MLB Picks: Angels vs. Rangers Series Coverage

Willie Bee

Thursday, September 26, 2013 11:29 AM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 26, 2013 11:29 AM GMT

Game 162 is happening for the Angeles and Rangers tonight. Can the Texas rangers fight it out to get one more game? Let's look at the odds for our MLB picks.


29 Sept
Sunday's Game

By: Willie Bee


Ponchos started appearing in the stands around the fifth inning when a light rain was falling. By the final out, puddles were forming all around the infield. In the end, however, it was a deluge of errors by the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday that helped keep the Texas Rangers in the AL Wild Card picture.

Game 162 of the season gets underway a little past 3 PM (ET) today for our MLB Betting, and while it's the final game for the Angels, the Rangers are hoping for at least one more. Texas' 7-4 victory on Saturday, its sixth straight, allowed the Rangers to tie the Tampa Bay Rays for the second wild card slot, each a game behind the Cleveland Indians.

The chance for a three-way tie between those clubs exists, which would set off a wild scenario to get two teams to the eventual Wild Card play-in Game on Wednesday. But first, the Rangers have to win today for that to happen, and the MLB odds are firmly in their corner with Texas carrying -200 or better chalk. Totals are still scarce, but expect that number to close around 8 for Game 4 of this set.

Texas Turns To Yu For Finale

The Rangers send staff ace Yu Darvish to the mound needing one more win to guarantee October baseball. Today's moneyline is about half what it closed out this past Tuesday when Darvish and Texas closed at -400 vs. the Astros, a game that saw Darvish fail to make it through the sixth inning for a second consecutive start. Texas did get the eventual dubya, the second straight behind Darvish who has walked 10 in his last 10.1 IP.

Darvish is a perfect 3-0 vs. the Angels this season with a 3.00 ERA and 23 K's in 18 frames. The only win in this park was probably Darvish's worst start of 2013 against the Halos (5 IP, 3 ER, 4 BB), but he owns a 2.66 ERA in 18 previous home starts (Texas 10-8).

In what could be his final lineup card to fill out for the Angels, manager Mike Scioscia will have Jason Vargas on the mound. Don't discount the importance of this start for Vargas even if the Halos are ending another disappointing campaign. The lefty is coming off a shutout vs. Oakland and will be a free agent this winter, so he'd love nothing more than to go out with a strong performance. Vargas has three no-decisions against the Rangers in 2013 despite a solid 2.89 ERA; he allowed just a run in 5.2 IP in his only start in Texas and LA is 1-2 in the assignments. 

Behind The Plate, Mother Nature & A Pick

Alfonso Marquez is in line to work the plate in Game 4, and brings a 16-17 O/U mark into the contest. It's his first time to call balls and strikes in Rangers Ballpark this year, and first since Game 3 of the 2011 World Series, a 16-7 Cardinals blowout. His last three plate assignments here have gone OVER. 

Rain is not supposed to interrupt Sunday's finale, though the grounds crew has its work cut out to get what is a soggy field this morning in shape. Partly cloudy skies and 80º are expected for first pitch with a 10 mph NNW wind, which could help high flies to right-center and possibly knock down balls head out to left. 

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Both defenses have contributed to the 30 runs scored this series, and that scares me off playing the UNDER despite the two hurlers. Let's close the regular season out with an offensive bang, OVER for my free pick this afternoon in Texas.

My pick: Angels-Rangers Over 8


28 Sept
Saturday's Game

By: Willie Bee


No rest for the weary thanks to a dreary forecast in Arlington for the third of a 4-game series between the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels. Originally slated to take place under the lights Saturday at Rangers Ballpark, Texas and LA are instead cranking things up a little past 11 AM local time to try and beat the wet weather that's expected.

MLB odds for the early matchup were a little behind on the overnight release, finally showing up with Texas -150 chalk behind southpaw Derek Holland. The Angels send Garrett Richards to the hill with a 9 run total favoring the UNDER.

Texas grabbed the 5-3 win Friday, its fifth straight, to remain a game out of the AL wild card behind Tampa Bay and Cleveland who are tied atop the heap following a Rays loss. The Indians and Rays will begin their games today about an hour after the Rangers and Angels get underway.

Off Shutout, Holland In Search Of Win No. 11

Bouncing between the bullpen and the rotation, Richards' biggest claim to fame this season is he's one of only two MLB pitchers with both a save and complete game. Dan Haren of the Nats could change that Saturday afternoon, but otherwise it will be just Richards and Tampa Bay's Roberto Hernandez. Among Richards' 16 starting assignments are two quality efforts vs. Texas, both in Anaheim where he toiled for 13 innings surrendering four earnies.

Holland is coming off an easy win over Houston this past Monday when he limited the Astros to six hits while whiffing nine in the easy 12-zip shutout. It was Holland's second shutout of the year, the other coming in New York at the end of June. The Astros and Yankees have two of the weaker AL lineups, and facing the Angels -- tied for 5th in AL scoring 4.55 rpg -- has been a different story for Holland.

He earned no-decisions his first three tries of 2013 vs. LA, and his team bailed him out on two occasions to win all three. He was tagged with the loss in start No. 4 vs. the Halos three weeks ago in Anaheim (5.2 IP, 8 R); totals for the season include 24.1 innings with a devilish 6.66 ERA and 29 hits allowed, four of them homers.

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