Bet Angels -142 over Rays for Thursday's MLB Picks

Joe Catalano

Thursday, May 15, 2014 1:06 PM GMT

The Los Angeles Angels (21-18) are starting to live up to expectations as they’re 3 games over .500 on the MLB odds board for the first time in 2 years. Tonight, the Angels host the Tampa Bay Rays 18-23), who are looking for their 3rd straight win.

First pitch is set for 10:05 pm ET tonight at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. This game can be seen on MLB TV.

According to 5 Dimes Sportsbook, the Angels are a -142 betting favorite and the total for the game is 9 runs.

One team’s mini-winning streak will be broken and this is a big series for both teams. The Rays want to edge closer to .500 and get back in the thick of things in the American League East Division while the Angels are looking to finally live up to their potential and show that they are indeed a contender and not a losing team.

[gameodds]3/264071/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Trout Season Off To a Slow Start
The base hits aren’t “biting” as the best player in baseball in Mike Trout is stuck in an early slump this season.

Trout is hitting way below what was expected after signing a huge contract with 7 HR, 24 RBI, 5 SB, and a .269 BA. Huge contract signings can sometimes be intimidating to a player as it was for Albert Pujols in the past.

Mike Trout is too good a baseball player to be playing the way that he is, but for the time being, Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick are picking up the slack for Mike Trout.

It’s no mistake that Howie Kendrick is hitting .315 with 2 HR, 18 RBI, and 9 SB. Kendrick has a great eye at the plate and will make the opposing player work. So much, that he draws walks and his on-base percentage is a healthy .386. Players like Kendrick, Hank Conger, and Collin Cowgill get on base while Albert Pujols has been able to display the power that’s made him a future 1st ballot hall of famer.

One thing lacking in Pujols’ game that was present in St. Louis was a .300 plus batting average. Pujols has really been struggling this week, going 3 for 26 and his batting average is down to a mere .264. This is a lifetime .320 hitter that we’re talking about, but Pujols is getting older and the most important part of his game in Los Angeles is to get timely hits and provide power.

Top MLB Picks for Thursday's Matchups!

Erik Bedard
Normally, Erik Bedard wouldn’t be much of a test for the Angels, but the Rays starter has pitched well this season and has gotten better as the season has went along. Bedard has a 2-1 record with a 3.38 ERA.

He won’t give the Rays more than 6 innings, but in his last start against Cleveland, they were nearly 6 perfect innings as he allowed just 1 hit. Bedard has allowed just 2 earned runs in his last 16 innings (3 starts). This game could come down to the effectiveness of the Rays bullpen against an Angels team that’s surging.

The Angels are 5th in baseball in runs in baseball ,11th in batting average, and 3rd in slugging percentage. Scoring runs is the name of the game and Los Angeles will need starter Tyler Skaggs (3-1,4.14) to hold up his end. Skaggs is coming off of a superb outing in a win over Toronto in which he went 8 innings and is a pitcher that can give L.A. innings.

 

Outcome
The Angels are in a good spot here and have a lot of momentum. They have a pitcher that can pitch almost an entire ball game, leaving the game in the hands of the offense and the way that Howie Kendrick has been playing as of late, that isn’t such a bad thing. Lay the juice and take L.A. at home.

MLB Pick: Los Angeles -142 at 5 Dimes