Will the Angels gain momentum from last night rally, or will N.Y. still be in control of this series cashing on the MLB odds in the opener, no matter how nerve-wracking Friday's game might have been?
The Los Angeles Angels Can Win Because...
They are going up against a pitcher who, though more successful in recent weeks than earlier in the season, is still a pitcher who generally allows plenty of baserunners per game. Adam Warren has a 3.75 ERA, a half-run higher than the ERA of L.A. starter Garrett Richards. Warren has been good in his lsat four starts, giving up no more than three runs in any of them, but you'll notice that he usually allows a lot of runners. He gave up six hits and a walk on May 31 against Oakland, pitching out of trouble. He did the same thing against Washington on May 20, allowing four hits and four walks. The Angels will get their chances to score against Warren, who is not a power pitcher. A few timely hits are all Los Angeles should need to win this game. Richards doesn't have to be great; he only needs to be decent for the Halos to prevail here.
The New York Yankees Can Win Because...
They are facing a pitcher who, though talented, is struggling. Garrett Richards is the starter for the Angels in this game, and while his ERA is a reasonably good 3.26, he really hasn't pitched all that well in his past three starts. Richards came back from an injury at the very beginning of the season and looked very strong in most of his first six outings. He went through a five-game stretch in which he never did give up more than two runs per outing. He pitched 34 1/3 innings over the course of those five starts and allowed a combined total of seven earned runs. That's tremendous stuff. However, Richards has sharply regressed, and the thing to point out about him is that he's been scuffling for more than just one start.
In Richards' last three starts, he has not pitched seven complete innings in any of them. He has given up a total of 13 runs, 11 of them earned. He has pitched a total of 18 2/3 innings in those three starts. His innings-to-earned-runs ratio is under 2-to-1, and that's bad news for a starting pitcher on a team that was supposed to contend for the American League West championship this year. Richards has hard and nasty stuff. He is a strikeout pitcher. In those last three starts, he has 11 punchouts, as many as the number of earned runs he's surrendered. He struck out six in one game, but a combined total of five in the other two. He's just not performing at the level the Angels need from him, and this is a great reason to pick the Yankees, who have been playing very well of late, and not just that, but playing well against American League West teams. The Yankees rebounded from a bad series in Oakland to sweep the Seattle Mariners. Then they won the opener of this series against the Angels on Friday night, scoring eight runs and hammering Jered Weaver in the process. New York's bats have a vulnerable target in the person of Richards.
The inconsistency of Richards and his recent poor form suggest to play the hot-hitting Yankees, who are feeling very good about themselves. Make this MLB pick at 5Dimes as they’ve got the best line out there right now at -108.
MLB Pick: New York at 5Dimes