Despite losing the first game of a four-game series to the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday, the Los Angeles Angels are slight -115 favorites to win the second game of the series on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Rays have a moneyline of -105. The game also has an over/under of 8.5 runs.
The Halos got off to a promising start in 2021, but with Monday’s loss, they have slipped under .500 again. They have just two wins in their last six games, dropping them 3.5 games back in the AL West. That makes this a bad time to play seven straight games against last year’s two World Series participants, which is exactly how the Angels will spend their week.
As for the Rays, they continue to be up and down this season, winning back-to-back games after losing three in a row. Tampa is 5-7 over the last 12 games, dropping them to 15-15 overall. Just when the Rays start to move in the right direction, they suffer a setback.
The New Guy
The Rays will send young lefty Shane McClanahan to the mound on Tuesday. This will be just the second start of McClanahan’s career after he made his debut last week against Oakland. In that game, the southpaw went four innings, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out five in a game the Rays ultimately lost.
McClanahan will face a lineup that is finally at full strength with Anthony Rendon back from the IL. Both Rendon and Mike Trout are going through a good stretch right now, while Shohei Ohtani remains a constant power threat when he’s in the lineup. Jared Walsh also continues his breakout season, although Justin Upton, Albert Pujols, and some of the club’s supporting cast continue to be inconsistent.
That being said, the Angels have the second-best team batting average in the American League. They have also hit the most homers in the AL this season. However, much of that is a product of Trout, Ohtani, and Walsh, while the rest of the team lags behind.
The Rays will see a familiar face on the mound on Tuesday, as Alex Cobb will start for the Angels. Cobb spent the early part of his career with Tampa and is now struggling to find success at age 33. In his first four starts of the season, Cobb owns a 7.16 ERA.
Cobb was solid but unspectacular in his first two starts but has been a disaster in his last two outings against the Astros and Rangers. In those two starts, he’s pitched just 4.2 innings, giving up seven earned runs on 12 hits.
The good news for Cobb is that his former team has been rather average offensively this season. Key figures like Brandon Lowe and Willy Adames are batting under .200, while Austin Meadows is barely above the Mendoza Line. Even Joey Wendle and Randy Arozarena are struggling right now, limiting Tampa’s options offensively despite scoring seven runs on Monday.
Tampa’s starter is a mystery as he makes just his second career start. But we know that Cobb just isn’t getting the job done right now. The Rays may be struggling right now, but they have the bats to take advantage of a pitcher like Cobb. Bet on the Rays to beat the Angels on Tuesday.
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