Tampa Bay's Archer Hits the Bulls-eye in Victory Over Angels

Doug Upstone

Saturday, July 15, 2017 9:07 PM UTC

Saturday, Jul. 15, 2017 9:07 PM UTC

Tampa Bay will seek to move ever closer to Boston in the AL East as they wrap up their series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. For those betting baseball, there is mystery about this contest.

As we went to post this article, we checked all the various Angels websites to see if manager Mike Scioscia had yet named his Game 3 starter and likely this will happen in the press conference before or after Saturday's evenings contest. In any case, the Rays will be favored, it will just be a matter by how much when thinking about the MLB odds.


Pitching Matchup - Archer vs. TBD

It is difficult to get a good read on Chris Archer (7-5) this season. His 3.95 ERA is above career norm of 3.57, yet he's at a career-high for strikeouts per nine innings at 10.8. This plays a part in why he's not pitched as deep in games this season and his command early in the counts have not been as good as in prior years. Where Archer has been most vulnerable is the first pitch to a new batter or behind in the count, as opposing hitters are ringing him up for .398 average. Against the Halos, the right-hander is 5-1 with 2.48 ERA.

With no known injuries, we can only surmise either Jesse Chavez (5-10, 4.99) or Parker Bridwell (3-1, 3.24) could start for Los Angeles, as both have been recent starters before the All-Star break. Neither has great deal of deception in their delivery or what they offer to the plate, which in truth is how you control Tampa Bay's all or nothing batting approach.


Tampa Bay Swings for Fences, L.A. Just Make a Lot of Outs

In several other game write-ups, we have talked about the Rays hitting approach and while I might not agree, it must work for their skipper Kevin Cash or they would change it. Tampa Bay batters go to the plate with good patience, which is why they are 5th in the AL in walks. Rays hitters swing hard and with an upper cut and are 3rd in the league in home runs. The downside, they are 2nd in the majors (as of 6/14) in swinging and missing with two strikes.

Anaheim certainly is thrilled to have Mike Trout back, which can only help their anemic offense, which is last in the AL at 4.1 runs a game. Besides Trout, other than Andrelton Simmons (.340 OBP), Yunel Escobar (.342 OBP) and the occasional homer from Albert Pujols, the Angels offense often is quieter than a library.


Betting Odds, Head to Head and Bullpen Numbers

Because of no listed starting pitcher for Anaheim, no odds have been posted. What we do know is Tampa Bay has won six of seven at the Big A (thru 6/14) and the UNDER is 4-2-1. The Angels have the better overall bullpen based on ERA, ranked 4th compared to the Rays at 11th, however, Tampa is slightly better in save percentages.


The Winner Is......

For MLB picks, though we are at a slight disadvantage without money line or totals figures, Archer is better than what L.A.A. will have to offer, Tampa Bay has the better offense and its bullpen is improving, making the Rays the choice.

 Free MLB Play: Tampa Bay winsBest Betting Line: *No Lines Posted At Press Time*
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