Ok, I am going to be the first to say that I am a Tampa Bay Rays hater. I have bet against them a lot this year, and they have made me a bunch of money as they have been the worst team in the American League so far this season. But that hate may have gotten a little too strong last night when I backed the Texas Rangers in Tampa for game one of their series with the Rays. All the situational signs pointed to Tampa Bay winning. They were at home and had a solid starter on the mound. And they were playing a Texas team that was fresh off back to back extra inning games, the second of which was the late game Sunday night, so it was a very quick turnaround for Texas.
But as I noted in my pick yesterday, I expect the Rays to be borderline historically bad this season. I think they will lose a hundred games. And when you are that bad, you find ways to lose games that you are supposed to win. So, I backed the underdog at a great price and took a shot at a big payout. It didn’t work out yesterday, but that doesn’t mean it was a bad pick. I mentioned yesterday that if I got to bet this exact scenario at this exact price a hundred times, I would certainly show a profit. But this is baseball, and you only get one shot at each game, and we lost. But don’t expect this one fluky win to scare me away from finding ways to fade the Rays, they are still terrible, and I still feel they should never be huge favorites like they were last night, against any team. Today I will head out to the west coast as the Los Angeles Angels host the Boston Red Sox.
The Boston Red Sox are in Los Angeles Tuesday night for game one of a three-game series with the Angels. This is a series that features the two best teams in the American League right now. The Red Sox are red-hot and have the best record in the American League. The Angels are equally as hot and trail Boston by just a game in the loss column for the best record in the league. Something has to give tonight between these two teams! Boston will start David Price (1-1 2.40 ERA), and the Angels will counter with Shohei Ohtani (2-0 2.08 ERA). The Angels are -170 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at eight runs. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 PM PST from Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
What a great early season matchup we have on our hands tonight! Two teams that can’t lose matched up, both with really good starting pitchers on the mound. I have backed both of these teams a lot this season, and they have been paying off huge. The big sexy name on the marquee for this matchup is Angels hybrid starter Shohei Ohtani.
Ohtani has exceeded even the loftiest expectations that people had coming into this season. After the season first couple of weeks, he looks to be an All-Star caliber pitcher, as well as an All-Star caliber hitter. I can already picture him as the starting pitcher in the All-Star game and then having him leadoff in the lineup as well. I, myself, have quickly turned into an Ohtani fanboy as what he is doing is nearly unprecedented. After his last start I was talking to a buddy about Ohtani, and he warned me, after this start, the books are going to value him like Kershaw and Scherzer, and that is exactly what happened here tonight.
Ohtani is staring down a Red Sox team that is second in runs scored, first in on-base percentage, and third in slugging this year and is still a huge -170 favorite. That type of valuation is usually exclusively held for Cy Young caliber pitchers. It is not that Ohtani won’t get to that level, he might, he is very talented, but this feels like the hype train might have gotten a little too out of line. Ohtani has two starts. In one of those games, he didn’t even pitch very well. Oh, and both of those starts? He has pitched against the Oakland A’s.
There is going to be a big difference in facing the Athletics and this Boston Red Sox team tonight for Ohtani. If Ohtani comes out here and is as dominant as he was in his last start, I can’t even imagine the press he will get. It will be the biggest early-season baseball story in a generation. But tonight, I am going to make him prove to me that he is on that level.
In baseball betting, you are always going to get valued on what you have done, not what you might someday do. Tonight, Ohtani is valued on hype and potential, not what he has actually done. And as much as it pains me to bet against him, this guy is a ton of fun to watch and great for the game, this price is ridiculous, and I have no choice but to go the other way. Boston is just too good, and Price is just too good, to be such huge underdogs like they are tonight. Give me the Boston Red Sox at +145 tonight!