Angels vs. Rangers Series Predictions: MLB Betting Guide

Willie Bee

Thursday, July 10, 2014 12:02 PM UTC

Thursday, Jul. 10, 2014 12:02 PM UTC

A pair of teams headed in completely opposite directions finish off the first half of the MLB betting schedule when the Angels and Rangers finish their series Sunday in Texas.


13th July
Angels vs. Rangers Game 4

By: Willie Bee


For a few innings Saturday night in Texas, the Rangers got to enjoy being on the high side of the scoreboard. It must have felt good for a team that had lost six straight to sit on the very bottom of the American League standings, but then reality set in once again.

A 7th-straight Rangers loss was the end result as the Los Angeles Angels nabbed their fourth consecutive win in the 5-2 final. The Angels moved to within 1.5 games of Oakland in the AL West with the victory, and are solid favorites to make it five in a row Sunday afternoon (3:05 PM ET) under the hot Texas sun.

Tyler Skaggs gets first crack on completing the Halos sweep, LA priced at -170 on the MLB odds in the matchup against Scott Baker and the Rangers, a 10 run total also on the board for baseball bettors looking for picks.


Baker Yet To Pitch In Rangers Win
Skaggs began the season in LA's rotation before being optioned to the minors in early June.  He was recalled a couple of weeks ago and owns a 3.14 ERA in his two starts back with the big league club, but both ended in defeat for the Angels who provided just two runs of support for the young lefty.

His worst start of the season came against the Rangers in Anaheim on May 4, Ranger hitters reaching Skaggs for six runs and eight hits before he was relieved in the third.  He beat Texas in an interleague contest a year ago while with Arizona (6 IP. 0 R) in his only other appearance against the Rangers.

Baker has appeared in 14 games for Texas this year, three of them starts, and the Rangers have taken the loss in all 14 contests.  None of those appearances came against the Angels, who he last faces in 2011 while pitching for Minnesota.  Baker's career numbers vs. LA include 11 starts, a 1-5 record and 4.62 ERA in 60.2 innings.


Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
Completing the umpire rotation for this long set is Clint Fagan, and that's bad news for the Rangers with home teams a money-burning 5-15 when he calls balls and strikes, home 'dogs going 1-4.  That 5-15 record also happens to match Fagan's O/U tally, his only plate assignment in that bunch at Texas failing to reach the total in a 6-0 Detroit whitewashing of the Rangers on June 26.

The thermometer should reach 100º at some point this afternoon in Arlington, and that light SSE breeze isn't going to do anything to keep fans cool.  I do expect the Rangers to remain on the cold side of things, even though I'm not all that keen about laying $1.70 on the Halos with Skaggs on the mound.

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Still, following LA with our free sports pick on the run line has helped us the past couple of nights and there's no strong reason for changing horses in the middle of the stream.


My Free MLB Pick: Angels -1.5 (-105)

Season: 89-84 (+5.05)


12th July
Angels vs. Rangers Game 3

By: Willie Bee


Funeral services for the Texas Rangers' 2014 season are still in progress in Arlington. Thursday night, it was the Los Angeles Angels bats that delivered the eulogy on Texas' disappointing campaign, and Friday it was Garrett Richards and a pair of relievers who started shoveling dirt on the grave.

Richards tossed the first seven shutout innings of LA's 3-0 triumph Friday evening, all of the scoring that mattered taking place in the top of the fourth when Mike Trout connected on his 22nd home run of the year. The victory was the eighth in nine games for the Angels who moved to within 2.5-games of Oakland in the AL West. Texas' loss was its sixth straight, and 12th in the last 13 trips to the diamond.

MLB odds for Game 3 suggest both teams will continue heading in their current directions when FOX trains its cameras on the 7:15 PM (ET) contest at Globe Life Park. Jered Weaver is on the hill for the Angels who are priced around -170 on the moneyline. Miles Mikolas takes the mound for Texas with a 10 run total on the board.


Mikolas Set For 1st Career Start Va. Halos
It was first thought that Weaver would miss this series after he had to leave his start this past Monday due to tightness in his lower back. But after spending a little time on the trainer's table and testing his back on Wednesday with a game of catch, the lanky righthander pronounced himself ready to return to this regular slot in the rotation.

Los Angeles has won his last four starts, a streak that started with a 3-2 win over the Rangers about three weeks ago in Anaheim. The Angels are 2-3 in his last five assignments in Arlington, Weaver pitching to a 5.65 ERA in those outings.

Mikolas was hammered by the Astros on Monday, surrendering 12 hits and nine runs before manager Ron Washington had seen enough one out into the fourth inning. That was preceded by a 6-4 setback to the Orioles in Baltimore five days earlier in Mikolas' first career starting assignment, and his only experience vs. the Angels up to now was a couple of relief outings against them in 2012 while he was with the Padres (4 IP, 0 ER).


Umpire notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Jim Reynolds is tasked with calling balls and strikes in this one, his season mark at 7-8 O/U with three of his last four plate assignments falling short of the scoreboard hurdle. He worked a June 4 in Texas when the O's were in town, and that contest went past the total, as did six of his previous seven games behind the mask at Rangers Ballpark.

It's going to be a bit warmer than the past couple of nights at game time, in part due to the contest starting about an hour earlier. But I'm counting on the Rangers to remain cold, even against Weaver who hasn't always fared too well in this ballpark. Let's come right back with the same play we had for our free sports pick in Game 2: LA on the run line.

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My Free MLB Pick: Angels -1.5 (-110)

Season: 87-84 (+3.05)


11th July
Angels vs. Rangers Game 2

By: Willie Bee


That clanging sound you heard emanating from the Lone Star State on Thursday night?  It was the death knell on the Texas Rangers' 2014 season.

The Los Angeles Angels scored early and often in the first of four games this weekend at Globe Life Park, hanging a 13-spot on Texas starter Colby Lewis before he could get out of the third inning en route to an easy 15-6 decision.  Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun led the Halos with four hits each at the top of LA's lineup, Josh Hamilton adding three more amidst a light chorus of boos from Rangers fans.

It was Texas' 5th-straight loss to drop 20-games out in the AL West standings standings while the victory helped the Angels keep pace with Oakland at the top of those ranks.  Los Angeles is a -170 favorite to ring Texas' bell again on Friday night behind Garrett Richards; Nick Tepesch counters for the Rangers and SBR's live MLB odds has 9.5 runs for the total.


Richards Among Top Pitchers To Follow In 2014
The Angels last tasted defeat with Richards pitching on May 30, winning his seven starts since that rough outing in Oakland (0.2 IP, 5 ER).  Richards' ERA is 1.44 over the span, leaving LA 14-4 in his assignments and bettors up more than nine units against the MLB odds.

Two of his 10 dubyas came at Texas' expense, the most recent just a few weeks ago in Anaheim where he six innings in a 7-3 decision as decided -185 chalk in that series opener.   Richards is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA over five career appearances in Arlington, two starts and three relief outings.

Tepesch will be facing the Angels for the first time this year, and only the second time in his brief career.  The other appearance was last September in Anaheim, the KC native only making it into the fourth and allowing two runs.  Texas went on to win that game, and the Rangers are 2-1 in Tepesch's three home starts this season (3.32 ERA).

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Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
Veteran Ron Kulpa is up next in the umpire rotation to call balls and strikes, bringing no real trends into Friday's fracas as far as totals go, an 8-9 O/U season record accented by a 4-4 split his last eight plate assignments.  Kulpa has, however, shown a tendency to be at the very least a good luck charm for visiting teams who have won 11 of 17, with home 'dogs just 1-3.

The SBR Forum weather reports are predicting a very similar forecast for Game 2 as we had on Thursday, the game beginning in the low-90s under clear skies with a light SSE breeze.  I'm also issuing a similar forecast for the tilt, plenty of runs in yet another Rangers setback.  Let's knock a little chalk off that moneyline with a free MLB pick on the run line with LA.

My pick: Angels -1.5 (-110)

Season: 85-84 (+1.05)

10th July
Angels vs. Rangers Game 1

By: Willie Bee


Houston Astros fans can finally hold their heads up after several seasons of suffering.  Granted, the growing pains aren't over, but getting out of the AL West basement is at least a symbolic step in the right direction.  Unfortunately for the Texas Rangers, Houston's gain came at their expense after being swept by their Lone Star State rivals to fall into last, if only by percentage points.

Now Texas must try and pick up the pieces against a surging Los Angeles Angels team that owns the 2nd-best record in the American League. Adding a little insult to their recent slide is the fact the Rangers are home underdogs to a pitcher who is winless on the year in Thursday's lid-lifter (8:05 PM ET).  Hector Santiago starts for the Angels who are priced in the mid-120s on the MLB odds and Colby Lewis gets the call for Texas with a 10 run total. 

It's the third series meeting between the division rivals this year, and first to be played in the Lone Star State.  Thanks to sweeping the Rangers about three weeks ago in Anaheim, the Halos have won four of the first six matchups, the same number they won last season when Texas took 15 of 19. The Rangers won nine of the 10 played in Texas last year, and look to extend a home winning streak over LA to nine.  'Over' bettors have also been cashing tickets when the contests take place in Arlington; last season's totals ran 6-3-1 (O/U/P) to leave the high side of the scoreboard hurdle 11-3-1 the last 15 on this field.

Weaver's Injury Has Halos Shuffling Rotation
Los Angeles (53-37, +9.9 units, 46-37-5 O/U/P) is mixing up its rotation a bit for the weekend.  Matt Shoemaker was originally in line to make the start in Game 1, but he was called on in long relief Monday when ace Jered Weaver was forced from his assignment in Toronto early due to tightness in his lower back.  Shoemaker did his job by picking up the win in relief, and he should get the nod to go Saturday in Game 3 vs. Texas.

Weaver isn't expected to miss significant time, likely resting through the all-star break before returning to the rotation.  Santiago is making this emergency start, and manager Mike Scioscia is hopeful that will be it before returning the lefty to the bullpen. 

He started the season in the Angels rotation, his first seven assignments going into the loss column to lead to his exile to the 'pen.  One of those defeats was to Lewis and the Rangers in Anaheim on May 2, Santiago serving up a pair of homers and surrendering five runs in six frames as -130 chalk that evening.

Rangers Off To 1-8 Start In July
You know times are bad in Texas (38-53, -17.5 units, 47-38-6 O/U/P) when the Rangers can't beat the Astros with Yu Darvish on the mound.  Darvish has all but owned Houston in the past, but the Astros knocked him around pretty good on Wednesday to complete their sweep and hand Texas its 10th defeat in 11 games. 

Lewis has looked a little better his last couple of starts, each six innings with only two earned runs crossing the plate in both outings.  Texas is 8-7 behind the righty despite his 5.51 ERA, but just 2-6 when Lewis pitches at Globe Life Park where his ERA is an ugly 6.54 in 42.2 innings.

This will be Lewis' first start at home vs. the Angels in nearly three years.  Since returning from Japan for his second go-around with the Rangers in 2010, he's 2-3 in eight tries vs. the Halos, sporting a 3.53 ERA in those 48+ frames. 

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Hot and dry looks to be the forecast for this entire series, with Sunday afternoon's series finale likely played in triple-digit temps.  All three night games won't be much cooler at first pitch with the thermometer in the low-to-mid 90s, an 8-10 mph SSE breeze (in from right-center) creating it's swirling effect inside the stadium. 

I've got zero confidence in Texas right now, and that zero in Santiago's win column doesn't give me warm-fuzzy feelings for the Angels.  My free MLB pick will be on the lineups sending Game 1 past the total. 

My pick: Angels-Rangers Over 10 (+100)

Season: 84-82 (+2.10)

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