MLB Picks: Angels vs. Rangers Series Report

Willie Bee

Monday, July 29, 2013 11:40 AM UTC

Monday, Jul. 29, 2013 11:40 AM UTC

A key showdown in the AL West is on our slate to start the week as the Angels and Rangers square off for a three game series in Texas.
31st July
Wednesday's Game

By: Willie Bee


Check out Wednesday's Daily Baseball Betting Odds & Lines Report for a breakdown of today's games!

If the Los Angeles Angels weren't frustrated and disheartened by Monday's walk-off win by the Texas Rangers, they surely were by Tuesday's repeat performance. Now the Angels are left trying to salvage the finale on Wednesday to avoid Texas' brooms.

MLB odds suggest the Halos are on the verge of being swept with the Rangers favored around -140 to win their third consecutive contest. The Hump Day match features Jerome Williams and Martin Perez on the mound with 9.5 and 10 run totals available at various baseball betting shops.

The Angels once again blew a lead -actually four different leads- and watched the Rangers rally with another last at-bat victory in a wild 14-11 contest on Tuesday. Texas trailed 11-7 entering the eighth before Geovany Soto, who connected for the walk-off homer on Monday, poked a 3-run homer to help the Rangers close the gap. Adrian Beltre's RBI single in the ninth knotted it and Leonys Martin's 3-run jack in the 10th ended the tilt that took close to five hours to complete.

July has been a complete disaster for Williams who has a 12.50 ERA in five starts, the Angels mustering up enough offense to pull out a dubya in just one of those games. He was on the mound last Friday in Oakland in Game 2 of that series, a 6-4 A's win in which the righthander worked five and allowed four runs.

Williams has appeared in 25 games as a starter and reliever this year, and it's got to be a bit demoralizing for 18 of those contests to finish in LA's loss column. Two of the defeats were against Texas, Williams coming in out of the 'pen each time and posting five no-hit innings between the two outings.

Perez's last three starts all ended in Texas defeats after the club went 4-1 in his first five assignments. The little Venezuelan had a 2.08 ERA in those initial five outings, but has since pitched to a 9.00 mark. He has faced the Angels just once in his career, and that came as a reliever exactly one year ago today on this diamond (1 IP, 0 ER).

Don't forget to also read today's Daily Pitching Report for our analysis of the day's matchups!

A triple-digit afternoon high is in the forecast, meaning it's still going to be in the mid-to-upper 90s at the start of Wednesday's game. Jerry Layne (10-4-1 O/U/P) is scheduled to work the plate, and we'll see if there is any carryover from last night's match when he ejected Angels manager Mike Scioscia for arguing a call at 1B. Layne's last five have gone past the scoreboard barrier, as have his last three plate assignments at Rangers Ballpark that ended with final totals of 18, 15 and 20 runs.

I'm expecting more runs tonight with these two hurlers on the hill. The ‘Over’ will be my free MLB pick in Game 3 of this set.


MLB pick: Angels/Rangers game to go OVER 10.5 (-110) at Ladbrokes


30th July
Tuesday's Game

By: Willie Bee


For a breakdown of today's choice games, check out Tuesday's Baseball Betting Odds & Lines Report!

We see it happen quite often on the gridiron where one team dominates the first half only to be dominated in the second half. That's how Monday's series opener in Texas between the Rangers and Los Angeles Angels played out on the diamond, and if you look closely, you just might see a white flag beginning to go up in Anaheim.

Texas will try and make it two-in-a-row Tuesday in a mound clash between former teammates who each sling from the port side. Former Ranger CJ Wilson is slated for the Angels against Derek Holland of Texas who is a -130 favorite on the MLB odds board. An 8.5 run total is also among the baseball betting options.

The Halos built a 3-0 lead behind their ace Jered Weaver in Game 1, but the bullpen couldn't hold it as the Rangers walked off with a 4-3 victory thanks to solo jacks in the ninth by AJ Pierzynski and Geovany Soto. The dubya snapped a 4-game skid for Texas and extended the Angels' losing streak to four.

Wilson has won his last three starts, two of them coming on the road at Oakland and on Chicago's North Side. The former Loyola Marymount standout has been on a nice role since the middle of June with a 7-1 record in his last eight assignments, whittling nearly a run off his ERA in that span.

He is facing his former club for the first time this year, and that good run Wilson's on will be put to the test against the Rangers who beat the Angels in three of his five starts last season. Three of those appearances came in Arlington where he allowed 14 earned runs in 11.1 combined frames (11.12 ERA).

Don't forget to also read today's Daily Pitching Report for our analysis of the day's matchups!

Holland went up against Wilson in one of those 2012 contests and came out on the winning end of a 6-2 Texas triumph. He's coming off consecutive losses, both strong outings but lacking in any run support from the Rangers who managed to plate just one run in the two games. Texas has dropped each of his last five home starts, and is 4-6 in his 10 trips to the mound at Rangers Ballpark despite a solid 3.26 home ERA.

Another hot, sunny day is in the forecast for Arlington where the thermometer should be in the mid-90s for the first pitch. Greg Gibson is next in line to call balls and strikes, and brings a 6-10 O/U record into the contest. His plate assignments in games carrying an 8.5 run total or less have finished 5-6 O/U.

Game 1's outcome could be as uplifting for the Rangers as it is demoralizing for the Angels, and for that reason along I'm going to ride Texas for my free Game 2 sports pick.


MLB pick: Bet Texas Rangers -140 at Bet365


29th July
Monday Series Opener

By: Willie Bee


For more early MLB info, be sure to check out Monday's Pitching Breakdown!

Hard to believe that if the American League playoffs started today, neither the Los Angeles Angels nor the Texas Rangers would be part of the mix. That makes their 3-game series in the Lone Star State all the more crucial.

Fittingly, ESPN will give the opener some prime-time love, and the pitching matchup gives Game 1 a playoff feel as Jered Weaver is on tap for the Angels opposite Texas' new addition Matt Garza. The Rangers began the baseball betting proceedings as $1.30 favorites, a moneyline that held firm overnight. MLB odds also started the total at 8.5 favoring the 'Under', but that has moved down a notch to 8 and still priced to the low side.

Both teams have been watching the Oakland Athletics pull away in the AL West standings in July, their lead now six games over the Rangers in second while the Halos sit 13 back in fourth. Texas bats have gone cold with three losses of the shutout variety on their current 4-game skid. The Angels lineup hasn't been much better throughout the season and Mike Scioscia is now going to have to get used to not writing Albert Pujols' name in after the slugger found his way to the DL on Sunday.

Monday will begin just the third series of 2013 between the rivals, and first collision since April. They played twice then, once in each park, and Ron Washington's crew won two of three each time. All three in Anaheim went 'Over', as did two of the three in Arlington.

That one 'Under' in Texas when the teams met during the first week of the season is something of a rarity at Rangers Ballpark. Betting the high side of the scoreboard has been a winner 12 of the last 16 on this field in what has been an offensive series the past couple of years, especially so on this hitter-friendly diamond where the average final score the last 16 is 13.75 runs and only four tilts have failed to reach double digits.

Angels Reach Texas On 3-Game Skid

Any chance the Angels had of getting back into the race likely went out the window this weekend in Oakland where the A's took the final three of a 4-game series. Sunday's 10-6 loss was particularly demoralizing after the Halos built an early five-zip advantage.

On top of the losses on the field was the loss of Pujols in the lineup. This will not be a short DL stay for Pujols who could miss the rest of the season. Phat Albert was having a down year with just 17 HR and a batting average under .260, but it's still a significant subtraction from the batting order. Scioscia plugged Mike Trout into the 3-hole for the final two games in Oakland.

Weaver is carrying just a 5-5 record on his personal ledger that also includes a 2.98 ERA, but he has been one of the few bright spots for the Angels recently with the club winning five of his last six outings. His only appearance vs. the Rangers came in Texas on April 7 just before he started a 7-week DL stint, and he was touched up for a pair of homers and five runs in five innings. Weaver has worked nearly 200 IP in his career vs. Texas and has a 13-8 record with a 3.75 ERA.

Rangers Home After Being Broomed In Cleveland

Texas has been in a funk since just before the All-Star break, and returns home after a quick trip to Cleveland where the Tribe swept the Rangers, blanking them in the final two games. Washington's troops have dropped eight of 10 since the midseason vacation, and are a woeful 8-15 in July.

Garza cost the Rangers a pretty penny in the swap with the Cubs, but he looked to be worth every bit of it in his Texas debut last week vs. the Yankees (7.1 IP, 0 ER). He has faced the Angels just once since late in the '09 season, and oddly enough that start came in an interleague matchup in early June while with Chicago. Garza toiled into the seventh inning out in Anaheim, allowed four runs and didn't factor into the decision that went the Cubs' way, 8-6.

The thermometer should still be in the 90's for the start of Monday night's contest, as well as the next two evenings. Little to no chance of rain exists through Wednesday, and any wind should be from the south (in from right) in the 8-12 mph range.

It's easy to imagine Garza and Weaver hooking up in a pitchers duel, but I'm going to go the opposite way on the total. My free sports pick in the opener is 'Over'.


MLB pick: Angels/Rangers game OVER 8 (-110) at Bet365

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