The Angels just suffered the worst, most painful, and most improbable loss of their season & hope a road series against the lowly Mariners is exactly what they need in a time of genuine crisis.
The Mariners are drifting along and playing out the string, losing two of three at home to the Colorado Rockies over the weekend. What they are doing right now really doesn’t matter that much in terms of the betting situation. What matters is where the Angels are and how they respond to this game on Monday night.
The Angels had won the first two games of their huge weekend series with the American League West-leading Houston Astros. The Angels had pulled within 3.5 games of Houston, and with a win on Sunday, they would have been able to complete a sweep of the series and move within 2.5 games. Given that the Astros had to play the Texas Rangers after leaving Anaheim, the Angels had a chance to enter this game knowing that if they could keep winning, they’d gain ground on either the Astros or Rangers and possibly could enter the coming weekend (Friday, Sept. 18) tied or perhaps only one game back in the division. This was the Angels’ huge opportunity to make a move.
Los Angeles dominated most of the game, taking a 3-0 lead into the ninth inning and then getting two outs from veteran closer Huston Street, who has been very solid in this season and for most of his career.
Then, the Astros hit safely five consecutive times. Not only that, they got help when a ball fielded by the Angels’ second baseman stuck in the webbing of the glove. An easy throw to first was going to end the game, but the ball got stuck, and the Astros gained an out they didn’t expect to have. On the next at-bat, Houston got a three-run pinch-hit homer just over the wall and just inside the right field foul pole, just over the reach of Angel rightfielder Kole Calhoun. An absolutely incredible 5-3 loss derailed the Angels’ big dreams. It’s the kind of loss that’s extremely hard to get over. This team could be hungover on Monday, for reasons that have little to do with any other factors in this matchup.
Garrett Richards tries to win this must-win game for the Angels – it really is that important for the team. He has a 3.71 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. In his last three outings, he’s been very solid, going at least six innings and never giving up more than three runs. He went at least seven innings in two of those starts.
Seattle gives the ball to Taijuan Walker. The 23-year-old has been a real disappointment this year, posting a 4.70 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. He gave up six runs in three innings in his last start on Sept. 8 against Texas. He gave up three runs in his previous start, zero runs the one before that, and five runs the one before that. In short, he’s been inconsistent, which is why his ERA number is where it is.
What’s The Pick?
The Angels have the better pitcher, but that loss on Sunday feels like a season-killing event. The Angels are going to be thinking about that game on Monday, and they will lose. So with our MLB Monday night pick we are siding with Seattle.
MLB Pick: Mariners +102 at 5Dimes