Expect things to get a little wild in Anaheim over the next four days, as the Angels and Rays are both major players in the AL playoff race. Let’s take a closer look at Thursday night’s series opener from Angel Stadium.
The Rays aren’t
The Tampa Bay Rays
suffered a 1-0 setback at Safeco Field on Wednesday afternoon, as they fell
victim to Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez throwing the first perfect game
in the franchise’s history. Offensively, the team managed to score just
six runs in dropping two of three in the Pacific Northwest, which directly
followed an offensive outburst of 23 runs in sweeping a series in
Minnesota. The Los Angeles Angels have split their first six games of a
10-game homestand, but managed to win their final two contests against the
Cleveland Indians, including an 8-4 win last night.
The Price is Right
Much like the
longstanding CBS game show “The Price is Right”, Rays starting pitcher David
Price (15-4, 2.50 ERA) is having a lot of fun on the mound this year. The
left-hander has compiled a 7-0 record and 1.89 ERA over his last 10 starts,
issuing just 18 walks and striking out 73 batters in 71.1 innings of work in
that span. He has put together 10 straight quality starts, tying a club
record set back in 1998. In seven career outings versus the Angels, Price
has tallied a 3-2 mark and 3.48 ERA, which includes a 5-0 complete-game victory
at home on April 24.
pitcher Dan Haren (8-9, 4.68 ERA) is coming off one of his worst starts of the
2012 campaign, allowing seven runs (five earned) and five hits over 3.1 innings
of work in a 7-4 home loss to the Seattle Mariners. The right-hander is
4-6 with a 4.56 ERA in 12 home outings, surrendering 10 home runs in 71
frames. In 12 career efforts versus the Rays, Haren has registered a
fantastic 7-3 record and 2.60 ERA.
Betting odds are a bit
surprising, but not shocking
Sports bettors may be
surprised at the current MLB betting odds for this contest, as the Angels are
one of the more high-profile teams in baseball. Los Angeles is 3-1 as a
home underdog of +100 to +125, while Tampa Bay has split its 14 games on the
road with a money line of -100 to -125.
Battle of the bullpens
favors the visitor
The Rays’ bullpen came
into yesterday’s game boasting a 0.94 ERA over the last 24 games, which is far
different than the Angels’ unit compiling a 6.18 ERA since the All-Star
break. It’s also important to note that tonight’s host hasn’t scored in
the series in the last 23 innings.
A few of the other cappers at SBR have already taken a crack at this game, with John Ryan adding the OVER to his MLB picks of the day. I am looking at this one from a different point of view, as I believe that the moneyline holds great value as well.
I’m always one to back
pitching over hitting in a game that will have a playoff-type atmosphere, which
has me backing the Rays with my MLB picks in this spot. Tampa Bay’s 17-4 record in Price’s
last 21 starts as a road favorite of -110 to -150 is hard to ignore, especially
since he’s gone 8-5 with a 2.78 ERA in 18 career starts in the month of August.
MLB Picks: Tampa Bay