The last time Tampa Bay faced Los Angeles Angels they had home pitch advantage but that didn’t help them a bit. The Rays will try to return the favor by winning the series in California and close the gap separating them from the leading Red Sox.
Bet: Tampa Bay
Odds: Winner Sports 1.80
Tampa Bay lost four consecutive games and its lead over the pack was reduced to just three games, jeopardizing their chances to secure a wildcard. The Yankees, Orioles and Indians are inching closer to overtaking them and unless the Rays find a way of rebounding quickly everything could go down the drain. Traveling to Los Angeles for a confrontation with the Angels is hardly an ideal scenario, especially with the hosts winning several games in a row.
On the bright side, Tampa Bay has won 14 out of the last 16 games in Anaheim and will have Archer on the mound. He won his last three games away from home while conceding an average of 1.5 runs per game and is the only pitcher in their rotation to win against the Angels in the last two weeks. He is favorite to win the pitchers’ duel with Garrett Richards who was hit hard in the last outing and allowed four runs in a bit over three innings. Overall, LA pitchers did a tremendous job lately and limited opponents to no more than two runs per game on average.
This is a do or die situation for Tampa Bay who needs to win the series in Los Angeles if they are to retain their favorite status in the wild-card race. The Rays are favorites to win the opening game and odds of 1.80 offered by Winner Sports are just high enough to cover the risks.