Baseball Picks: Rangers at Angels Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 9/7/2013
It seems the Texas Rangers are putting the cart before the horse a little bit. You see, the altered their rotation this week, essentially to assure that ace Yu Darvish would be available for any playoff opener. The postseason schedule was announced this week with the NL wild-card game on Oct. 1 and the AL on Oct. 2. Will Texas play in that for the second year in a row?
They enter this weekend's series in Anaheim with a half-game lead over Oakland in the AL West, and the A's have a nice five-game cushion over the No. 3 team in the wild-card race. So it appears both AL West teams will make it. However, the Rangers have to be a bit concerned that Darvish is hitting a wall. The team has lost his past four starts, and he had one of his worst outings of the season on Wednesday, allowing five runs and walking six in five innings of a loss in Oakland. His four strikeouts matched a season low. Maybe it's just Oakland as Darvish is 1-5 with a 4.86 ERA in six career starts against Oakland. That snapped Texas' streak of 31 consecutive games allowing five or fewer runs. It was longest streak in the AL since the designated hitter rule was instituted.
So what the Rangers did was move lefty Derek Holland up a day to start Saturday's game against the Angels. He will still be on normal rest as Texas was off on Thursday. The move allows the Rangers to send Holland, Martin Perez (the AL Rookie of the Month for August) and Darvish to the mound against Oakland in next weekend's potentially huge series.
Rangers at Angels Betting Story Lines
Texas needs to beat up on the Angels because the schedule gets much tougher right after: three vs. Pittsburgh, three against the A's, three in Tampa Bay and four in Kansas City. Holland (9-7, 3.07) wasn't sharp last time out, allowing four runs and five hits while walking five against the wretched Astros. He took a shot off his arm but stayed in the game. Holland personally hasn't won since Aug. 4. He last faced the Angels on July 30 and allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings. Holland is 0-0 with a 5.79 ERA in three starts against Los Angeles this year.
It's too bad for Angels backers that second baseman Howie Kendrick remains out with a knee injury. He hasn't played since Aug. 5 but hopes to return before the end of the season. Kendrick kills Holland, hitting .378 with two homers and 12 RBI in 45 at-bats. Mike Trout is 9-for-22 with two homers against Holland. Trout could on Saturday become just the third Angels player to score 100 runs in consecutive seasons. Mark Trumbo has three homers and seven RBI in 33 at-bats off Holland.
Los Angeles counters with right-hander Garrett Richards (5-6, 4.06). He has pitched fairly well overall since joining the rotation in late July but not the past two starts in which he has lasted a combined 8.1 innings. He walked a career-high seven in five innings last time out against Tampa Bay yet still got the win. He faced Texas on Aug. 6, allowing three runs and six hits in six innings. Adrian Beltre is the only Ranger with a career homer off Richards but is hitting only .125 off him. Elvis Andrus, who was set to return to the lineup on Friday after sitting Wednesday with lower back tightness, is 3-for-10 with two RBI off Richards. Ian Kinsler has two doubles in seven at-bats against him. Since Aug. 15, Angels starters have a 3.35 ERA, fourth lowest in the majors. Too little, too late.
Rangers at Angels Betting Odds and Trends
At BetOnline, the Rangers opened at -118 and the Angels at +108 with a total of 8. All trends entering Friday: Texas is 51-81-7 “over/under” (30-37-4 on road) and 62-77 on the runline. Los Angeles is 75-60-4 O/U (40-31-1 at home) and 66-73 on the runline.
The Rangers are 8-1 in their past nine Game 2s. They are 9-2 in their past 11 road games against teams with a losing home record. Texas is 6-0 in Holland's past six starts with four days of rest. It is 5-1 in his past six Saturday starts. The Angels are 5-0 in their past five Saturday games. They are 3-11 in their past 14 at home and 2-9 in their past 11 at home against teams with a winning record. L.A. is 5-1 in Richards' past six home starts but 1-5 in his past six against teams with a winning record. The over is 3-0-1 in Holland's past four Saturday starts. The over is 4-0 in the Angels' past five against lefty starters. The over is 6-0 in Richards' past six home starts. Texas is 5-0 in Holland's past five against the Angels. L.A. is 0-4 in Richards' past four against Texas.
Baseball Picks: Rangers at Angels Betting Predictions
This has been a very one-sided series as Texas is 10-2 this year against L.A. and has won seven straight against the Halos entering Friday's opener. The Rangers swept a three-game series in Anaheim in early August. I see no reason why that won't continue. Take Texas and the over.
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