Major League Baseball on Tuesday night and I will have a Free Pick in the game between the LA Angels and the Tampa Bay Rays, which will be played at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida. First pitch is scheduled for a 7:10 PM (Eastern) start time and the game will be televised locally.
Angels - 105
Over/ Under: 7.5 U -115
This is game 1 of a 3 game series between these American League foes. The Halos are struggling again as they have lost 5 in a row, which includes getting swept at New York over the weekend. The Angels are now in 3rd place in the AL West, 5.5 games behind the Astros. Tampa Bay is coming off a long road trip in which they won 87 of their last 9 games on. Still they haven't been able to make up ground on the Yankees in the AL East as they remain 1.5 games behind them for first place in the division. The Angels rank 22nd in scoring (3.95 rpg), while on the mound they are 16th in ERA (3.88). The Rays rank 27th in scoring (3.69 rpg), while on the mound they are 3rd in ERA (3.24).
Trend for this game include: The Angels are 11-4 in their last 15 games on astroturf and 12-2 in Shoemaker's last 14 road starts, but just 1-7 in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a winning record. The Rays have gone 6-1 in their last 7 when their opponent scores 2 runs or less in their previous game, and 5-1 in their last 6 vs. a team with a losing record, but just 1-8 in their last 9 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days.
Getting the ball for Los Angeles tonight will be Matt Shoemaker, who has gone 3-5 with a 5.08 ERA on the year, while on the road he is 3-1 with a 4.94 ERA. Matt has gone 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in 2 career starts vs the Rays.
Toeing the rubber for the Rays tonight will be Nathan Karns, who has gone 3-2 with a 3.63 ERA in 11 starts this year, while at home he is 2-2 with a 4.98 ERA. Nate is 0-0 with a 7.20 ERA in 1 career starts vs the Halos.
Pick: I will be going with the Halos in this one as they need this game badly and are taking on a Tampa Bay team that is coming home off a lengthy road trip, which is never a good spot for most teams and Tampa is 1-8 at home after a road trip of 7 or more days. Matt Shoemaker has struggled this year, but he has nice numbers vs the Rays in his career, while Karns has struggled at home and wsas hit pretty hard in his lone start vs the Halos. Great spot here for LA to get back on the winning track.
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MLB Pitching Stats: DBF, Difficulty of Batters Faced
Pro handicappers Teddy Covers and Steve Fezzik talk about the difference between lazy stats and legit stats, telling you what you need to know about DBF or Difficulty of Batters Faced. This stat is a favorite among sabremetrics followers, who prefer this over stats looking at how a pitcher does versus a team when the team's rotation is constantly changing. Teddy sees the value in DBF, while Fezzik thinks some of the worst DBF performers like AJ Burnett are actually some of the best pitchers in baseball.