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Series Between AL Favorites Tigers, Angels Highlights Weekend Betting

The Tigers were installed as 2013 American League pennant favorites at Bovada the day following Detroit's World Series sweep at the hands of the San Francisco Giants last October. For the most part, the Tigers have stayed as AL favorites, although they were temporarily replaced by the Blue Jays. Detroit is now 4/1 and also the 7/1 World Series favorite, just ahead of red-hot Atlanta (15/2).

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The Los Angeles Angels didn't reach the playoffs last year and originally were slated behind the Tigers, Rangers and Yankees on AL futures odds. After the Halos surprised many with the offseason signing of Josh Hamilton, however, L.A. jumped up to No. 2 behind the Tigers. That's where the Angels remain, at 5/1, despite a disappointing start that has them with one of the worst records in the AL.

Detroit visits Anaheim for three games in the marquee weekend series in MLB, and Bovada will have Live Play-By-Play Betting on the games Friday and Sunday.

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The Tigers are atop the AL Central - and huge - 350 favorites to win that division again thanks to an offense that easily leads the majors in batting average and ranks second in the AL in runs. One of Detroit's best hitters has been Angels castoff Torii Hunter (.414 entering Wednesday). A majority of the Tigers regulars are at .300 or better. No surprise that nine of Detroit's 13 games entering Wednesday have gone over the total then.

Los Angeles could use Hunter right now. The team replaced him with the much more expensive Hamilton, and he has started slowly - although he did hit his first two home runs over the weekend. The good news for the Angels is that Mike Trout and Albert Pujols are starting to heat up.

The Angels will have two advantages to win the Tigers series. First, L.A. is off Wednesday after finishing a series in Minnesota, while Detroit has to travel Thursday night after finishing a three-game set in Seattle. Second, the Angels will miss the Tigers' two best pitchers, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. Of course the Halos are without their ace, Jered Weaver, for another month or so with a broken non-throwing elbow.

The Tigers and Angels split 10 meetings a season ago, with L.A. winning all three at home. Detroit Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera was fairly quiet against the Angels, hitting .200 with two homers and nine strikeouts in 30 at-bats. Prince Fielder, arguably the best hitter in the AL thus far in the season, hit .419 with two homers and eight RBIs against the Angels in 2012.

Meanwhile, Trout hit .262 with four homers and 11 runs but also 16 strikeouts in 42 at-bats against Detroit last year. Trout only homered more against one team, division-rival Texas. Pujols hit .385 with two homers against the Tigers. Hamilton crushed Detroit pitching last year while a member of the Rangers, hitting .316 with six homers (tied most versus any team) and 12 RBIs in 38 at-bats.

Rays Won't Rush Myers

The Tampa Bay Rays are last in the AL East despite arguably the league's best pitching staff because the Rays are last in the AL by a wide margin in runs and batting average. The only Rays regulars hitting thus far are Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria.

The Rays acquired Wil Myers, the top hitting prospect in baseball, this offseason from Kansas City. However, Tampa Bay sent him to Triple-A to delay his major-league arbitration and free-agent clock. Despite the Rays' struggles, the team isn't likely to call Myers up until mid-June because of financial reasons. He's hitting .317 at Durham after batting .314 with 37 homers in Triple-A last season.

Entering Wednesday's game at Baltimore, Tampa Bay hadn't scored more than four runs once in their past eight games and lost seven of them. Only one has gone over the total, and that's because the Indians scored 13 on April 17. Since the Rays' staff and defense are so good and their hitting is so weak, expect the unders to continue to pile up. AL West-leading Oakland visits St. Petersburg this weekend. Four of the Rays' six home games have gone over, while none on the road have.

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