Bet Angels -1.5 over Royals for Game 1 ALDS Picks

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 7:00 PM GMT

Our MLB handicapping guru does a betting preview for the opening game of the ALDS between the Royals/Angels on Thursday night. Find out what his recommended betting strategy is. 

AL Cinderella versus the AL Best
The Angels will host the Royals at Anaheim on Thursday night in the opener of their ALDS best of 5-games series. The game will be televised by TBS, and the opening pitch is slated for 9:05 PM ET. These teams have split the 6-games played against each other in 2014. They’ve also seen 7 of their last 8-meeting played in Anaheim go over the total.

 

Magical Moment for the Royals
The Royals first postseason game in 29-years was certainly one of the most memorable in franchise history, other than their World Series Game 7 win over the Cardinals in 1985. Just based on pure drama, the Wild Card win over Oakland on Tuesday, definitely tops the list in the annals of Kansas City Royals history. The Royals were able to overcome a 7-3 deficit heading into the bottom of the 8th, eventually tied the game in the bottom of the 9th, then once again came from behind to win the game in the 12th inning. The confidence that a young team can draw from a win of this magnitude is immeasurable. I do have a question mark and concern pertaining to the Royals entering this series opener. How much of a hangover will they suffer following such an emotional win? That remains to be seen. My educated guess is there will be no middle ground. They will either run with the momentum they just created, or they’ll be flat as a pancake.

 

Recapturing the Momentum
We’ll often times see what the Angels endured at the end of the regular season. The Halos lost 5 of their last 6, and 7 of the last 10 regular season games. However, that can be a tad bit misleading with all things considered. This was a team that had a huge lead in the AL West for all of September, and the only question mark was whether they would be the #1 seed in the American League. As a result, they rested key players down the final stretch, and they were a pretty uninspired in addition to being unchallenged. There’s enough veteran presence in their clubhouse to restart the engines beginning on Thursday. The Angels went a terrific 52-29 (.642) at home this season, including winning 41 of the last 58 played in Anaheim.

 

Starting Pitchers
The Royals scheduled starter for this series opener is veteran right-hander Jeremy Guthrie. He enters the postseason red-hot over his last 3 regular season starts. Guthrie went 3-0 against the money in those outings with a microscopic 0.44 ERA. He’s allowed 1 earned run or less in 5 of his last 7-starts.

Jered Weaver didn’t have the dominating season that we’ve become accustomed to in recent years. However, there are a plethora of pitchers in baseball that would be able to cash in with a multimillion dollar contract deal, putting up the kind of numbers that Weaver did in 2014. The Angels hurler went 22-12 against the money, with a rock solid 3.59 ERA. He was much better at home than on the road in 2014. Weaver was 13-5 versus the money during his starts in Anaheim, posting a stellar 2.68 ERA, and a 1.05 WHIP. Pitching well at home is nothing new for the veteran right-hander. He’s gone a very lucrative 42-12 against the money in his last 54-starts at home.

 

Final Analysis
The Angels are rested both physically and mentally. Jered Weaver has an abundance of postseason experience, and been an absolute ATM machine at home during his career. My professional intuition tells me, this will be a flat spot for a young Royals ball club. My favored MLB pick for this matchup goes toward the Angels to win this opening game with relative ease.

Free Pick: Angels -1.5 over the Royals on the run-line at YouWager

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