MLB Predictions 2012: Los Angeles Angels vs. Tampa Bay Rays

The Los Angeles Angels (6-11) and Tampa Bay Rays (10-7) will continue a three-game American League series on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 ET on ESPN2

Los Angeles Angels at Tampa Bay Rays 

The Tampa Bay Rays are 2-0 as a home underdog of +100 to +125 this season

Los Angeles opened its six-game road trip with a 5-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night, with first baseman Albert Pujols still searching for his first home run of the year.  The former St. Louis Cardinals star is hitting just .232 on the season and has gone hitless in his last 16 at-bats.  The club was 4-4 in this series a year ago, while posting a 36-29 all-time mark inside this venue.  Los Angeles is 2-5 in road games and the “under” is 4-3 in those contests.

Angels starting pitcher C.J. Wilson (2-1, 2.37 ERA) has won both of his road starts to begin the year, posting a 2-0 record and 1.38 ERA, as opponents are hitting just .191 against him.  The left-hander was sensational away from home with the Rangers last year, going 8-5 with a 2.31 ERA in 18 efforts.  In 17 career outings against the Rays, Wilson brings in a perfect 4-0 record and 2.25 ERA, including a 2-1 mark and 2.29 ERA in seven appearances (two starts) at Tropicana Field.

Tampa Bay hit five solo home runs to pick up its fifth win in six games, with the club being 6-1 at home for the first time in its history.  The Rays’ pitching staff was already hot coming into this series, recording a 2.47 ERA in the previous seven games.  There’s no doubt that the entire clubhouse is focused on getting off to a good start, as it continues a stretch of playing 13 of 16 at home.  Tampa Bay is 2-0 as a home underdog of +100 to +125 this season.

Rays starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (2-0, 3.26 ERA) was fantastic in his first home start of the year, picking up a 3-0 win over the New York Yankees in his season-opening start on April 8, giving up just three hits over 8.2 shutout innings.  The right-hander is 5-1 with a 2.31 ERA in his last nine efforts at Tropicana Field.  Hellickson has managed to allowed three earned runs or less in 32 of his 36 career starts.  The 25-year-old has registered an 0-1 record and 4.70 ERA in two appearances (one start) versus the Angels.

Bettors will likely back the Rays due to their 16-5 record versus left-handers at home, while the Angels are 5-11 in their last 16 games as a favorite.

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