Image licensed from USA Today Sports
Friday marks the start of a three-game series between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Tampa Bay Rays. Both clubs come together a bit as they both aim to turn things around in this series.
Angels lose a wild one
With Shohei Ohtani on the mound Wednesday afternoon, the Angels were ready to split their two-game home set against the Giants. It was a pitcher duel through the first nine, as starters Kevin Gausman and Ohtani both had to deal with. The game went to extra material with the score 1-1, as the drama was just underway. Extra innings were one of the bettors’ worst nightmares as 10 total runs crossed the plate and the Giants went on to win 9-3. The Angels thought they had won in the 12th inning when a game-winning race on the home plate was toppled and the Giants had new life. Alex Claudio went three-straight Giants in the top of the 13th, was then finally drawn. Junior Guerra came in and allowed six runs to come in (3 earned) as the Giants exploded in inning. Alex Claudio took the loss for the Angels as they now sit 10 games left by the division-leading Astros.
Ohtani has led the way for the Angels’ slogan this season. He has smoked 23 home runs and knocked in 54 total RBIs a year as he continues to claim the AL MVP. The Halos are 8th in each point (4.86) and 4th in hits (8.57). The Angels’ offense has not been the problem for them this season, it has been poor defense defensively that has made them in. They are 25th in runs allowed per. Fight on the road (5.32) and 25th in hits given up on the road (8.44).
Griffin Canning gets its start at Anaheim Friday night. The Angels’ last match was so crazy, Griffin Canning found himself playing left field in extra innings due to a head injury to catcher Kurt Suzuki. While it was strange to see him out there, Canning was not hit by anything in his short stint as an outfielder. On the mound, however, Canning has gone 4-4 over 11 starts to the season for the Angels. He brings a 4.96 total ERA into this one and his ERA path is the same. The Angels are 1-4 in Canning’s road start this season as he has allowed 16 earned runs and seven home runs away from home. Overall, Canning has allowed 55 hits over 53 innings of work. He has given up 12 homers and 31 earned runs in total over his 11 starts on the campaign. Canning’s only start against the Rays came in 2019. He allowed four earned runs over 6 innings as the Angels dropped the game with a score of 6-5.
Justin Upton is doubtful for this one against the Rays, as the Angels’ left field is still dealing with a back injury. Upton (32 RBIs, 14 HRs) is a big producer that the Angels will be happy to see back in the lineup as soon as possible. Starting catcher, Kurt Suzuki is also questionable in the opening game of this series, after taking a shot in the head behind the home plate against the Giants. The Angels are also still missing one of the biggest hitters ever, Mike Trout. He’s out with a calf injury.
Rays aim to turn it around
A seven-game skirmish by the Tampa Bay Rays has made the AL East race much tighter in 2021. At the time of writing, Tampa sits half a game behind the Boston Redsox. The Rays have a shot at getting back to first place Thursday night against the Red Sox before welcoming the angels into town.
Andrew Kittredge has been announced as the starter for the Rays Friday night. Kittredge has not earned a win or a loss in his three starts of the season for Tampa, this is because he has only seen 1-2 innings of action in all of his starts. He has a nice 5-1 overall record out of the bullpen. According to Fan-graphs, Kittredge has given up only two home runs and five earned runs over 35.1 total innings of work this season. It will be interesting to see if Kevin Cash (Rays’ manager) keeps Kittredge out on the mound for longer compared to his previous starter. He has hit very well in his start to the year, despite the rays pulling him early in all three.
Austin Meadows has been the best-known producer for the Rays in 2021, leading the team in RBIs (52) and home runs (16). Meadows has maintained success against right-handers this season. 15 of his 16 homers and 41 of his 52 RBIs are against right-handed pitching. The Rays have not hit the ball so well when playing at home this season. On Oddsshark, you see that they rank 20. in races scored per. match at home (4.11) and 22nd in hits (7.26). Beating out has been their biggest problem when beating at home this season as they have an average of 10.49 strikes in a game. It ranks them 30th in MLB in that category.
Tampa Bay is:
- 132-79 last three seasons against right-handed starters
- 95-57 last three seasons in all home games
Los Angeles is:
- 13-18 as an underdog this season
- 15-19 on the way this season