The Angels go for their fourth straight win tonight and are the clear-cut favorites to get it done despite being on the road in Arlington. What kind of play are we adding to our sports picks for this battle between AL West foes?
Los Angeles is a hefty road odds favorite in the -165 to -175 range, leaving Texas as the +160 underdog in their own ballpark. The total for tonight's game is one of the highest on the board at 10 runs.
Los Angeles Angels (Weaver)
It's been a great month for the Angels so far. They've gone 10-2 in 12 games so far, a streak that includes series wins over the White Sox, Astros and Blue Jays.
They've carried over that momentum into this four-game set with the struggling Rangers, winning the first two games 15-6 and then 3-0. At 55-37 overall, Los Angeles has the second-best record in all of baseball behind only the Athletics.
Jered Weaver has been assigned to start tonight's game and is apparently healthy after having to leave his last start after only two innings due to lower back tightness. On the season the right-hander is 9-6 with a 3.50 ERA and 1.14 WHIP.
Weaver, however, has been markedly worse when pitching on the road, going 4-3 with a 4.72 ERA as opposed to his terrific numbers (5-3, 2.67 ERA) at home. The good news is he's already shut down Texas once this season, holding them to four hits and one run over eight innings.
What's more, the Angels have been crushing the ball lately and are likely to give Weaver some solid run support. As a team they've hit .314 over the last seven days, with both Albert Pujols and Kole Calhoun batting .448 in that span.
Texas Rangers (Mikolas)
We're running out of things to say about this Rangers team.
Things are really starting to get out of hand, with Texas heading into tonight's game on a six-game losing run. Even worse, the Rangers are a miserable 3-20 over their last 23 contests overall and have sunk into the bottom of the division, even below the Astros.
The offense hasn't been terrible. It's the pitching that's been the anchor for Texas, as they're ranked 29th in team ERA (4.89) and dead last in quality starts, WHIP and BAA. Yu Darvish has been the only reliable starter this season.
Things have been so bad that the Rangers have had to call up Miles Mikolas from Triple A, and even he has struggled mightily in his first couple of starts.
In his latest outing, Mikolas coughed up 12 hits and nine earned runs in only 3 and 1/3 innings. He's now sporting a 12.46 ERA and 1.96 WHIP in a very small sample size, though his career numbers (5.27 ERA, 1.52 WHIP) aren't going to give Texas fans much hope for better things in the future either.