The Tampa Bay Rays go for a fourth straight win when they take on the Los Angeles Angels in the third contest of a four-game series on Wednesday night. The first pitch is scheduled for 9:38 p.m. ET at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Ca.
Tampa Bay made it two straight over the Angels with an 8-3 win on Tuesday night. The Rays improved to 16-15 with the victory but remain a percentage point behind the New York Yankees for second place in the AL East standings.
Los Angeles has dropped three straight, falling to 13-15. The Angels are in fourth place in the AL West, 1½ games behind the third-place Houston Astros, and a half-game ahead of the fifth-place Texas Rangers.
The MLB odds for this one have the Angels with a -121 moneyline, while the Rays are at +111. The over/under for this contest is set at 8½ runs.
The Rays are trying to keep pace in the AL East, but the Yankees have won four in a row, keeping them just ahead of Tampa Bay. The recent surge by the Rays has been fueled by offense, as they’re averaging 6.6 runs per game over their last three.
Austin Meadows provided the power Tuesday night, hitting two home runs and driving in a career-high five runs. Meadows leads Tampa Bay with seven home runs and 17 RBI, adding six doubles and 15 runs scored.
Third baseman Joey Wendle is batting .290 with a team-high 19 runs scored this season. He has eight doubles, three home runs, and 16 RBI and reached base three times.
Right-hander Andrew Kittredge will be on the mound, making his second start and 10th appearance as Tampa Bay goes with a reliever game. Kittredge is 3-1 with a 1.54 ERA, pitching 11 innings and striking out eight while walking three.
Designated hitter Shohei Ohtani will be working his second job, getting the start for the fourth time. Ohtani is 1-0 with a 3.29 ERA, striking out 23 and walking 13 in 13 2/3 innings.
In his last start on April 26, Ohtani went five innings against Texas, allowing four earned runs on three hits while striking out nine and walking two. He picked up the win in the Angels’ 9-4 victory as Los Angeles improved to 3-0 in games he’s started on the mound.
He also scored three runs and drove in two in the game and was the first home run leader to be the starting pitcher in a game since Babe Ruth did it for the Yankees in June 1921.
“A pretty complete game of baseball,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said of Ohtani’s performance. “If you weren’t entertained by watching him tonight, you can’t be entertained watching the game of baseball.”
Ohtani now has nine home runs to tie for second in the category. He also is batting .264 with seven doubles and two triples, driving in 22 runs.
Of course, Mike Trout is leading the Angels in most offensive categories, as well as leading Major League Baseball with a .407 batting average. Trout had his eighth home run Tuesday and has driven in 17 runs while scoring 21 times.
Between Ohtani and Trout, the Angels can be trouble at the plate. Throw in Ohtani on the mound, and it could get very difficult for the Rays.
With Tampa Bay going with a reliever game, we like the Angels’ offense should break out in this one. When making your MLB picks, go with Los Angeles to get the victory.