The Tampa Bay Rays are set to host the Los Angeles Angels on Monday in the first matchup of a four-game set at Tropicana Field. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our MLB Odds series, which includes our Angels-Rays prediction and pick we have laid out below.

Tampa Bay — along with the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners — is tied for the top spot in the American League Wild Card race at 65-55, sitting 2 1/2 games ahead of the Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles and trailing the New York Yankees by only eight games in the AL East. The Rays have won seven out of their last 10 games, and enter their series with the Angels looking to build off back-to-back wins over the Kansas City Royals.

Los Angeles is well out of the playoff picture at 52-69, with six losses in its last 10 games and an abysmal 26-46 record against teams above .500. However, the Angels do lead Tampa Bay 2-1 in the season series.

Here are the Angels-Rays MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

MLB Odds: Angels-Rays Odds

Los Angeles Angels: +1.5 (-128)

Tampa Bay Rays: -1.5 (+106)

Over: 7 (-120)

Under: 7 (-102)

Why The Angels Could Cover The Spread

It’s tough to find reasons to feel confident in a Los Angeles offense that ranks among the worst in the MLB, both over the course of the season and since the All-Star break. Shohei Ohtani is always a bright spot, though. The two-way standout is one of the most feared hitters in baseball, with his .993 OPS in the second half ranking third in the American League. He also ranks among the top 10 in slugging percentage, home runs and triples during this stretch.

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Infielder Luis Rengifo is another player who has showcased his talents for the Angels during the past month. Over the last 30 days, he ranks among the top 20 in the American League in RBI, doubles, batting average and slugging percentage.

Why The Rays Could Cover The Spread

At least on paper, this is shaping up to be one of the most lopsided matchups in Monday’s slate of games. And for as bad as Los Angeles has been at the plate, the Rays seem to hold an even greater advantage in the pitching department.

In his first season being used primarily as a starter, Jeffrey Springs is having the best year of his career. Springs has a 5-3 record with a 2.52 ERA and .226 opponent’s batting in 2022, and after a rocky month of July, he’s gotten back on track in a big way as of late. July was a month to forget, with a 4.73 ERA and .328 opponent batting average, but he’s rebounded with his most productive month as a starter. In three starts in August, he’s given up just three earned runs in 16 innings — good for a 1.69 ERA — while striking out over one batter per inning and allowing opponents to hit just .172 against him.

As for Los Angeles, Tucker Davidson has struggled immensely in limited action this year. He’s made five starts with one relief appearance, posting a 6.75 ERA with a 1.74 WHIP and .253 opponent batting average. Davidson has enjoyed a few solid outings, giving up two runs or less in three of his starts. However, his other three appearances have been a disaster, allowing 16 earned runs in 9 1/3 innings. He was shelled for six earned runs and gave up five walks in four innings against the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 7. The Rays’ 3.33 bullpen ERA is also 63 points lower than that of the Angels.

The Rays have done the bulk of their damage at home this season, posting a 38-23 record, compared to a 27-35 mark away from Tropicana Field. There hasn’t been a huge disparity at the plate since the All-Star break, but Tampa Bay still holds an edge in terms of OPS, runs scored, and batting average, among other categories, during the second half of the season.

Final Angels-Rays Prediction & Pick

Any time an over seven runs pops up on the board, there is a temptation to take it. However, given how much both teams have struggled on offense — ranking among the bottom eight in the league in runs scored, batting average, slugging percentage and OPS since the All-Star break — there just isn’t enough firepower at the plate to feel confident, even with Davidson displaying a tendency for giving up runs in bunches.

Even with Tampa Bay’s offense in a rut, the Rays have started to get it together at the plate, scoring at least five runs in three of their last five games. The Angels, by contrast, totaled just four runs scored during their most recent series against the Detroit Tigers — who are far from a juggernaut at 29 games below .500. This, combined with Springs’ success on the mound, makes the Rays on the run line a solid play.

Final Angels-Rays Prediction & Pick: -1.5 (+106)