MLB Betting Value Angels to Win Straight Up vs. Twins in Game 3

Doug Upstone

Saturday, September 6, 2014 2:23 PM UTC

Saturday, Sep. 6, 2014 2:23 PM UTC

Five weeks ago, nobody including MLB baseball handicappers and sportsbooks could have forecasted the Los Angeles Angels would fly by Oakland in the AL West and take the lead in the division.

Yet this is precisely what happened and the Angels have the best record in baseball and for those generating daily MLB picks, the Halos have moved up to No. 2 in baseball for units won at +18.8.

Tonight is Game 3 of the series with Minnesota and here is a betting preview looking at the MLB odds.


Los Angeles Pushing to the Finish
The Angels have opened up a working margin in their division thanks to a 21-12 record since August 1 and Oakland faltering badly. Though the offense is not quite scoring as many runs as they did earlier in the season, they are at 4.7 runs per contest, which is still in the top 3 on baseball.

What skipper Mike Scioscia wants to see improve in his starting pitching. Injuries have racked this group, forcing them to start Corey Rasmus tonight and go with a committee, which you can read more about below.

The Halos need a lot more from C.J. Wilson and hope Hector Santiago can find late-season magic. With Garrett Richards out, the most consistent starter has been Matt Shoemaker and the team is 12-3 when he takes the ball.

While it is seems improbable, the red-clad Angels have enough variety in their offense which could carry them to the World Series, led by Mike Trout.

First up is winning tonight, but you know Scioscia and L.A. fans are thinking about October.


Twins Wish They Could Have Phil Hughes Twin
If you followed my videos this past spring and summer, you know I was not high on the Minnesota even when they hanging around .500 for close to half the season.

It was clearer than a sunny late summer morning on one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes this team did not have enough starting pitching and the hot hitters would eventually head back to career norms.

When Hughes pitches this season, the Twins are 18-10, which is incredibly remarkable, since they are 43-70 in all other games, which makes them -17.45 units without their ace on the hill. Tonight at least they have a shot.


Pitching Matchup for Saturday
With the injuries to Richards and Tyler Skaggs, the team from Anaheim was not left with many good options other than bankrupting the farm system for a rent a pitcher like Cole Hamels. Instead, Scioscia and his staff have gotten creative for the No.5 starter slot.

The Angels will start Cory Rasmus (3-1, 2.48 ERA, 1.10 WHIP) and like last time, hope he can give his team three or four good innings and turn it over to the bullpen, with the idea of having another middle reliever pitch an inning or two, being turning it over to the setup men and closers. While certainly unconventional, Sciocia has always been innovative.

Minnesota will call on their ace Phil Hughes (15-9, 3.54, 1.15), who despite being on one of the worst teams in the AL, will deservedly acquire some Cy Young votes. The right-hander has pitched more relaxed away from New York and when he had a rough patch earlier, which in the past would have sent his spiraling out of control; Hughes regrouped and held it together. His ERA is 3.23 in past 10 starts and he’s the third-best pitcher in baseball against the betting odds at +11.8 units.


Bullpen View
After a truly miserable start, the Angels bullpen found the right people for the right jobs and have improved to No. 5 in ERA at 3.31 and are up to third in save percentage (72.0) in the American League. Among their strengths is the ability to shutdown opposing offenses via the strikeout, in which they are fourth in the junior circuit.

Given the kind of year the Twins ended up having, the bullpen has at least not been a detriment. They are middle of the road in nearly every single bullpen number that matters and have done this in spite of having worked the third-most innings in the majors.


Head to Head Combat and Betting Odds
Los Angeles has taken all five games this season, but Minnesota has played them tough in the Twin Cities with a 6-5 record the last three years. There has been no discount on runs at Target Field, with the OVER 8-2 since 2012.

The Twins opened as -110 home favorites because of the pitching matchup with a total of 8.5 and they moved ever so slightly to -113, this morning.


The Winner Is….
While Hughes has been the one saving grace for Minnesota this season, the Angels are the best team in baseball, which has been proven in this series with a couple of tight one-run games, they just find ways to win. With Hughes sports an 8.42 lifetime ERA against L.A., with one of my sports picks, I’ll call for the Anaheim crew to move to 24-8 in the second half of the season against losing teams.

MLB Free Picks: Los Angeles wins

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