Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Angels – MLB May 4

9:38 p.m. ET – Rays at Angels (-125 ML) O/U: 8.5

The 15-15 Rays stay out in Anaheim Game Two of a four-game series against the 13-14 Angels. Last night’s matchup was supposed to be the game of the night with a starting pitching matchup of Tyler Glasnow against Shohei Ohtani, but Ohtani was a late scratch and Tampa Bay was able to get to his replacement Jose Quintana for five runs in 3.2 innings of work.

A late ninth inning two-run home run from outfielder Manuel Margot sealed the deal for the Rays as they won 7-3.

About the Rays

Tampa Bay Rays LogoThe reigning American League champion Tampa Bay Rays have won back-to-back series only once this season. That inability to carry momentum from series to series is why they sit at .500 one month into the season. The Rays rank 15th in the major leagues in runs scored per game at 4.2.

The stagnant start to the season offensively is due in large part to everyday starters Austin Meadows, Brandon Lowe and Willy Adames all batting below .206. Third baseman Joey Wendle came out of the gates on fire, but has since slumped and is hitting jsut .167 over his past seven games. Thankfully for Tampa Bay, center fielder Manuel Margot has carried them over the past week, hitting .409 with five RBI, including his two-run home run in the series opener.

The pitching staff has not been what it was in years past under Kevin Cash, with the team posting the 17th-best ERA in baseball at 4.11. The Rays have not been bad at anything in the first month of the year, but they also have not been that great at anything. Tampa Bay is going to need the batting order or pitching staff to start increasing their production or they will float around the .500 mark all season despite obviously high preseason expectations to repeat the franchise’s success of a year ago.

About the Angels

You cannot begin to talk about the Los Angeles Angels and not immediately mention arguably the best baseball player on the planet, center fielder Mike Trout. The two-time AL MVP award winner is off to another great start, batting a major league-leading .410 with seven home runs and 16 RBI.

In his 24 games played, he has an on-base percentage of .515. He is getting on base over half the time he steps into the batter’s box, which is a large reason why the Angels are still in the mix in the American League West. Right fielder Jared Walsh has come out of nowhere this season, hitting .348 with six home runs and 21 RBI. Of course designated Hitter/ Starting Pitcher dual threat Ohtani has earned much well-deserved praise over the first month of the season for his work as a designated hitter as well as on the mound. He’s currently tied for the MLB lead with nine home runs and has been impressive in limited pitching appearances as well with a 3.29 ERA over three starts and 13.2 innings.

Yet overall, the Angels have a team ERA of 5.04, which is the third- highest in all of baseball. Another major issue has been defense, as the Angels have committed 25 errors this season, most in the American League.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Tampa Bay Rays +1½ (-190) +105 O 8½ (-110)
Los Angeles Angels -1½ (+160) -125 U 8½ (-110)

The Pitching Matchup

The Rays are turning to one of their top pitching prospects in 24-year-old Shane McClanahan on Tuesday night. The left-hander has one start in his career, going four innings against the Athletics last Thursday and allowing two runs on five hits. McClanahan has a fastball that can go north of 100 miles per hour to go along with a wipeout breaking ball.

Right-hander Alex Cobb is getting the start for Los Angeles and it will be his fifth of the season. Cobb has struggled mightily, with a 7.16 ERA over 16.1 innings of action. Cobb has not survived the third inning of either of his last two starts.

What’s the Bet?
It is hard to bet a side in a game that features a talent like Tampa Bay starter McClanahan, which is why the value is in betting the Over/Under total. We know that Angels starter Alex Cobb has underperformed all season long and that is likely to carry over into Tuesday night. Los Angeles has a lineup with tons of right-handed firepower such as Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, David Fletcher,and Justin Upton. That can put a scare into any rookie starter, especially one who is making just his second career big-league start.

In addition, nine of the Rays’ 11 road games have gone Over so far this season. The Angels have surpassed the O/U total in six of their nine home games and it is safe to expect both those trends will continue in Game Two of this series.

It is unclear who will win on Tuesday night, but take the over of 8.5 runs and expect a slugfest for the full nine-inning affair.
The Bet
Over 8.5 Runs

*Odds Courtesy of MyBookie Sportsbook

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Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.

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