Angels Hosting Red Sox Makes for a Nice Runline Pick

Darin Zank

Friday, August 8, 2014 1:41 PM GMT

Two teams with different agendas meet when the Angels and Sox open a three-game series in Anaheim Friday night (10:05 pm ET). Here's our preview of this encounter, with free MLB picks and updated pitching match-ups for each game. 

Sox-Angels Betting Odds
As of Friday morning most bookmakers were chalking LA and Jered Weaver at around -190 over Boston and Allen Webster, with an 'over/under' of eight runs. The Angels could also be found at around +110 giving the run and a half on the run line.

Bigger-picture, TheGreek was listing Los Angeles at -240 to win this series, with the Red Sox getting +200.

 

Series Set-Up
The Angels just dropped three of four games to the Dodgers this week, losing Thursday 7-0. LA has been treading water lately, losing three of its last five series, going 8-9 in the process. At 67-47 the Angels trail first-place Oakland by three games in the AL West, but they also lead the AL wild-card race by 6.5 games. So barring a collapse, LA looks like it has a good chance to return to the playoffs.

Meanwhile, Boston just lost two of three games in St. Louis, falling Thursday 5-2. The Red Sox have lost five series in a row, and 12 of their last 15 games. At 50-64 the Sox are playing out the string on a lost season.

This is the first meeting between these teams this season. Last year these teams split six games, with the totals going 4-2.

 

Friday's Starters
Weaver (12-6, 3.59), by our strict standards, is 13/24 on quality starts this season, and four for his last five. Last Sunday he held Tampa to two runs through six innings, a bounce-back effort after getting clipped for six runs through five innings against Baltimore five days previous to that.

On the season Weaver has allowed 131 hits in 150 innings, walked 46 and struck out 117. LA is 15-9 in Weaver's starts, with the totals leaning toward the 'overs' by a 14-9 margin.

Weaver started once against Boston last year, throwing 6 2/3 scoreless innings in a 3-0 Angels victory.

Webster (1-1, 6.75) is 0/2 on quality starts since joining the Sox rotation two weeks ago. In his season  debut July 27 he held Tampa to two runs through 5 1/3 innings, although he walked five. And last Saturday he gave up four runs in just 2 2/3 innings, walking six, against the Yankees.

Including eight appearances with Boston last year Webster owns an 8.22 career ERA, with 29 walks and 28 strikeouts, in 38 ML innings. The Sox are 3-6 in Webster's nine career ML starts, with the totals skewing 'over' 8-1.

This will be Webster's first-ever start vs. the Angels.

 

The Pens
Boston's bullpen ranks 13th in ERA at 3.49 while converting 26 of 37 save opportunities.

LA's pen ranks 15th in ERA at 3.52 while going 32/45 on save opps. The Angels also boosted their relievers corps a few weeks ago when they traded for closer Huston Street, who's 6/6 on save chances for his new team.

 

With the Sticks
Boston ranks 11th in team OBP at .319 but 25th in homers with 85, 29th in stolen bases with just 32 and 27th in scoring at 3.8 runs per game. The Sox have also scored a total of 17 runs in five games since trading for slugger Yoenis Cespedes, who's 6/19 at the plate with zero RBI for his new team.

LA ranks eighth in both OBP at .325 and in homers with 112, and second in scoring at 4.8 RPG.

 

Sox-Angels Betting Trends
Boston is 10 games under .500 on the road this season, at 23-33.

LA is 38-21 at home this year.

The Red Sox have trended toward the 'unders' this season by a 64-46 margin, and have played eight 'unders' in their last 11 games.

The totals have leaned toward the 'unders' in Angels home games this season 28-26.

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Free Pick for Friday
LA and Weaver seems an obvious pick here, but that line is too high. So we'll take a chance and go with the Angels on the run line, getting +110 at 5Dimes, for our free MLB pick on Friday's series opener.