There are 10 contests on the MLB betting board for Thursday but only one late game, as the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Angels wrap up a four-game series in sunny California.
With the Angels losing each of the previous three contests, they will hope to avoid the sweep and are installed as slim -140 favorites to do so.
Here are our best free Rays vs. Angels picks and predictions for Thursday, May 6, with the first pitch scheduled for 9:38 p.m. ET.
Rays vs Angels odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Compare MLB odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.
MLB Sharp Money and Line Movement ReportBy Patrick Everson
Los Angeles opened a -127 favorite at TwinSpires, moved out to -137 early and is up to -148 at 7 p.m. ET. The Angels are taking 58 percent of tickets and 73 percent of cash, including a $16,000 wager at -140. The total is steady at 8.5, shaded slightly to the Over, with 67 percent of tickets and 59 percent of cash on the Over.Check out the full line movement for this game
Rays vs Angels betting preview
Collin McHugh (0-1, 10.13 ERA): McHugh will be starting for the first time since 2019 when he was a member of the Astros. The 33-year-old will be making his fifth appearance this season and is returning after missing almost three weeks due to a back strain. He will likely serve as the opener and give way to primary pitcher Josh Fleming, who has a 2.18 ERA through 20 2-3 innings this season.
Andrew Heaney (1-2, 5.25 ERA): The veteran southpaw has pitched to an awful 5.25 ERA across five starts, albeit with a solid 1.13 WHIP and 34 strikeouts in 24 innings. He's coming off a brutal performance in Seattle where he surrendered three dingers and four runs before getting the hook midway through the third inning.
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.
Rays: Diego Castillo RP (Out), Jalen Beeks RP (Out).
Angels: Justin Upton LF (Questionable), Anthony Rendon 3B (Out), Tony Watson (Out), Felix Pena (Out), Dexter Fowler CF (Out),
Find our latest MLB injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Rays are 8-1 in their last nine games on the road. Find more MLB betting trends for Rays vs. Angels.
The Rays have won the first three games in this set by a total score of 18-7. They have now won four in a row overall and are two games above .500 while looking to recapture the form that propelled them to an AL East title and a World Series berth last year.
The Angels, meanwhile, have lost four straight games and have been ice cold at the plate, averaging just 1.75 runs per game over that span. Injuries to Anthony Rendon and Justin Upton haven't helped but there is no excuse for the rest of the lineup, which is still loaded with talent.
While the Rays don't have the greatest group of hitters they have been mashing on the road, leading the majors with 5.67 runs per game in 15 away contests and boasting an OPS of .729.
Although Tampa's opener, McHugh, has been shaky, Fleming — who will get the bulk of the workload — has looked sharp. The 24-year-old went 5-0 with a 2.78 ERA last year and has a 1.06 WHIP, while holding opponents to a .178 batting average.
When it comes to fielding, the X-factor in baseball, the disparity between these teams is massive. The Rays are fourth in the majors in double plays per game while making the second-fewest errors. The Halos, on the other hand, commit the most errors in the majors (including a sloppy four two days ago) and are 26th in double plays per game.
With the Rays 17-5 in the last 22 meetings between these teams, back them as slim underdogs tonight.
PREDICTION: Tampa Bay (+120)
We mentioned that the Angels have been struggling to generate runs recently but this is still a very dangerous team led by three-time AL MVP Mike Trout (.514 OBP and eight home runs this season), Shohei Ohtani (nine homers, 22 RBI), and Jared Walsh, who is having a breakthrough season with a .333 batting average and 22 RBI.
The Halos are second in the majors with a batting average of .257 while ranking fifth with an OPS of .742.
That said, Heaney doesn't exactly inspire confidence. The southpaw has decent stuff, including an excellent fastball, but he has always struggled with consistency and has a tendency to get hit hard.
Heaney was roughed up for three home runs in his previous start, in the pitcher-friendly T-Mobile Park, and was also hammered for seven runs through three innings in his first game of the season.
With the Rays hitting the ball very well on the road and cashing the Over in eight of their last 10 away games against a team with a losing record, take the Over tonight.
PREDICTION: Over 8 (-115)
Rays vs Angels betting card
- Tampa Bay (+120)
- Over 8 (-115)
Picks made on 5/06/2021 at 1:00 p.m. ET
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