The Tampa Bay Rays (64-54) and Los Angeles Angels (62-47) will continue an important four-game American League series on Friday night at Angel Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 10:05 ET
Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Angels
Tampa Bay cruised to a 7-0 series-opening win in Los Angeles on Friday night, which moved the club back into a tie with the Baltimore Orioles for second place in the AL East division. The Rays have to be pleased to see third baseman Evan Longoria launch his first home run since returning from the disabled list on Aug. 7, as he’s been a beast offensively in this ball park. He enters tonight with a .431 career batting average in 51 at-bats in Anaheim. Tampa Bay is 11-6 as a road underdog of +150 to +175 over the last two-plus seasons.
Rays starting pitcher James Shields (10-7, 4.02 ERA) has led the club to three consecutive victories, including a 7-3 road win over the Minnesota Twins in a no-decision effort last time out. The right-hander is 6-3 with a 3.94 ERA in 12 road outings, issuing 24 walks and striking out 69 batters in 80 frames. In 11 career games versus the Angels, Shields has compiled a 5-3 record and 3.01 ERA.
Los Angeles continues to see its chances of making the MLB playoffs slip away due to its play since in the second half, posting a 14-19 record in that span. The Angels have had no answers for the Rays pitching staff, getting shutout in three consecutive games, while not scoring a run in the past 32 innings of the season series. Second baseman Howie Kendrick is the player to watch offensively, coming in batting .571 against Shields in their meetings. Los Angeles is 13-8 as a home favorite of -150 to -175, with the “under” going 15-5 in that situation.
Angels starting pitcher Jered Weaver (15-2, 2.22 ERA) has been the best pitcher in the AL this season, but is coming off just his second setback of the season, suffering a 4-1 home loss to the Seattle Mariners. The right-hander is a sparkling 8-1 with a 1.23 ERA in 10 home outings, with opposing hitters batting .148 against him. In seven career efforts versus the Rays, Weaver has registered a 4-1 record and 2.47 ERA.
Sports bettors will likely play the total in this contest, with the UNDER going 7-0 in the last seven meetings in this series.