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Sports news with a Vegas perspective.

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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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MLB Thursday Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Angels: Start Time, Odds, Free Pick

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Thursday night baseball and we will see the Tampa Bay Rays stay on the West Coast to take on the Los Angeles Angels in game 1 of their 4 game series. The game is scheduled for a 10:05 (ET) pm start time and it will be televised live on Sun Sports (Tampa Bay) and FSN West (Los Angeles). Currently the odds have Tampa Bay favored at -115while Los Angeles is dogs of +108. The total for the game sits at 7.5 runs.

Free Analysis: Fresh off their first series win since late July, the Los Angeles Angels begin a four-game home set on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays, who are anxious to get a baserunner. Tampa Bay fell victim to Seattle's Felix Hernandez, who tossed the first perfect game in Mariners history Wednesday afternoon. The Rays are the only team in history to have three perfect games pitched against them, with all three coming over the last four seasons.Hernandez's gem resulted in the Rays' second straight loss following a seven-game winning streak. Tampa Bay fell to 4-2 on its 10-game road trip. It would seem Tampa Bay has a good chance to bounce back at Los Angeles, where it's won nine of 11 and shut out the Angels (62-56) in the final two of a three-game set last month. Though the Rays have never posted three consecutive road shutouts against the same opponent, the Angels were blanked at home three straight times by Texas from July 6-Sept. 30, 1989. David Price (15-4, 2.50 ERA) gets the ball for the Rays and he is 3-2 with a 3.48 ERA in seven starts versus Los Angeles, including tossing a five-hitter in a 5-0 home victory April 24. The left-hander yielded two runs in seven innings of a 4-2 win at Minnesota on Saturday to improve to 7-0 with a 1.89 ERA in 10 starts since losing to the New York Mets on June 13. Price is 6-0 with a 2.50 ERA in eight road starts since losing at Yankee Stadium on May 10. Price gets his first look at star Angels rookie Mike Trout, who hit his 22nd homer in an 8-4 win over Cleveland on Thursday. Trout is batting an AL-best .340, but is 1 for 8 with three strikeouts against the Rays. Trumbo is 4 for 9 with a homer versus Price. Los Angeles is looking for a third straight victory after winning its first series since taking two of three from Kansas City July 23-25. Scheduled starter Dan Haren (8-9, 4.68) allowed four runs in 18 innings while going 2-0 in his previous three starts before he was tagged for seven in 3 1-3 innings of a 7-4 home loss to Seattle on Saturday. The right-hander has allowed at least one homer in nine straight starts overall, and one in 10 consecutive outings versus Tampa Bay, but is 7-3 with a 2.60 ERA in 12 starts against the Rays. He allowed a long ball to Jeff Keppinger in six innings of a 3-1 home win over Tampa Bay on July 27. Rays star and southern California native Evan Longoria is 1 for 5 versus Haren, but he has batted .426 (20 for 47) with four homers and 13 RBIs in 13 games at Angel Stadium. Longoria, however, is 1 for 14 with six strikeouts in his last four games overall. 

Free Pick: I don't see allot of runs in this game. Yes the Rays are rolling right now, but they do come off a series in which they scored 6 runs in 3 games and had a perfect game thrown against them yesterday. I know that Haren isn't a great pitcher, but he has allowed 3 ER's or less in eacjh of his last 8 starts vs the Rays, so  I just don't see this weak Tampa offense putting up much on him here. The Angels offense has been hot the last 2 games, but that was vs a weak Cleveland Staff. Now they take on David Price, who has a 2.05 ERA in his last 3 starts and hasn't allowed more than 3 ER's in his last 10 starts. David has also allowed just 3 total ER's in his last 2 starts in this park and he threw a 5-0 shutout at the Halos earlier in the year. Dating back to last year the last 9 games in this series has averaged just 4.9 rpg, with none of those games putting up more than 7 runs. I expect that to continue here.   

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