MLB Picks: Rangers at Angels Series Odds and Betting Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 5/31/2012
The Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels were two of the AL pennant favorites in the spring. The Rangers have held up their end of the bargain as they are now the World Series favorites at +400 on Sportsbook.ag. The Halos had started the season ahead of Texas in division, pennant and World Series futures.
It appeared a lost season for the Angels as back on May 1 they were 9-15 and last in the division, eight games behind the Rangers. But now it appears we will have a race in the AL West after all as Los Angeles has been one of the hottest teams in baseball of late and is at .500 (26-26) and 5.5 games behind Texas. The Rangers remain solid division favorites at -2000 with L.A. at +500.
Rangers at Angels Betting Story Lines
Both these teams were off Thursday.
The Angels had their season-high eight-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday night in a 6-5 home loss to the New York Yankees. Los Angeles fell one game short of matching the club record for wins in May (19) and fell back to .500 after getting above the mark Tuesday for the only time since winning Opening Day.
Mark Trumbo and Albert Pujols both are raking right now for the Angels. Trumbo had a walk-off homer on Monday to beat the Yankees and has homered in four straight games, the first Angel to do so since Rex Hudler did it May 19-22, 1996. The club record is five straight games with a homer by Bobby Bonds in 1977. Meanwhile, in the past seven games Pujols has multiple hits in five of them with four homers and eight RBI. He’s up to a .243 average with eight homers and 28 RBI. Not bad considering he started May with a .217 average, no homers and four RBI. His 24 RBI in May were No. 2 in the AL.
Texas, meanwhile, surprisingly just lost two of three at home to Seattle and allowed the weak-hitting Mariners 31 runs in those two wins, including 21 (an MLB-high this year) on Wednesday. Seattle had lost five in a row before beating Texas, 10-3, Tuesday night. Then the M’s scored eight runs in the second and third innings on Wednesday en route to scoring the second-most runs in club history, equaling a 21-9 victory against the Angels on Sept. 30, 2000. The Mariners started Wednesday’s game with only one player hitting better than .250 in the lineup.
The Rangers did get outfielder and AL MVP-favorite Josh Hamilton back Wednesday after missing the previous two games with a respiratory illness. He was 2-for-4 with two doubles, one a run-scoring hit that increased his major league-leading RBI total to 57. He also leads MLB in homers with 21 but has fallen behind Chicago’s Paul Konerko for the AL batting lead.
These two teams met for three games in Arlington in mid-May and the Rangers won two of three, scoring 23 combined runs in those wins but only two runs in the loss. Since leaving Arlington, the Angels are 11-6, while Texas is 8-8.
Rangers at Angels Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday: Rangers RHP Colby Lewis (4-3, 3.58) vs. Angels RHP Jerome Williams (5-2, 3.81) – Lewis is no doubt glad that calendar has flipped as he won once in five May starts, going 1-3 with a 5.23 ERA after being 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in April. This is his first start vs. the Angels this year. Williams has had three straight quality starts, allowing seven runs over 20.1 innings of work. He faced Texas on April 11 and not a no-decision despite allowing six runs and 11 hits in 6.2 innings.
Saturday: Rangers RHP Yu Darvish (7-2, 3.25) vs. Angels LHP C.J. Wilson (6-4, 2.77) – Of course it’s fitting these two go against each other as the Rangers let Wilson walk as a free agent and used that savings on signing Darvish. It’s the second time Darvish and Wilson will have faced off – sort of. On May 11 they both started, but Wilson faced only five batters because of a nearly two-hour rain delay in the bottom of the first. Darvish stayed in and got the win, allowing three runs and striking out seven in 5.1 innings. In an oddity, Wilson then took the mound again the next day and got the win vs. Texas, allowing two runs in 5.2 innings.
Sunday: Rangers LHP Matt Harrison (6-3, 4.41) vs. RHP Dan Haren (3-5, 3.52) – Harrison has won his last two starts, allowing three runs in 15 innings. He faced the Halos’ Wilson on May 12 and took the loss, allowing four runs in six innings. Haren has been nothing short of brilliant in his past two starts, winning both and allowing one run while striking out 21 in 16 innings. He hasn’t faced Texas this year. Haren is taking the spot for L.A. ace Jered Weaver, who was put on the DL this week. RHP Garrett Richards, called up from Triple-A to take Weaver's spot in the rotation, will likely start Monday or Tuesday at home vs. the Mariners. Haren will be going on normal rest thanks to Thursday’s off day.
Rangers at Angels Betting Odds and Trends
Los Angeles will open around a -125 series favorite with Texas at -105. For Game 1, the Rangers are -120 favorites with the total at 8.5. Texas is 16-9 on road this year, while L.A. is 13-11 at home. ‘Over/under’ records: TEX 24-24-3, LAA 18-33-1.
The Rangers are 4-0 in their past four when their opponent scores five runs or less the previous game. Texas is 11-3 in its past 14 road games vs. teams with a winning home record. The Rangers are 6-2 in Lewis’ past eight starts in the opener of a series. The over is 6-1 in Texas’ past seven games. The Angels are 6-1 in their past seven games vs. a right-handed starter. The Halos are 7-0 in Williams’ past seven home starts. The under is 6-1 in Williams’ past seven home starts. The Rangers have won six of the past seven meetings overall as well as six of past seven in Anaheim.
MLB Picks: Rangers at Angels Series Betting Predictions
It’s been a rough season so far in picking series winners, but I have to go with L.A. here. All three of the Angels’ starters are rolling right now, while Lewis is struggling for Texas and I don’t much trust Harrison. Plus, Pujols is a totally different hitter than the last series with the Rangers when he was 2-for-12 with no homers and one RBI. Take the Angels at +110 and the over in Game 1 (Williams is much better at home) as well as L.A. in the series.
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