Los Angeles Angels vs. Tampa Bay Rays Preview

Los Angeles Angels (76-46) +105, 9 at Tampa Bay Rays (75-48), 7:10 pm Eastern Monday
by Zman of Predictem.com

The two best teams in the American League so far this season go at it under threat of a hurricane when the Los Angeles Angels and Tampa Bay Rays meet in the opener of a three-game series Monday night in St. Petersburg.

Baseball bookmakers are listing Tampa and starting pitcher Andy Sonnanstine (12-6, 4.35, 1.31 WHIP) as 115 home favorites for Monday’s game, with a total of 9, while the Angels and Jon Garland (11-7, 4.26, 1.44) are getting +105 as road underdogs.

The Angels just dropped two of three games to the Indians in Cleveland over the weekend, while Tampa just finished off a 7-3 road trip by taking two of three games from the Rangers in Arlington.

So going into this series, Los Angeles leads the AL West by 15 1/2 games over the second-place Rangers, while Tampa leads the AL East by 4 1/2 games over the second-place Boston Red Sox.

The Angels are a ML-best 39-23 on the road this year, 25-13 as underdogs, and 63-59 vs. the run line.

Meanwhile, Tampa is tied with the Chicago Cubs for the best home record in the majors this year at 45-17. The Rays are also 54-25 as favorites, and 64-59 vs. the run line.


The Rays have taken four of six games from the Angels so far this season, with the totals going 2-4, as the games have averaged just 7.8 total runs per.

Over his last three starts, including a winning performance last Tuesday vs. Seattle, Garland has allowed nine ER and 27 baserunners (hits + walks) in 20 IP. The Angels are 14-10 in Garland’s starts this year, the totals 9-13.

Garland has started once this season vs. Tampa, and made one start last year for the Chicago White Sox vs. the Rays. Over those two games, Garland held TB to just one ER and 14 BR in 15 IP. His teams split those two games, and both stayed under the totals.

Over his last three starts, including a solid showing vs. Oakland last Wednesday, Sonnanstine has given up five ER and 20 BR in 19 1/3 IP. Tampa is 16-8 in Sonnanstine’s starts this year, the totals 11-12.

Sonnanstine has started two games over the last two seasons vs. the Angels, allowing eight ER and 18 BR in 12 IP. The Rays split those two games, with the totals going 1-1.

Offensively, LA ranks 14th in the majors this season in team BA at .265, 17th in team OBP at .327, 22nd in team slugging at .406, and is averaging 4.7 runs per game.

Tampa ranks 20th in batting at .258, 13th in OBP at .336,, 15th in slugging at .418, and is averaging 4.6 RPG.

Over the last five games, the LA bullpen has allowed nine ER and 26 BR in 16 1/3 IP.

Over its’ last five games, the TB pen has given up three ER and 27 BR in 18 IP.

On the injury front, Tampa has recently placed 3B Evan Longoria, OF Carl Crawford and closer Troy Percival all on the DL with various ailments.

The totals are 50-67 in Angels games this year, 50-71 in Rays games, and 25-36 in games played at Tropicana Field, which are averaging 8.1 total runs this season.