Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers
Friday, August 7th at 09:05pm ET at Globe Life Park in Arlington
We're in the early stages of baseball's beautiful return despite some bumps with COVID-19 scares. We have an exclusive preview for the series opener between the Angels and Rangers, with a free MLB pick at the end for us to profit off. Thus far, our daily picks have netted a 70 percent win rate, so let's keep this train moving.
- Los Angeles: Griffin Canning (0-1 3.38 ERA)
- Texas: Jordan Lyles (0-1 6.00 ERA)
Neither the Angels nor Rangers had expectations of being World Series contenders, but both AL West teams have sputtered to below-average records with haste. The Angels have at least held up with an 8-4 record on the run total, so we've been able to profit off their offense. Oddly enough, they'd be a strong competitor if these rosters were combined.
The Angels are right out of the top-10 in offensive rankings thanks to their ability to hit home runs and limit strikeouts. Their measly .217 team batting average has been overcome with their pure power from Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Max Stassi leading the charge. But their pitching has been impacted by three injuries to starters.
A stretch of five losses in six games against Oakland and Seattle really put this team into a hole record-wise. Their bottom-five defensive numbers will be hard to overcome with injuries to Shohei Ohtani, Jose Suarez and Dillon Peters. Nevertheless, they're likely trotting out the better pitcher in this game since Griffin Canning appears to be the logical starter despite it not being announced.
The Rangers can relate to losing an ace as Corey Kluber almost immediately suffered a shoulder tear in his first start. Their offense has been abysmal, ranking in the bottom-three in major categories, and have a mediocre pitching staff. They're on pace to being one of the worst teams in the league if these trends begin.
Because the Rangers are utilizing a floundering Jordan Lyles and have to hope the Angels' pitching situation crumbles against their bad lineup, the best pick is to go with the Angels. As much as we love to play for value, it's more reasonable to take the better team.