MLB Odds and Free Pick: Angels at Indians Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 7/25/2011
The Cleveland Indians were one of the pleasant surprises of the Major League Baseball season – the Pittsburgh Pirates of the American League, I guess you could say. But the Tribe have lost four in a row and have fallen two games behind the Tigers in the AL Central. Is it time to bail on the Indians?
How The Teams Enter
As noted above, the Indians are on a four-game skid and totaled just two combined runs in losing their series over the weekend to the White Sox (one game was postponed by rain). You know things are going bad when Adam Dunn beats you. He has easily been the worst free-agent signing of the last offseason. But on Sunday, Dunn lofted a pitch from Justin Masterson to straightaway center with two outs in the sixth and runners on first and second. Tribe rookie Ezqeuiel Carrera, in center for Cleveland with former Gold Glove winner Grady Sizemore on the disabled list, got under the towering fly. He looked up, stumbled to his right, then ducked as the ball glanced off his glove and fell to the ground. That put the Pale Hose up 3-1 on the way to a 4-2 victory. Cleveland has lost four straight and nine of 13. The Indians now lead the third-place White Sox by only 2½ games.
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The Halos are on a 10-game road trip, having taken two of three in Baltimore over the weekend. Mike Trout, considered by many the top prospect in baseball, hit his first big-league homer in Sunday’s 9-3 win. Los Angeles is now 10-1 in its last 11 series. The Angels are three games behind Texas in the AL West and are reportedly one of the more active teams in trade talks – their top target is a third baseman. The Angels’ surge has come in large part to Vernon Wells’ surge. He has hit 12 homers and knocked in 28 runs in the past 34 games and L.A. is 24-10 in that stretch.
Angels at Indians MLB Odds and Trends
Los Angeles is -121 with the Indians at +114 on MLB betting odds. The ‘over/under’ is 7.5 runs.
The Angels are 7-1 in their past eight Haren starts vs. teams with a winning record. They are 8-2 overall in their past 10 vs. teams with a winning record.
The Indians are 2-9 in their past 11 as a home dog. They are 1-5 in their past six vs. a righty starter. Cleveland is 2-8 in their past 10 in Fausto Carmona’s starts as an underdog.
Angels at Indians Starting Pitchers
Cleveland goes with right-hander Fausto Carmona (5-10, 5.63). He returned from a stint on the 15-day disabled list in his last start and beat the Twins, allowing just two runs in six innings after missing more than two weeks with a strained right quadriceps. Carmona is 0-3 in his career against the Angels despite a sterling 1.79 ERA.
L.A. goes with all-star Dan Haren (10-6, 3.10). He is 3-2 with a 3.90 ERA in his career against the Tribe. But he struggled in his last outing, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Rangers. Haren is 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in his last four starts against Cleveland, which is batting .189 with eight runs scored during a four-game losing streak. The Angels have taken four of six against the Indians in Anaheim already this season. Haren pitched a one-hitter vs. Cleveland back in April.
Free MLB Pick: Angels at Indians Predictions
It’s rare I will recommend a favorite in MLB betting, but it’s hard to overlook that good value price on Haren (even though he’s on the road). The Angels seem to have found themselves – their 13 hits in Sunday's game were their most since June 28 -- while the Tribe are coming back to earth and probably will fall out of the AL Central race. So take L.A. and the ‘under’ as the Angels will win something like 5-1.
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