The Los Angeles Angels have been a solid baseball pick since turfing their GM. They're already 2-0 up in their four-game series against the disappointing Boston Red Sox.
Jason's 2015 record as of July 18: 34-25, plus-9.41 units ML; 0-3, minus-3.30 units Total
They say that baseball managers can't win games – they can only lose them. But not every baseball manager is Mike Scioscia. The two-time AL Manager of the Year is one of the last of the old-school drill sergeants, supported by the deep pockets of Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno. Even when the Angels were scrambling to get above .500 last month, it was GM Jerry Dipoto who fell on his sword instead of Scioscia.
Apparently that got through to the players. L.A. is 9-2 since Dipoto turned in his badge on July 1, including a pair of shutout wins over the Boston Red Sox to kick off the second half of the season. Game 3 of this four-game set takes place Sunday night (8:00 p.m. ET) on the Worldwide Leader; at press time, the Halos are –135 home favorites with a total of 7.5 runs.
Hector Santiago (3.89 FIP) will be taking the mound for Los Angeles – you may remember him from that 13-0 shellacking of the Texas Rangers earlier this month. Santiago has been absolutely brilliant over his last four starts, allowing just three earned runs in 27 innings to improve to +2.24 units on a team record of 10-7.
The Angels have also improved dramatically at the plate. On the season, they rank No. 12 overall at 12.1 WAR, but over the past 14 days, they've been the second best team in the majors (3.1 WAR). While Mike Trout (1.022 OPS) continues his defense of the AL MVP award, it's been 1B/DH C.J. Cron (.701 OPS) who's really gone off these past two weeks, going 15-for-27 with three homers, three doubles and a 1.552 OPS.
Dead Man's Curve
Let's see what Cron can do against Boston's hot young lefty, Eduardo Rodriguez (3.58 FIP). This guy's got some special stuff, including a 94-mph fastball, an 86-mph slider and an 87-mph curve. What what?! Boston is 6-3 in Rodriguez' nine starts for a profit of 2.69 units. Two of those losses were total meltdowns, but otherwise, Rodriguez has been nothing short of brilliant. Alas, the Red Sox are No. 21 in the majors in hitting (9.4 WAR) and No. 20 over the past 14 days (0.5 WAR).
Nobody on the Halos has faced Rodriguez in the bigs, while current Boston hitters have a combined .817 career OPS against Santiago. Time for everyone's favorite utility guy, Brock Holt (.791 OPS). He's 2-for-6 lifetime against Santiago with a double, and he's owned in just 41% of Yahoo leagues despite being eligible at five positions. As for our baseball picks, don't mind us if we take the UNDER in this bad boy, and may the sphere be with you.
Free MLB Pick: Take UNDER 7.5 (–115) at Sports Interaction