Free MLB Picks for Orioles vs. Angels Series

Willie Bee

Monday, July 21, 2014 12:39 PM GMT

Baltimore posted a second consecutive 4-2 win in Anaheim on Tuesday, leaving the Angels in need of a win to avoid an Orioles sweep in their MLB odds series finale.

 

23rd July
Orioles vs. Angels Game 3

By: Willie Bee

 

The Los Angeles Angels fortified their bullpen recently by trading for closer Huston Street from the Padres. That should help them in their goal to reach the playoffs, but it didn't help Tuesday night against the Baltimore Orioles when Halo relievers couldn't get through the middle innings to get the game to Street in the ninth.

Baltimore turned a 0-0 game through five into a second straight 4-2 win in Anaheim, a 3-run sixth providing all the runs the O's needed for the victory. To complete the sweep, however, they'll have to win a third straight as the underdogs again on Wednesday.

Los Angeles opened in the -150 to -160 span on SBR's live baseball odds as the Angels are sending Jered Weaver to the bump to deliver the game's first pitch around 10:05 PM (ET). Chris Tillman will be his opposite on the Baltimore side, the moneyline holding steady along with an 8 run total that is priced to the 'under.'

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Halos On 6-Game Streak With Weaver On The Hill
Tillman hit a rough patch in late-May, early-June when he allowed 20 runs over a 4-start stretch, two of those assignments being games that the righthander recorded only six total outs against the Pirates and Rangers. He has since been a model of consistency with a 2.50 ERA in his last eight appearances (54 IP) though the O's are just 4-4 in the span.

The Anaheim native has just one appearance on the Big A bump, and it was a dandy about 15 months ago when Tillman blanked the Angels over eight innings, allowing just three hits along the way.

Weaver has been on a good run of his own with the Angels winning each of his last six starts while the righty posted a 2.40 ERA. He has also allowed just two homers in those games, both coming in Chicago against the White Sox on July 1. Baltimore beat Weaver last June at Camden Yards to stop a 4-game losing skid against the LA ace.

 

Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
The man under the mask Wednesday in Anaheim should be Tripp Gibson. The Kentucky native brings a 7-12-1 O/U/P record into the matchup, with his last three plate assignments failing reach the total as have six of his last eight. Gibson worked Weaver's May 27 start in Seattle, a 6-4 Angels victory that went 'over' the 7 run scoreboard hurdle.

I've been worried about how long layoffs during the all-star break might affect pitchers, when in fact it appears the only rust belongs to me and my free MLB picks which are 0-4 to begin the second half. Angel bats have been pretty quiet this series, and indeed since the All-Star Game with 15 runs over a 5-game span. Is tonight the night they break out and show what makes them the highest-scoring team in the majors?

Maybe not against Tillman, but I do expect LA to do enough to avoid the sweep and cover my run-line play in the finale.

MLB Pick: Angels -1.5 (+130)

Season: 90-88 (+2.05)

 

22nd July
Orioles vs. Angels Game 2

By: Willie Bee

 

Adam Jones certainly did his part to supply the offense we were looking for in the series opener between the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers. However, he was the only hitter to bring his bat to the matchup as the two pitching staffs combined to whiff 26.

Jones blasted a pair of 2-run homers, the second of which traveled nearly 450 feet, to supply all of the scoring Baltimore needed in the 4-2 final. The win pushed the Orioles to a 4-game lead over both New York and Toronto in the AL East while the loss dropped the Angels two games back of the idle Athletics.

Tasked with stopping Jones and his fellow Birds in Game 2 is Angels lefty Hector Santiago. He'll deliver the game's first pitch at 10:05 PM (ET), and the MLB odds like the Halos to even the set with a moneyline in the -130 to -145 range.

Miguel Gonzalez opposes Santiago as the Orioles go for the series victory in Game 2, another 8.5 run total awaiting scoreboard bettors.

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Santiago Aims For 3rd-Straight Win
This will be Gonzalez's first start in 11 days, his last trip to the mound coming in the opener of the Orioles series at home against the Yankees prior to the All-Star Game. The 30-year-old righthander failed to earn a decision despite a solid effort (8 IP, 2 ER) in Baltimore's 3-2 win that took 10 innings. He has split his only two starts in Anaheim, working a combined 13 innings and allowing just four runs.

Santiago has picked up the dubya in his last two appearances, one a start in Texas against the Rangers on July 10 and the other a long relief outing last Friday vs. the Mariners. The Angels lost his first seven assignments of 2014, which prompted his move to the bullpen, but they have since won four of his last five starts.

The southpaw has faced the Orioles four times over his career, twice as a starter, and has no decisions to show for those matchups along with a 3.86 ERA (14 IP).

 

Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
Veteran umpire Tom Hallion is next in line to call balls and strikes, and the crew chief brings a level 8-8 O/U record into the clash. Now in his 25th MLB season, Hallion has shown an 'over' tendency lately with four of his last five plate assignments going past the total, though his last three games in Anaheim failed to reach the mark.

The Angels are finally winning games that Santiago appears in, but it's still difficult to pull the trigger on a pitcher with an ERA up over 4.00, especially when that trigger is -140 chalk. At the same time, Gonzalez is going to have to brush off a little rust that comes from an 11-day layoff, and you never know how a pitcher is going to respond in that situation. I'm coming right back with another play on the 'over' for my free pick.

MLB Pick: Orioles-Angels Over 8.5 (-115)

Season: 90-86 (+4..05)

 

21st July
Orioles vs. Angels Game 1

By: Willie Bee

 

Are the Los Angeles Angels finally living up to the expectations they've been carrying around for the past few years? It certainly looks that way, and we might have a more definitive answer this week when the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles come to town for a 3-game set.

The postseason hopefuls crank things up Monday night (10:05 PM ET) as Baltimore sends Bud Norris to the hill against LA rookie Matt Shoemaker. The Halos are listed as -140 favorites on the MLB odds with an 8.5 run total that leans to the low side.

The first meeting of 2014 between the two finds the series pretty level the past four seasons, LA winning 16 of 31 with a modest 8-6 mark at the Big A. Totals wagers split in the four games played in Anaheim in 2013 after 'under' bettors were successful three times out of four a year earlier.

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Both Lineups Feature Plenty Of Power
Baltimore (53-44, +12.3 units, 45-50-2 O/U/P) won five of the seven played last season, including three of four in Anaheim. But while the Orioles have been a good road team this year (27-21), they reach Anaheim having just lost two of three in Oakland to begin this 10-game road trip that takes them to Seattle for the weekend.

The good news for Buck Showalter and Company is they are relatively injury-free to begin the second-half drive towards a second playoff appearance in three years. All-Star catcher Matt Wieters was lost for the season to elbow surgery back in May, a huge blow to the lineup, but Baltimore has remained healthy otherwise. The O's are only short one starting hurler right now, that being Ubaldo Jimenez (ankle) who could begin a quick rehab assignment this week and rejoin the club when they get home next week.

Los Angeles (59-38, +14.6 units, 51-41-5 O/U/P) has been on a roll since early June and continued the fine play this past weekend by taking two of three from the Mariners. That series victory leaves Mike Scioscia's gang 14-3 for the month of July, and in possession of the second-best record in the majors, just 1.5 games behind the A's in the AL West.

The Halos are also in possession of the most potent lineup in the big leagues, averaging just over five runs per contest and fourth on the charts with 104 long balls, 11 behind Baltimore in that column. They rallied late on Sunday in the series finale vs. Seattle, walking off in the ninth with a 6-5 triumph to give the Angels their 30th come-from-behind victory in 2014.

 

Shoemaker Set For Debut Vs. O's
Baltimore sent Norris to the minors over the all-star break to get in a little extra work, and he didn't exactly dominate Double-A hitters who drew five walks and scored three times in the righthander's 4.1 innings of work. He came off a short DL stint just before the midseason vacation, dropping a 6-2 decision to the Nationals with five of their runs showing up on Norris' ledger.

Norris saw the Angels four times in 2013, all while he was still with the Astros. Houston won three of the matchups, with Norris 2-0 in Anaheim thanks to 13 scoreless innings.

Shoemaker will be making his first start since July 3 when he beat Houston, 5-2. He was called on in long relief four days later and earned the win in another 5-2 LA decision vs. the Blue Jays, and is facing the Orioles for the first time in his career.

All systems are go as far as the weather is concerned for the next few days in Anaheim. The thermometer should be in the mid-70s under clear skies when Shoemaker delivers the first pitch, with an 8-10 mph west breeze also in the mix (out to right).

These have been two of the healthiest teams to follow all MLB betting season, the Angels in fact leading the majors in the ROI category while the Orioles rank third. I do like the home team in this lid-lifter, but will instead send my free pick out on the two lineups busting through the scoreboard barrier.

MLB Pick: Orioles-Angels Over 8.5 (+100)

Season: 90-84 (+6.05)