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MLB picks: Rays vs. Angels, Blue Jays vs. Athletics

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

May 3rd, 2021

We’ll keep things confined to the American League as we make our selections for Monday night’s MLB action.

First up, we preview a matchup between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels. Then we’ll highlight Monday’s meeting between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Oakland Athletics.

Tampa Bay Rays (14-15) at Los Angeles Angels (13-13), 9:38 p.m. ET

Tue, May 4 2021, 1:38 AM

LA Angels

Moneyline

+104

Spread

+1.5

Total

O 7.5

TB Rays

Moneyline

-120

Spread

-1.5

Total

U 7.5

The Rays should be able to solve Shohei Ohtani as they visit the Angels on Monday night.

Ohtani has escaped with a 3.29 ERA through three starts this year, but his WHIP is an elevated 1.39 thanks to his 13 base-on-balls allowed through 13 2/3 innings. Tampa’s lineup is fifth in OBP on the road in 2021 (.322), so they should give Ohtani plenty of tough at-bats.

Once Ohtani is out, the Rays can get to work on an Angels bullpen that’s 21st in ERA (4.47) and 26th in strand rate (62.9% left on base) over the last two weeks. Look for Manuel Margot (7-for-17 last seven days) to get things cooking at the plate for Tampa.

Tyler Glasnow shook off a subpar start against the Toronto Blue Jays (five earned runs allowed over six innings) when he blanked the A’s through seven innings last Wednesday. He had surrendered just two earned runs in 24 2/3 innings in his first four efforts of 2021, so it’s easy to see why Glasnow’s ERA is a sparkling 1.67 – fifth in the majors.

The Rays are 11-5 in their last 16 road games against teams with winning records. L.A. is 24-51 in its last 75 games as an underdog.

MLB pick: Rays -120


Toronto Blue Jays (14-12) at Oakland Athletics (17-12), 9:40 p.m. ET

Tue, May 4 2021, 1:40 AM

OAK Athletics

Moneyline

-127

Spread

-1.5

Total

O 8.5

TOR Blue Jays

Moneyline

+110

Spread

+1.5

Total

U 8.5

Expect the Blue Jays to outslug the A’s in Oakland on Monday night.

Frankie Montas, who owns a 6.20 ERA and 1.50 WHIP on the year, starts for the A’s here. Toronto’s batters – who have averaged 7.4 runs per game over their last five tilts – are likely licking their chops. Bo Bichette and Randal Grichuk are a combined 14-for-43 (.326) with three homers and seven RBI in that span.

Steven Matz counters for the Blue Jays in this spot. He exits his worst outing of 2021 (six earned runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Washington Nationals), but bettors should not get hung up on that fact. The A’s seven-run outburst against the Baltimore Orioles last Sunday was the first time they eclipsed four runs in a game in a seven-game span.

MLB pick: Blue Jays +110

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