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MLB Picks: May 9

by Stefan Luciani

After a very eventful Sunday slate filled with baseball, Monday is a bit of a calmer one with just 11 games on the go, but my eyes are drawn towards a specific matchup between the Los Angeles Angels and the Tampa Bay Rays. 

It’s no surprise that the Angels have shocked everyone a bit to start this season as they sit 1st in the AL West ahead of teams like the Astros, the Twins, and even the Toronto Blue Jays. They come into this matchup winners of five of their last six series, so it’s easy to understand why they’re currently the betting favourites at -130 (Leo Vegas). 

The Tampa Bay Rays are not a team to be overlooked though. Coming in at +115 underdogs (theScoreBet) it is an appetizing line for a team that has found themselves in the ALDS for the past three years, including a World Series berth in 2020. They've certainly started off strong as well this season as they sit second in the notorious AL East, and on paper are just a half-game back from the Angels.  Another factor to be taken into consideration is the return of Ji-Man Choi on Sunday. The first baseman started off the season hot, hitting .357 through 42 plate appearances with two HRs. He'll provide a much-needed boost to this Rays offence going up against Noah Syndergaard (2-1, 2.63 ERA).

The Angels do automatically hold an edge for two reasons; Mike Trout, and Shohei Ohtani. 

With Trout healthy once again, and Ohtani finding his bat after a slow start, the two have begun to be trouble for opposing bullpens. Trout boasts a 1.055 OPS on the young season, but Ohtani has cooled down again since, hitting .217 with just five hits in his last 23 AB. They'll be going up against Jeffery Springs (1-0, 0.69 ERA) and despite seven of LA’s active hitters holding a strong BA against him, this is a team who has seen very little of the 29-year-old lefty, which could prove to play into Tampa’s favour. 

As a Jays fan it pains me to put my money behind an AL East rival, but the value is there. If Vegas wants to give me the Rays as underdogs, I’m going to say thank you very much, and count it. Pick: Rays ML +115 (theScoreBet)

Other notable games:

Yankees -1.5 @ +105 (theScoreBet) & under 7 +105 (Caesars) vs Rangers: This is a Yankees team that has continued to be red hot. I see them having no problem winning this game by more than one run. Nestor Cortes has been fantastic to start the year and will shut down this Rangers lineup from top to bottom, so u7 is the play. 

Oakland +1.5 @ +175 (theScoreBet) vs Tigers: Vegas wants Oakland to be the underdog here with a very tasty line at +1.5 for +175. Paul Blackburn (3-0, 2.22 ERA)  has had a great start to the season and this Oakland team has shown they are able to produce runs. At a full game ahead of the tigers, there’s just no way I don’t take what they’re giving me. 

One of betstamp’s largest brand values is transparency. Whether you are looking to tail or fade my picks, or potentially just like reading the breakdowns, you can find my full documented betting record here. Best of luck with your bets today.

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