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WEAVER TRIES TO STAY UNBEATEN FACING RAYS
Tue, 24 May 2011 01:20 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES ANGELS (15-12)

at TAMPA BAY RAYS (15-12)

First pitch: Sunday, 1:40 p.m. EDT
Line: L.A. Angels -130, Tampa Bay +120, Total: 7.5

Jered Weaver has a great chance to stay perfect in 2011 when he takes the hill for the Angels in Tampa on Sunday.

Weaver has won all six of his starts to begin 2011, allowing just six runs (five earned) along the way. Going back to last September, the Angels have won 10 of Weaver’s last 11 starts. Baseball scores.

Weaver has had plenty of success against the Rays. In six career starts against Tampa, he’s 4-1 with a 2.27 ERA and 0.98 WHIP, and the Angels have won five of those games. Tampa’s newest addition, Johnny Damon, has been overmatched by Weaver over the years. In 34 career plate appearances, he’s hitting .167 with no extra-base hits.

Weaver has been slightly less effective on the road though. Over the past two seasons, he’s made 22 road starts, going 11-8 with a 3.55 ERA (compared to 8-4 with a 1.69 ERA at home). L.A. is just 12-10 in Weaver’s road starts since 2010. Baseball odds.

Alex Cobb will make his big league debut for Tampa. The 23-year-old right-hander has dominated over four starts for Triple-A Durham this season, going 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 22 innings. Cobb is considered more of a second-tier prospect, on the small side with a middling fastball, but good control and movement on his pitches. He’s seen barely any action against big league bats. He threw four innings during spring training, allowing two runs and three hits while striking out six and walking one.

The Rays have been outstanding of late, winning six of their last seven and 14 of 18, but they’re going to be overmatched against Weaver on Sunday. The rookie Cobb can’t be counted on; my pick is Los Angeles. Baseball spreads.

The FoxSheets show this trend favoring the Angels:

Play On – Any team (L.A. ANGELS) – below average AL hitting team (AVG <=.265) against a team with a very good bullpen (ERA <=3.33), with a hot starting pitcher- ERA less than 2.00 over his last 3 starts. (50-28 over the last 5 seasons.) (64.1%, +24.7 units. Rating = 2*).


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