Rays vs. Angels prediction and odds for Friday, Aug. 18 (Trust Tampa Bay against struggling LA)

The Angels slide is sure to continue against Tampa Bay in the series opener.
Aug 16, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Josh Lowe (15) hits a one
Aug 16, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Josh Lowe (15) hits a one / Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels have fallen out of the playoff race and that is a positive development for the Tampa Bay Rays, who are desperate to find its footing as we head into the stretch run of the season.

Tampa Bay is in Los Angeles on Friday to start a weekend series in hopes of handing the Halos another loss after a dismal stretch at the plate. The Rays will hope Erasmo Ramirez will continue to grow into his a role as an opener after being acquired at the trade deadline.

Here are the odds for Friday's matchup with the Angels countering with lefty Tyler Anderson.

Rays vs. Angels odds, run line and total

Rays vs. Angeles prediction and pick

While Tampa Bay has slowed down from its torrid start to the season, the team is still above average hitting left handed pitching. The Rays are hitting .256 against southpaws this season and should have little issue against Anderson, who has a 5.28 ERA and is walking more than three batters per nine innings.

Tampa Bay's offense should roll and I don't trust this Angels offense whatsoever. The team has fallen out of the postseason race behind its recent stretch, now two games below .500 and the lowest batting average in the big leagues over the last 15 days, per MLB.com, hitting .207.

Both Ramirez and Anderson don't pitch typically more than about five innings, meaning both bullpens should play a role in this one, and I give the edge to the Rays, who have a unit ERA .40 lower.

I'm taking the better team to get it done in the series opener.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.