Garrett Richards suffered what is being reported as a significant injury to his left patellar tendon which may adversely affect the Angels tenuous lead in the AL West as well as their MLB odds down the stretch.
Trouble in Paradise
The Angels have reeled off seven wins in their last eight games including last night’s 8-3 victory over the host Boston Red Sox where the Halos were installed as -125 favorites in MLB odds. They have overtaken the Athletics as division leaders and now have an MLB leading 75 wins in the bank. If it were not for their archrivals from Oakland they would be running away with the division crown. All was well until last Wednesday night when in the second inning Richards attempted to cover first base on a double play ball hit by Sox utility man Brock Holt. The Angels ace found himself on the ground writhing in pain and gripping his left knee before ever reaching first base.
As of this writing no one is sure whether this is a season ending injury or a painful bump in the road. Reports indicate that it is more likely the former than the latter but needless to say the Angels are now short one very dominant pitcher. Richards has compiled a 13-4 record with an impressive 2.61 ERA and a stellar 1.04 WHIP. While he may not be in the rarified pitching air of the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw or Mariners’ Felix Hernandez he is but half a click from that elite group. And as of this moment he is undeniably the best pitcher on an Angels’ staff that is not heavily stacked when it comes to their starting rotation particularly when you consider Tyler Skaggs recently underwent Tommy John reconstructive surgery and will be out for this season and next.
Jered Weaver, LA’s next best starter has not been the overwhelming force he has been in years past. The 31-year-old checks in with a 3.70 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP while registering a 13-7 record this season. Certainly not bad numbers but quite removed from the exceptional seasons he strung together in 2011 and 2012 when he combined to win 38 games and boasted a 2.41 and 2.81 ERA respectively. After Weaver the Angels have C.J. Wilson (4.59 ERA), Hector Santiago (3.46 ERA) and Matt Shoemaker (3.84 ERA). The Angels are expected to call up a pair of minor leaguers after optioning outfielder Brennan Boesch to Triple A–Salt Lake.
Angels MLB Odds
If you’re a ramblin’, gamblin’ man or simply a diehard Angels fan then this recent turn of events may not be the death knell many believe it to be for the Angles chances of going deep in the postseason. If you’re confident of their pitching and you like the looks of their Mike Trout led lineup then the MLB odds will be drifting in your favor if Richards is out for any prolonged length of time.
As of this morning the Angels sit atop the AL West by 1 ½ games over the Athletics. Yet they are still second best at WilliamHill.com to win the division. If you decide that the Halos can maintain this lead then you can get yourself +120 in MLB odds over at WH whereas the A’s are a chalky -150.
Better yet, if you believe that an American League pennant is in their future then WillaimHill.com will give you +450 on your money and even more generous +900 to win the 2014 World Series in MLB odds. While none of us know what the future holds for Garrett Richards we do know that the Angels sport a powerful lineup and pitching decent enough to contend – but for how long?