Free Pick: (969) LOS ANGELES ANGELS -110
I’m trying to imagine what the atmosphere has to be right now at Tropicana Field. We already know they’re the worst draw in baseball, even though they’ve been serious contenders for several years now. We already know this year’s Rays were given up for dead following a terrible start to the season, but they’ve done a truly impressive job of clawing their way back into playoff contention. And now we already know that the dollars saved by moving David Price now trumped everything else, and I cannot see how that can be a positive thing for the players.
I know Joe Maddon and the Rays will say all the right things, and I guess it’s possible this team will have an us against the world mentality for a bit. But I think reality has to sink in at some point, and I guess I wouldn’t be shocked if it happens pretty quickly. In fact, I think the worst thing for this team was having Thursday off. Talk about a depressing day off.
In the space of roughly one week, the Rays have gone from a team charging hard and very possibly deciding not to deal their star pitcher, to one that basically told every employee in the organization, sorry, we have no choice. The resulting mindset could very well be no chance.
The Angels come in off a thrilling series at Baltimore, and they could actually be a bit fatigued here. So it’s not the ideal scheduling spot for the Halos, and Jeremy Hellickson might be able to limit them tonight. But Matt Shoemaker remains on his amazing roll, as that ridiculous splitter continues to confound. I have to give Shoemaker a slim edge as far as the pitching is concerned. The Angels bullpen could be weary here, so if it’s tight late that might be an edge for the home team. But the better bats will be wearing road jerseys tonight, and it’s also amazing how that adrenaline can flow through tired bodies following a big 1-0 extra inning win.
The bottom line for me is that the Rays might show up determined, but I don’t think it’s going to take much for this team to fall into a funk. If and when that happens, the prices will quickly adjust. So I’ll try and get ahead of the curve by going anti-Rays tonight, and if this wins, I might continue to do so on a regular basis moving forward. The Angels get the nod as the Friday free play.
After yesterday's one-run loss: 8-2 on premium picks at Pregame. +26 units on the season overall. My one & only best bet Friday for only $19.