Despite Shaky Debut, Lean Angels' Weaver Over Royals With Saturday's MLB Picks

Matthew Jordan

Friday, April 10, 2015 5:43 PM UTC

Friday, Apr. 10, 2015 5:43 PM UTC

Your final baseball betting option on Saturday is a 9:05 p.m. ET start from Anaheim when the Angels host Kansas City in a rematch of last season's ALDS. The Halos opened as -145 favorites on MLB odds for Game 2 of the series with a total of 7.5.

ALDS Recap
It seems like forever ago but also yesterday that the Angels entered the AL Division Series has pretty heavy favorites not just to beat the wild-card Royals but also to win the pennant considering the Halos led the major leagues in wins and runs. Of course we all know what happened: the Royals swept the three games, winning the first two in 11 innings, and holding that powerful offense to just six total runs in the series. Only two Angels hit better than .200 in that series: Erick Aybar (.455) and Kole Calhoun (.333). Neither had an RBI and they only combined for one run scored and one extra-base hit. Albert Pujols hit just .167, the departed Howie Kendrick .154, AL MVP Mike Trout .083 in his first-ever playoff action and Josh Hamilton 0-for-13.

If the Angels had their way, that would have been Hamilton's final series ever in their uniform. If he's not the most overpaid guy in baseball right now, then Pujols is. Hamilton remains on the DL following shoulder surgery but will be able to play when ready instead of facing a suspension despite admitting a relapse with his drug problem.

It's not impossible the teams play again in the 2015 playoffs. The Royals are +350 at sportsbooks to win the AL Central and they opened the season with a sweep of the White Sox. The Angels took two of three in Seattle. L.A. and the Mariners are co-favorites on MLB Odds at +140 to win the AL West.


Probable Pitchers
Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie will make his season debut for Kansas City. He was pushed for the No. 5 spot this spring by Chris Young. Guthrie closed the Cactus League strong, allowing just one run and six hits in six innings against the Padres. Guthrie, who turned 36 on Wednesday, did pitch in three postseason games last season but not in the ALDS. He beat the Giants in Game 3 of the World Series and was handed the ball in Game 7. It didn't go well as Guthrie allowed three runs and four hits in 3.1 innings in taking the loss. Guthrie made one start against the Angels in 2014. On June 29 in Kansas City, he took a no-decision, allowing four runs (three earned) and nine hits over 6.2 innings.

It's too bad Hamilton isn't healthy as he kills Guthrie, going 10-for-31 with four homers, three doubles and five RBIs. New Angels designated hitter Matt Joyce, formerly of the Rays, is 14-for-34 with two homers and seven RBIs career off Guthrie. Trout is a .308 hitter with a homer, three RBIs and five walks in 13 official at-bats. Pujols is 3-for-14 with a home run. Pujols' next homer, if he didn't hit one in Friday's opener, will be No. 522. That would put him in sole possession of No. 18 on the career list as he's currently tied with Hall of Famers Willie McCovey,  Frank Thomas and some guy named Ted Williams.

Right-hander Jered Weaver gets the call for Los Angeles. He pitched the series opener of the ALDS in Anaheim and was good, allowing two runs and only three hits while striking out seven in a no-decision. Weaver hasn't faced the Royals in the regular season since 2012. He is 7-4 with a 2.21 ERA against them all time in 12 starts. New Royals DH Kendrys Morales, the former Angel, is 7-for-11 with a solo homer in his career off Weaver. Alex Gordon is 4-for-20 with a homer and nine strikeouts.

Weaver didn't look great in his first start this season. As a +142 underdog on MLB odds in Seattle against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, Weaver allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings with just one strikeout. Weaver has been losing velocity each of the past few seasons and his average fastball was only 83.5 mph in that game, the lowest of his career. That could be a warning sign, especially after Weaver struggled this spring.

MLB Free Picks: Angels and 'under' are your best MLB picks tonight.  Los Angeles is 6-1 in Weaver's past seven against the Royals and the 'under' is 6-1 in his past seven at home vs. K.C. The 'under' also was 5-0 in Guthrie's final five starts last season. 

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