Zach Britton pitched consecutive scoreless innings as the offense erased a 3-2 deficit and then rallied to win, 4-3. On Saturday, Brach and Britton pitched back-to-back to hold down a 2-1 lead for starter Chris Tillman. In its six innings this series, the bullpen has allowed only one hit and hasn’t had to use anyone in long relief. If the bats create another lead, can the bullpen hold it down and secure a sweep?
Odorizzi vs. Orioles: In three games this season against Rays starter Jake Odorizzi, the Orioles have had decent success, racking up 10 runs on 24 hits and four homers in 16 innings. In his career against the Orioles, Odorizzi is 2-3 with a 5.02 ERA in 11 outings. The Tampa Bay right-hander struggled before the All-Star break, losing his last two starts and surrendering at least five runs in three of his last six. After putting up sufficient but substandard offensive numbers in the first two games of the series, can the Orioles break through against a familiar opponent?