In: MLB Free Picks24 Apr 2012
MLB Predictions: Los Angeles Angels (+139) vs Tampa Bay Rays (-148) Over-Under 8
Things look to get interesting Tuesday as the 6-10 Angels head into Tropicana ready to do battle with the 9-7 Tampa Rays who only trail the Yankees and Blue Jays by one game in the AL East. Both teams going in different directions at the current moment with the Angels dropping 4 of the last 6. The Rays however have done the opposite winning 4 of their last 2. The Angels just haven’t been able to get their team pushing the boundaries like everyone expected when they picked up several big names in the off season like Albert Pujols, who was easily the most sought after free agent along with the likes of the Tigers Prince Fielder.
The Angels didn’t have a great start to the year. After only winning 1 of each of their last 2 series its hard to see this team already catching up with the division leaders The Texas Rangers but alas it is way early in the season. They have the talent but dropping 2 to the Orioles and 3 to the A’s is heartbreaking. I see this only as a hiccup early in the year as to get their new rotations and pitching right as they are a power house waiting to explode. Tuesday we will see Ervin Santana take the mound against the Rays and hopefully pull of a win for the away team. Hes been rather ineffective this year against anyone beginning with a 0-3 record and a terrible 6.75 ERA. His OBP is resting at .341 and that just seems a little weak for a guy whos been with the same team for 7 years. I’m going with bad start is all. Biggest flaw with thinking hes gonna come around on this game is the fact that the Rays are 5-1 at home. Thats pretty big for anyone this year and so early.
The Rays on the other hand have an excellent Ace David Price stepping up tonight to show the Angels how to play, even if his stats this year don’t fully show how awesome he can be. Coming back home with a 2-1 record hes still got a fairly high 4.20 ERA with a OBP of .391 which could really use some improvement. His strikes haven’t been dead on with year with only 11K’s which for Price seems low. He is the Ace and is at home and with the way the Angels have been hitting I’m not seeing much of an upswing in this game, especially in Tropicana Field which may be the weirdest place in the MLB. (That is if you don’t include the crazy dolphin statue thing in the Miami Marlins home)
Sure, the pitching looks a little lopsided but before you just jump at that being the only factor in this game think about the offense each team has. The Angels have the 7th best BA in the MLB to the 15th of the Rays. In the HR department I even figured this to be easily leaning over to the Angels but they haven’t gotten the power hitting down just yet. I expect more out of this as the season goes but the Rays are sliding in with 7th best HR record at 19 and expect weird things at The Trop when it comes to these pop-ups or ya know season ending shots over the small wall.
Below is the projected starting line up for the Angels. Please keep in mind that this is not official. I am doing this just so you can see some of the names in case you missed the off season acquisitions and departures.
Erick Aybar, Howard Kendrick, Albert Pujols, Torii Hunter, Mark Trumbo, Vernon Wells, Alberto Jose Callaspo, Bobby Wilson, Maicer Izturis, Peter Bourjos, Kendrys Morales, Bobby Abreu
Below is the projected starting line up for the Tampa Rays
Desmond Jennings, Ben Zobrist, Carlos Pena, Evan Longoria, Jeff Keppinger, B.J. Upton, Sean Rodriguez, Chris Gimenez, Elliot Johnson
As you can already suspect I’m heading towards a Rays win but I do think the Angels to put up a fight. If David Price is on point like the Ace he is supposed to be then I feel he will walk away with a 3-1 record in the early 2012 season. I just really dont see Pujols or the other Halos coming into Tampa and crushing at least in the first game of this series. I do however think that both of these teams will get it right when it comes down to the playoff push late in the season. The Angels cant be done already, its just not like them or any team in the West.
I’ll put my “W” in the Tampa Rays column this game.
Pick: Tampa Bay Rays -148