For the final game of the series, we have a late-afternoon West Coast start which means shadows, making it tougher for the hitters to pick up pitches. Based on what we are seeing this far, advantage to the home team.
Cleveland Tries to Find Lightning in a Bottle
Let’s be honest, beating the sportsbooks takes a special skill as does winning the big leagues. Seldom do teams like Cleveland go from 68 wins like they had in 2012 to 92 wins and stay there.
Lady Luck looked kindly in the Indians last season with a 30-17 record in one-run games and they won 11 times in their last at bat.
A closer found the Tribe was 56-18 versus teams with losing record, while being 16 games below .500 against more formidable competition. Part of what made this work was the fifth-best offense in the American League which generated 4.6 runs a contest.
Thus far nothing even close to that has occurred, with the Tribe only peaking out the tepee at 3.9 RPG. Specifically, Nick Swisher, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana are all batting under .250 and have a grand total of 38 rbi’s, which is just slightly more than the White Sox Jose Abreu (32).
Cleveland’s offense has further been bottled up against left-handed pitchers like they are facing today at 2.9 runs an outing.
Halos Hit Parade in Creating Smash Hits
When making MLB picks, for the easy road to success make sure the team you choose outscores the opposition on money line wagers. Of course that is simplistic, but when your team is third in the majors in runs scored, you have to like your chances or at least you would think so.
With Albert Pujols back healthy and Mike Trout the best player in the game, the Angels offense has been heavenly in scoring 5.5 runs a contest. Their power numbers have been sensational, leading the bigs in home runs. So why does the team from Anaheim only have a .500 record with all the offense?
The Halos pitchers lead baseball with the fewest first pitch strikes. Why this is important is the difference between 1-0 and 0-1 is 50 points to a batting average. Los Angeles pitchers are nibbling too often which gets them into trouble and then they have to throw in hitters counts and the slightest mistake results in too many base hits and they are paying the price.
Pitching Matchup for Wednesday
The Indians Zach McAllister (3-1, 3.14 ERA, 1.116 WHIP) retired the first 12 San Francisco hitters in his last start. Then the fifth inning arrived and he was rocked for five and four runs and was yanked by manager Terry Francona. However, that stint lasted just 75 pitches and Francona has the confidence in his right-hander to bring his back on three days’ rest. McAllister is 2-0 with a 2.92 ERA against the Angels.
Lefty C.J. Wilson (3-2, 3.69, 1.29) has begun 2014 with the same type of numbers we are used to seeing from him. Wilson is not head and shoulders above the crowd, but still has a low 90’s heater and his renewed faith in his slider since last season has caused more swings and misses. MLB baseball handicappers have it charted Wilson is 3-2 versus Cleveland with a sharp 2.76 ERA.
The Cleveland bullpen has been more reliable than their counterparts with a 3.16 ERA (second-best AL), averaging better than strikeout an inning and been taken yard only five times. Led by closer John Axford, the Indians have converted 80% of save chances.
Los Angeles conversely has blown four of eight save opportunities, twice leading directly to defeats of winnable games. The main culprit has been former closer Ernesto Frieri, who has a whopping 7.59 ERA and been taken deep five times in just over 10 innings and will have to earn his role back. The Halos 4.42 overall ERA is attributable handing out a walk for every five outs, making them a tough choice to beat the MLB odds for now.
Head to Head Combat and Betting Odds
The Angels go for the series sweep today, yet are only 4-4 against the Tribe the past three seasons at the Big A.
Oddsmakers assigned Los Angeles as a -150 favorite with a total of 8.5. Overall, the Angels pitching has been better and they are 11-2 after allowing four runs or less in four straight games. However, Cleveland cannot be completely dismissed having won 19 of McAllister last 29 starts.
These teams are 5-3 OVER in Orange Country and L.A. is 17-5 OVER when the total is 7 to 8.5 this season.
Winner is….Los Angeles
Cleveland is 0-5 on this road trip, is not hitting and pitching poorly enough to lose consistently. With a 4-10 road record and as mentioned 3-7 versus left-hand starters like Wilson, with this sports pick I have to back the home team.
MLB Free Picks: Los Angeles wins