Tampa Bay is slumping a bit, while the Angels are coming off a very nice road trip. How should we bet this four-game series? Let's look at the betting odds for our baseball picks.
Thursday's Game Four
By: Ron Patrick
Tampa took the lead in this series with a 3-1 victory Wednesday night, beating Jered Weaver as +115 underdogs. Wednesday's game also, to our delight, played UNDER its total of 7.5.
So the Rays will try to win this four-game series, while the Angels will try to salvage a split, when the teams go at it Thursday night (10:05 pm ET).
Check out our Thursday Morning MLB Odds & Betting Lines Report.
Thursday's Betting Line
As of Thursday AM most shops were listing Tampa and David Price at MLB odds of -180 over LA and Jerome Williams, with a total of 7.5.
Thursday's Pitching Match-Up
Williams (5-10, 4.68) is 9-for-20 on quality starts this season, and just one for his last five. Last time out he gave up three runs in six innings vs. Milwaukee, and over his last five starts he's allowed 17 ER in 27 2/3 innings.
On the season Williams has allowed 147 hits in 140 innings, walked 47 and struck out 89.
The Angels are 7-13 in Williams' starts this year.
In his lone appearance this season vs. Tampa Williams threw three innings of shut-out relief one week ago.
David Price (8-6, 3.30) is 14-for-21 on quality starts this year. Last time out he gave up four runs – three earned – in seven innings vs. Oakland, and over his last three starts he's allowed seven ER in 18 innings.
For the season Price has allowed 136 hits in 144 innings, walked just 21 and whiffed 116.
Tampa lost eight of Price's first 12 starts this year, but has won seven of his last nine outings.
This will be Price's first start against the Angels this year; last year, in two starts vs. LA, Price allowed zero runs and eight hits in 16 innings; the Rays won both those games.
Our Take on Thursday's Game
After losing the first game of this series Tampa has bounced back to take the next two. Now they get Price to close it out, against an Angels team that's 12-22 vs. lefties this year. So we like the Rays. We also like to gamble, so in searching for a better price we'll go with Tampa on the run line for our free sports pick for Thursday.
Pick: Take the Rays giving the run and a half at the -102 offered at MatchBook.
Wednesday's Game Three
By: Ron Patrick
Tampa got this series to even and broke a five-game losing streak with a 7-1 victory Tuesday night. The Rays got 5 1/3 good innings from starter Matt Moore in his return from the disabled list, 3 2/3 super innings of relief from Roberto Hernandez and scored in every inning from the second to the seventh.
TB won as a -130 road favorite on Tuesday's MLB odds board, and the game sneaked OVER its total of 7.5.
The Rays scored as many runs Tuesday night as they had in their previous five games combined.
The teams meet for Game 3 of this four-game series Wednesday night (10:05 pm ET, ESPN).
In a personnel note LA's Josh Hamilton missed Tuesday's game because of a sinus infection, and he's listed as questionable for Wednesday.
Wednesday's Betting Lines
As of Wednesday AM most sportsbooks were chalking LA and Jered Weaver at around -130 over Tampa and Jeremy Hellickson, with a total of 7.5.
Wednesday's Pitching Match-Up
Weaver (9-7, 3.30) is 13-for-20 on quality starts this season, and two for his last two. Last time out he held Milwaukee scoreless on three hits through six innings, and just before that he gave up one run and three hits in eight innings against Seattle.
On the season Weaver has allowed 113 hits in 128 innings, walked 32 and struck out 102.
He's also 6-3 with a 2.59 at the Big A this season.
LA, which is nine games under .500 overall this year, is 12-8 in Weaver's starts this season.
This will be Weaver's first start against Tampa since he got bombed for nine runs in three innings in a 12-3 Angels loss back in August of last season.
Hellickson (10-8, 5.21), after some serious recent struggles, got sent down to the minors last week, but is back to make the start for the Rays Wednesday night. So far this year Hellickson is just 7-for-27 on quality starts, and 0 for his last six. Most recently he gave up five runs in less than three innings against the Royals, and over his last six starts he's been tagged for 25 ER in 25 innings.
For the season Hellickson has allowed 166 hits, including 20 homers, in 154 innings, walked 42 and struck out 116.
Tampa had won 14 of Hellickson's first 21 starts this year, but has lost five of his last six outings.
Also, Hellickson is 5-6 with a 5.97 ERA on the road this season.
This will be Hellickson's first start against the Angels this season; last year, in two starts vs. LA, Hellickson gave up just one run and seven hits in 12 innings; the Rays won both of those games.
Take a look at Joe Freda's MLB Picks: Rays vs. Angels article for another free pick on this matchup.
Our Take on Wednesday's Game
This is a tough one; Weaver gets the edge in the pitching match-up, but the Angels are banged up; they're already without Pujols and Kendrick, and now Hamilton is sick and might not play. Also, Weaver got lit up the last time he faced Tampa, while Hellickson stymied LA twice last year. So we're not exactly sure who's going to win Wednesday's game. Instead, for our free sports picks for today, we'll look toward the total, and go with the UNDER.
Pick: Take the UNDER 7.5 runs at the -102 offered at MatchBook.
Tuesday's Game Two
By: Ron Patrick
Check out Tuesday's Baseball Betting Odds & Lines Report for a breakdown of today's games!
LA won Game 1 of this series Monday night 11-2, rapping out 16 hits, breaking the game open with a five-run sixth inning. The Angels won as +125 home dogs on Monday's MLB betting line, and the game played ‘Over’ its total of eight.
LA has scored 27 runs over its last four games, while Tampa has now scored just 19 runs over its last nine games.
Now, the teams meet for Game 2 of this four-game series Tuesday night at 10:05 p.m. ET.
Tuesday's Betting Lines
As of Tuesday morning, most sportsbooks were listing Tampa and Matt Moore at around -135 over LA and Jason Vargas, with a listed total of 7.5 runs in the MLB odds. The Rays could also be gotten at upwards of +125 on the run-line at some shops.
Tuesday's Pitching Match-Up
Vargas (8-5, 3.54) is 10-for-18 on quality starts this season, and two for his last two. Last time out he held these same Rays scoreless on two hits through seven innings of a 2-0 Angels victory last Thursday, and just before that he limited Seattle to one run through 6 1/3 innings.
During the season, Vargas has allowed 119 hits in 114 innings, walked 38 and struck out 80; LA is 10-8 in Vargas' starts this year.
In his last two starts against Tampa, the win last Thursday and another victory last year while pitching for Seattle, Vargas has limited the Rays to one unearned run in 13 innings.
Fellow lefty Moore (14-3, 3.41) is coming off the DL (elbow) to make his first start since July 28th. On the season he's 11-for-21 on quality starts, allowed 93 hits in 121 innings, walked 56, which is a bit too many, and struck out 115.
Just before Moore went on the DL he had strung together five QS in a row, until giving up five runs in five innings vs. the Yankees his last time out. Tampa is a solid 16-5 in Moore's starts this season.
This will be Moore's first start against the Angels this year; last year, in three starts vs. LA, Moore gave up just four ER in 18 1/3 innings; the Rays won all three of those games.
Our Take on Tuesday's Game
Tampa is 25-20 vs. left-handers this year, while LA is just 12-21 against southpaws. So the Rays own an edge in that department. And Tampa is just too scrappy to stay slumping for too long. It's always a bit risky backing a guy who's just coming off the DL, but we'll go with Moore and the Rays for our Tuesday free sports picks.
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Monday's Series Opener
By: Ron Patrick
One team, still scrapping for a playoff spot, meets another team just playing out the end of another disappointing season when the Tampa Bay Rays visit the Los Angeles Angels for a four-game series at the Big A, starting Monday night at 9:05 p.m. ET.
Monday's Betting Lines
In the early going, most sportsbooks were listing Tampa and rookie Chris Archer at around -120 over LA and Garrett Richards, with a total of 7.5. The Rays could also be gotten at MLB odds of around +120 on the run line at various shops.
Also, the betting odds are chalking Tampa at -115 to win this series, with the Angels “getting” -105 as home dogs.
Rays-Angels Series Set-Up
Tampa just got swept three games in Oakland over the weekend, and has lost four in a row overall and seven of its last eight.
At 75-60, the Rays trail Boston by 5.5 games in the AL East, but still own a three-game lead over Baltimore in the battle for the second American League wild-card spot. Much of Tampa's recent struggles can be attributed to cold bats that have tallied a total of just 17 runs over the last eight games.
The Angels, meanwhile, just swept three games in Milwaukee to conclude an 8-1 road trip. But at 63-72, LA is still 12 games back of the closest American League playoff spot.
In the only meeting previously this season between these teams, the Angels took two of three games from the Rays in St. Pete last week. Two of those games played UNDER on the totals, as the teams combined to score 18 runs in the series.
Last year Tampa took the season series from LA nine games to one.
Monday's Pitching Match-Up
Richards (4-6, 4.16) is just 4-for-11 on quality starts this season, and one for his last three. Last time out, against these same Rays, Richards got nicked for four runs in less than four innings; just before that he threw 7 1/3 shut-out innings against Seattle; but just before that he gave up five runs and 12 hits in six innings against punchless Houston.
In the season, Richards has allowed 113 hits in 110 innings (including 30 appearances in relief), with 30 walks and 77 strikeouts. LA is 5-6 in Richards' starts this year.
Archer (8-5, 2.81) is 10-for-17 on quality starts this year, and three for his last three. Last time out, against these same Angels, Archer gave up one run over seven innings, and through his last three starts he's allowed just four ER in 21 innings.
On the season Archer has given up just 77 hits in 102 innings, walked 32 and struck out 71. Tampa is 11-6 in Archer's starts this season, with the totals going 4-13; this will be Archer's second career start against Los Angeles.
In the battle of the bullpens for this series, the Rays rank 18th with a 3.68 ERA and have converted 34 of 49 save opportunities, while the Angels rank 28th with a 4.30 ERA and are also 34-for-49 on save opps.
Rays-Angels With the Sticks
Tampa ranks fourth in the Majors in team OBP at .330, 12th in homers with 140 and 11th in scoring at 4.4 runs per game. LA ranks fifth in OBP at .329, 12th in homers with 140 and eighth in scoring at 4.5 RPG.
Rays-Angels Betting Trends
- Tampa is just 31-34 on the road this season.
- LA is only 31-37 at home.
- Tampa has won 13 of the last 15 games it's played in Anaheim.
- The OVER/UNDERS are 37-30 in games played at the Big A this year.
Rays-Angels Injury Update
LA is playing without Albert Pujols, who's out for the season with a foot problem, and IF Howie Kendrick, who's on the DL with a sore knee. Also, Angels OF Josh Hamilton has missed recent action with a sore shoulder, although he's listed as probable for today.
Check out our picks on the Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies!
Our Take on Monday's Game
Tampa needs these games, while LA is playing out the string; Archer gets the edge in the pitching match-up; and the Rays own an edge in the battle between bullpens. On top of all that the Angels are banged up. So despite their recent offensive woes we'll go with the Rays for our free MLB pick for Monday.