Rays vs Angels Odds: Franco’s Absence Continues to Loom Large

Rays Keeping Pace in AL Playoff Race Despite Key Losses

Injuries and the untimely absence of shortstop Wander Franco have created plenty of uncertainty around the Tampa Bay Rays. Despite that, the Rays remain a fixture in the American League playoff race.

Next up for Tampa Bay is a three-game set this weekend in Los Angeles against the Angels. The Rays are a -115 moneyline favorite in Friday’s opener, with the Angels priced at +100. The projected total remains 9.5 (-110). Read on as we break down the Rays vs Angels odds in our series preview.

Rays logo Rays vs Angels Angels logo

Day/Time:
Location: Angel Stadium

TB Hanging Tight Amid Losses

The Tampa Bay Rays will be without Franco indefinitely while he is under investigation in the Dominican Republic for an alleged relationship with a minor. The investigation began earlier this week after images surfaced on social media surrounding the 22-year-old Franco.

On Monday, the Rays placed Franco on the restricted list, sidelining him for a minimum of six games while MLB conducts its own investigation. A first-time All-Star, Franco has played in 112 games with Tampa Bay this season, batting .281 with 17 homers and 58 RBI. He also has six triples and is tied for sixth in the majors with 30 stolen bases.

Franco’s absence comes at a critical time for the Rays (73-50), who are in the thick of the American League playoff race. Tampa Bay has fallen 2.0 games behind the Baltimore Orioles atop the AL East but entered Thursday owning a comfortable 5.5-game lead in the MLB wild card standings. Because of that, oddsmakers consider the club a -3000 lock to make the postseason.

Still, Tampa Bay is a lot more vulnerable these days. The Rays’ pitching staff looks like another massive hit his week, losing ace left-hander Shane McClanahan for the season with an elbow injury. The two-time All-Star was 11-2 with a 3.29 ERA and 121 strikeouts in 115 innings. He is slated to undergo Tommy John surgery Monday. Tampa Bay’s rotation had already lost Shane Baz, Jeffrey Springs, and Drew Rasmussen due to season-ending MLB injuries. That could affect the Rays vs Angels odds.

Ohtani Not Enough to Save LA

The Los Angeles Angels’ decision to buy at the trade deadline looks worse by the day. Los Angeles is just 4-11 this month and has fallen to 60-62 overall, 7.0 games out of the third and final AL wild-card spot.

Despite those struggles, Shohei Ohtani continues to maintain his MVP pace. The two-way superstar from Japan is second in baseball with 42 homers and leads all players with a 1.072 OPS. On the mound, he is 10-5 with a 3.17 ERA. Ohtani also ranks top 10 in strikeouts with 165. He is slated to rejoin the rotation next week against the Cincinnati Reds after having his start skipped due to arm fatigue.

Ohtani is slated to become a free agent this winter. Many experts expect the 29-year-old to land the richest contract in baseball history, upward of $500 million.

The Angels are also waiting to get back outfielder Mike Trout, who was slated to face live pitching Thursday for the first time since undergoing surgery for a left hamate fracture in July. The 11-time All-Star was hitting .263 with 18 homers and 44 RBI in 81 games.

Odds Outlook

Tampa Bay is 61-62 against the run line, including 31-30 on the road. Conversely, Los Angeles is just 57-65 ATS and 26-33 at home. The Angels’ 46.7% cover rate is tied for the sixth-lowest in MLB. That’s important to remember when assessing the Rays vs Angels odds.

⚾ Game 1 ⚾

Tyler Anderson vs Erasmo Ramirez
Friday, 9:38 p.m. ET

Anderson has failed to recapture his All-Star form from 2022, which earned him a three-year, $40-million contract from the Angels in the offseason. The 33-year-old left-hander is 5-4 with a 5.28 ERA and owns the second-lowest K/BB ratio (2.0) of his career. He faces Ramirez, who will be making just his second start with Tampa Bay since signing a minor league deal in June. He’s logged a 4.38 ERA in five appearances after starting the year with the Washington Nationals.

⚾ Game 2 ⚾

Chase Silseth vs Zach Eflin
Saturday, 9:07 p.m. ET

The 23-year-old Silseth has been a revelation since returning from the minor leagues in mid-July, going 3-0 in four starts while striking out 31 over 22.2 innings. He’s allowed just four runs during that span, this after logging a 6.59 ERA with the Angels in May. The Rays will counter with Eflin, who is 12-7 with a 3.67 ERA. Eflin is tied for second in MLB in wins and ranks sixth in quality starts. His 132 strikeouts are already a career-high.

⚾ Game 3 ⚾

Patrick Sandoval vs Tyler Glasnow
Sunday, 4:07 p.m. ET

Sandoval is 6-9 with a 4.09 ERA. The left-hander’s been hit hard of late, with a 5.02 ERA over three starts in August. His counterpart, Glasnow, returned from a back injury Monday to throw six solid innings against the San Francisco Giants. He allowed just one run while striking out seven in a 10-2 victory, per baseball scores. On the season, the right-hander is 6-3 with a 3.01 ERA and was named the AL Pitcher of the Month for July.

For MLB predictions, betting news, analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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