A Surprising Trip
Los Angeles is 4-1 on its current six-game road trip, which is surprising when you consider that first baseman Albert Pujols and outfielder Mike Trout are a combined 5-for-44 at the plate over that span.
The Angels have gone 89-46 versus NL foes since 2007—the top interleague record in baseball in that period.
MLB handicappers will find that the club has split its first 10 day games, with no clear edge in terms of the betting total (5-5 'over'/'under').
Struggles on the Mound
Philadelphia entered this series with a MLB-worst 5.50 ERA in interleague play since 2012—leading directly to a miserable 13-30 record and getting outscored by a 257-166 margin in that situation.
The Phillies’ pitching staff ranks 22nd in MLB with a 4.21 ERA, but the group is ahead of only two teams in allowing opponents to hit .271 against them.
It’s important to point out that the franchise is 8-3 under the sun this season, with the 'under' going 6-5 in those 11 contests.
Angels' starting pitcher Garrett Richards (3-0, 2.80 ERA) has led the team to back-to-back wins, but he didn’t factor into the decision of a 4-3 road victory over the Toronto Blue Jays last time out, as he allowed two runs and five hits over seven frames.
The right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in five road appearances, with opposing hitters batting just .120 against him.
Richards will be making his first career start versus the Phillies, while he’s gone 1-0 with a 1.75 ERA in four outings versus NL opponents dating to 2012.
Phillies starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (2-2, 2.90 ERA) had his personal two-game win streak snapped last time out, as he suffered a 12-6 road defeat to the Blue Jays—surrendering seven runs (six earned) and nine hits over six innings of work.
The right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.56 ERA in three home outings, but he’s issued 10 free passes in 17.1 combined frames.
In eight lifetime starts versus the Halos, Burnett has compiled a 2-2 record and 4.75 ERA, but he hasn’t faced them since 2011.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Angels in their MLB picks due to their 4-0 record in Richards’ last four trips to the mound in interleague play.
MLB Free Pick: Los Angeles Angels -111