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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Los Angeles Angels Free Pick 8/29/13

Los Angeles Angels (59-72) at Tampa Bay Rays (75-56)

MLB Baseball: Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 1:10 pm (Tropicana Field)

Jason Vargas (L) (7-5) (3.773) vs. Jake Odorizzi (R) (0-0) (6.135)

The Line: Tampa Bay Rays -148 / Los Angeles Angels +138 --- Over/Under: 8.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: SUN, FS-West

The Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels face-off on Thursday in Tampa Bay as they close out their series.

The Tampa Bay Rays let one get away from them late on Tuesday, but they bounced back on Wednesday with a win over the Angels. David DeJesus and Ben Zobrist had two hits each and Matt Joyce added a hit, as the Rays scored four runs on eight hits. Starting pitcher Chris Archer allowed five hits and a run, while striking out five over 7.0 innings to earn the win and go to 8-5 on the season and Fernando Rodney earned his 31st save. For Thursday’s game, the Rays start Jake Odorizzi, who makes his fifth appearance of the season. For the year, Odorizzi has allowed 22 hits and 12 earned runs, while striking out 14 over 18 innings for a 0-0 record and a 6.00 ERA.

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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Los Angeles Angels Free Pick 8/29/13

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels fought back gamely on Tuesday, but on Wednesday they had nothing left in the tank as they fell to the Rays. Mike Trout and J.B. Shuck had two hits each and Josh Hamilton had a hit, as the Angels scored one run on five hits. Starting pitcher Garrett Richards allowed seven hits and four runs, while striking out two over 3.1 innings to take the loss and fall to 4-6 on the season. For Thursday’s game, the Angels start Jason Vargas, who has won two of his last three decisions. For the season, Vargas has allowed 117 hits and 45 earned runs, while striking out 73 over 107.1 innings for a 7-5 record and a 3.77 ERA.

Tampa Bay is 20-7 in their last 27 home games, 20-7 as a home favorite, and 2-8 in their last 10 games against a left-handed starter. Los Angeles is 5-1 in their last six road games, 4-1 in their last five games, and 1-5 in their last six game threes of a series. Los Angeles is 3-14 in the last 17 meetings of these two.

While Vargas isn’t the best option around, he is better than the alternative here, Odorizzi, and while the Rays are the better team, the Angels have been fairly sharp of late and on the road, I give them an edge here.

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