Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#4971 Los Angeles Angels vs.
#4972 Tampa Bay Rays
Wednesday, September 20, 2023 at 6:40pm EDT
Written by Mark Ruelle

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The Los Angeles Angels and Tampa Bay Rays will play game two of their three-game series on Wednesday night in Tampa. The Angels are wrapping up what has been yet another disappointing season and preparing for likely their biggest offseason in team history with the pending free agency of superstar Shohei Ohtani. The Rays split their recent four-game series with the Orioles to remain hopeful of winning the AL East but have at least clinched a playoff spot yet again. The pitching matchup on Wednesday night will be an as-yet-to-be-named starter for the Angels taking on Rays' righty Aaron Civale (7-3, 3.06). The first pitch is slated for 6:40 PM EST.

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The Offseason Looms

The Los Angeles Angels tried to make all the right moves at the trade deadline to stay afloat in the American League playoffs but their moves can only be described as an unmitigated disaster. The team has sunk down in the standing in the AL West Division and lost both of their star players, Mike Trout and Ohtani, for the season. They had into this series with Tampa having lost 13 of their last 20 games. On Tuesday night in the opener, the Angels bullpen coughed up four runs in the eighth inning and turned a 2-2 tie into a 6-2 Angels' win.

The Angels have not announced a starter for game two of this series with the Rays. The most likely candidate is lefty Reid Detmers who was scratched from his last start on Saturday due to illness. Detmers is 3-10 with an ERA of 4.77 in 26 starts this season. He is 1-6 on the road in 12 starts this season with an ERA of 5.40. He has allowed 55 hits in 60 innings pitched on the raod with 57 strikeouts. Detmers is 1-0 with an ERA of 3.00 in his last five games and has 23 strikeouts in 30 innings pitched.

Key Injuries: 3B Mike Moustakis, CF Mike Trout, DH Shohei Ohtani and CF Mickey Moniak are all out.

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Rays Still Hopeful

The Tampa Bay Rays have overcome a ton of adversity this season, including injuries and off-the-field incidents, but still managed to earn a playoff berth and still have an outside chance of winning the AL East Division. The Rays have won seven out of their last ten games heading into Tuesday night's battle with the Angels. They did close out the Orioles series with two straight losses to end a four-game winning streak. In the opener against the Angels, the Rays scored four times in the bottom of the eighth and pull out a 6-2 win.

The Rays will send trade acquisition Aaron Civale to the mound on Wednesday night against the Angels. Civale is 7-3 on the season overall and is 2-1 in eight starts since being acquired by the Rays at the deadline. He has pitched 40.2 innings and allowed 42 hits with an ERA of 4.43 for the Rays. Civale has an impressive 10.6 K/9 rate for the Rays and his WHIP is 1.25. He has not faced the Angels yet this season but is 1-1 in five starts against the AL West this season with an ERA of 3.68.

Key Injuries: CF Jose Siri is out.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


The Rays don't have any reason to rest their regulars yet as they remain very much in the hunt for the AL East Division crown. That would be significant in that it would not force the Rays to participate in the wildcard weekend round. Last season, the Rays were eliminated in two games in the wildcard round by Cleveland. The Angels will likely hand the ball to Detmers after the lefty sat out his last start due to an illness. He will face a Rays' lineup that is one of the most balanced in baseball and equally adept at facing lefties as they are righties. Rays' start Civale was one of the more underrated trade pickups at the deadline and has been vital for a Rays' pitching staff that has been overrun with injuries this season. I like Civale to get fairly deep into this game, particularly against a depleted Angels lineup, and the bullpen will finish this game off.

Take the Rays with the run line.

Prediction: Rays -1.5

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


The Rays come into this game 6-4 to the over in their last ten games. They are fourth in baseball in runs per game and average over five runs per game at home this season. The Angels, despite their depleted lineup, have gone over the total in two of their last three games. In addition, assuming Detmers gets the call, the Angels have gone over the total in six of his last seven starts. Look for a slightly elevated scoring game between these two teams on Wednesday night as well.

Take the over.

Prediction: Over

Written By Mark Ruelle , "Mark Ruelle"

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.

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