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

The Tampa Bay Rays (66-54) and Los Angeles Angels (62-59) will close out a four-game American League series on Sunday afternoon, with the first pitch scheduled for 3:35 ET

Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Angels  

The Tampa Bay Rays came back from an eight-run deficit to capture a 10-8 win last night in Anaheim

Tampa Bay completed an incredible comeback from eight runs down to capture a 10-8 road win over Los Angeles on Saturday night, as the club moved to within five games of the AL East-leading New York Yankees.  The Rays have managed to win 10 of their last 12 games, which includes a 7-2 mark during their 10-game road trip.  “I really felt all along we had a chance,” commented Rays manager Joe Maddon.  The pitching staff gave up some runs last night, but still has a 2.34 ERA over the last 12 games.  Tampa Bay is 19-9 against AL West opponents, with the “under” going 19-8 in those contests.

Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore (9-7, 3.60 ERA) has watched the club win three of his last four efforts, but he didn’t factor into the decision of a 3-2 road loss to the Seattle Mariners.  The left-hander is 2-3 with a 4.19 ERA in nine road outings, surrendering six home runs in 53.2 innings.  In two career games versus the Angels, Moore has compiled a 1-0 record and 1.50 ERA, with hitters batting .205 against him.

Los Angeles has dropped six of its last nine games and has now had two team meetings over that span.  “We just had a family discussion, that’s all,” stated Angels outfielder Torii Hunter about the second meeting that was called by the players following a previous one handled by manager Mike Scioscia.  The Angels are certainly in trouble, sitting eight games behind the Texas Rangers, while sitting 3.5 games behind a group of teams in hopes of obtaining the second Wild Card spot.  Los Angeles is 16-20 in day games this year.

Angels starting pitcher Zack Greinke (10-4, 3.81 ERA) picked up his first victory with his new team last time out, collecting a 9-6 home win over the Cleveland Indians.  The right-hander has gone 5-1 with a 2.84 ERA in 10 home outings this year, issuing 14 walks and striking out 75 batters in 66.2 combined frames.  In 13 career games (10 starts) versus the Rays, Greinke has compiled a 2-5 record and 3.25 ERA, including a 2-0 home loss on July 29.

Sports bettors will likely back the Rays due to their 7-1 mark as a road underdog, while the Angels are 0-4 at home versus left-handed starters.

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