MLB Picks: Angels vs. Red Sox Series Analysis

Swinging Johnson

Friday, June 7, 2013 2:35 PM UTC

Friday, Jun. 7, 2013 2:35 PM UTC

The Angels and Red Sox finish their three-game set in Fenway.  Let’s see if we can find the value in our MLB picks tonight.

09 June
Game Three

By: Swinging Johnson


The Angels and Red Sox split a doubleheader yesterday and will duel in the final game of the series today.  But where is the value in our MLB picks in this afternoon's rubber match?

Swinging Johnson – MLB Record (8-6, +3.88 units)

*Games assigned 1 to 5 units.


When I used to play golf - miserably I might add - my friends who were avid golfers, though not much better than I,  used to say that one good shot keeps you coming back.  I am living proof that age-old axiom is nothing but bunk.  But if such a rule applied in the world of sports gambling, I would say that cashing a decent sized underdog for four of the maximum five units would most definitely keep me coming back and give me hope that scouring the stats and applying good old fashioned due diligence does pay off.  Unfortunately the bad bounces often add up to bad beats leaving you to shake your head and think, why not just flip a coin and save myself the work? 

I am here to tell you that the Angels 9-5 victory as +132 underdogs yesterday afternoon was a four unit affirmation that if you stay the course, good things will happen.  We then followed that up with another winner when Clay Buchholz again made it look easy as the Sox avenged their afternoon defeat cruising to a 7-2 spanking of LA in the backend of a day/night doubleheader.  Unfortunately there was no line when I wrote that article and I honestly believed Buchholz would be north of -200 particularly if the Angels won the afternoon game as I predicted.  Therefore, I risked only one unit not knowing the Red Sox would close as -160 home favorites in our MLB odds. 

So here we go kids.  I am looking to go 3-0 in this series in my MLB picks and add a bit more to our modest bankroll.  Here's what I've got. 

Let's head over to check out Steven Suarez betting odds report~

The Pick: 

If you look at the pitching matchup today you will see Ryan Dempster (3-6, 4.39) versus Hurricane Joe Blanton (1-9, 5.53 ERA).  Why do I call him Hurricane?  Because nobody blows harder than Joe Blanton!  But has he blown recently is what I want to know and if I peruse his last three starts I find that he's been quite good.  Yes, in his last start he was a hard luck loser but pitched eight quality innings, holding the suddenly surging Astros to two runs on only three hits in a 2-1 loss. 

Ryan Dempster is a fun guy.  He tells a great joke and changed the toxic nature of the Red Sox clubhouse the moment he stepped inside it.  But has he fulfilled the role that Boston management envisioned when they signed him in the offseason?  The verdict is still out but he pitched decently (when he didn't even need to) in his last outing as his team bashed the ball and the Texas Rangers last Tuesday in a 17-5 thrashing.  Dempster quipped after the game, "I like my chances when we get 17 runs." 


Hopefully Dempster's change in uniform this year will yield different results than last when he was mauled by the Angels as a member of the Texas Rangers.  He went 0-2 with an 11.20 ERA in his three starts against them last season.  He was a -120 in MLB betting odds on August 2nd and got a no decision but allowed eight runs in a Rangers 15-9 victory.  He then dropped the next two games as a +115 underdog on September 18th when he lasted only 3.3 innings and surrendered five earned runs and then came in as a +105 underdog and got hammered for four more runs, not even escaping the sixth inning.

In essence we have two subpar pitchers pitching decently of late.  But Blanton has gotten blasted by the Sox in his last two starts, allowing 15 earned runs in only 8.3 innings of work.  In our MLB picks for today, it's hard to ignore the home team with the slightly better pitcher.

Play the Red Sox -168 for 2 units in our MLB odds at


08 June
Game Two

By: Swinging Johnson


Red Sox ace Clay Buchholz will battle C.J. Wilson in the backend of a doubleheader tonight at Fenway.  Let's find the value in our MLB odds.

Swinging Johnson – MLB Record (6-6, -2.40 units)

*Games assigned 1 to 5 units.


Unfortunately there's nothing to update here kids since yesterday's game got rained out but I am hoping by the time you read this, today's matinee makeup game will result in an Angels victory as I predicted in yesterday's article. 

So, let's peruse the MLB odds and see if we can determine which team is the best choice in our MLB picks for tonight's game.  Fear not boys and girls, we are going to right this ship and I want you by my side in the captain's chair as we navigate these tumultuous MLB waters.  All aboard! 

LA Angels (26-34, -19.5 units - before afternoon game)

Let's talk about Angels' pitcher C.J. Wilson shall we?  He picked the perfect time to have a career year in Texas in 2011 which vaulted his value as a free agent once the season was finished.  That's when the Angels decided they needed an expensive dessert to complement the $250 million entree that was Albert Pujols.  And so it was that the Angels spending spree ended (for that year anyway) with a cool  $75 million to a pitcher who had been utilized as a reliever throughout most of his career.

Wilson (4-4, 3.93) started the season on a high note with his team winning all of his first four starts.  However since then, the Angels have dropped five of six of Wilson's subsequent starts.  On May 27th Wilson had his worst outing of the season when the Dodgers beat him like a red-headed step child allowing nine hits on six earned runs in only 4.2 innings of work.  He followed that up with another losing performance to the suddenly streaking Astros when he was touched for three runs in a 5-4 loss as a huge -260 favorite.

Clay Buchholz is chukin' tonight for the Red Sox and there's been no one better than the 28-year-old Nederland, Texas native.  Buchholz put a mediocre 2012 campaign behind him and has simply sparkled for the Red Sox this season, compiling an 8-0 record with a dazzling 1.62 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP.  Nobody's been better than Buchholz and his last appearance against the Yankees was more of the same when he surrendered only two hits en route to a 2-0 blanking of New York as a +110 underdog in the Bronx.

 Boston Red Sox (37-24, +6.4 units - before afternoon game)

Last year, Buchholz could not get on track against the Angels.  He met them twice and got pounded for seven runs on 12 hits as a +115 underdog on August 22nd and only a week later he was whacked around again for four runs on six hits in a 6-5 loss where the Sox were installed as +187 underdogs. 

In his career, Buchholz is 5-3 with a with a 4.75 ERA against the Angels and the Red Sox are 5-5 and -0.4 units when he gets the start against LA.


The Pick:

It looks easy doesn't it?  How can you truly be excited about fading Buchholz this year?  If you've been so inclined you're probably looking forward to dinner at the shelter this evening while watching the game on the only black and white TV in existence.

However, let's look at Mr. Wilson's track record against Boston.  Remarkably, his team is 7-0 when Wilson takes the bump against the Red Sox and has banked +7.8 units for those backing him.  Wilson has a 2.64 ERA and a 1.115 WHIP in all starts versus Boston.

All that C.J. Wilson mojo against the Red Sox only directs me to scale down my wager on the Red Sox.  Naturally the heavy vig will put a big damper on my unit size as well (I said unit size - think Peter Griffin voice) so we shall tread cautiously here in our MLB picks.

Play the Red Sox for 1 unit at


07 June
Series Opener

By: Swinging Johnson


Swinging Johnson – MLB Record (6-6, -2.40 units)

*Games assigned 1 to 5 units.


I love the Sox but bet the Rangers last night because dammit, they were the right side…until they weren’t.  Leading throughout, the Rangers blew a 3-0 lead to see it all disappear when Big Papi ended the dream with just one swing of the bat.  I will have no further comments as I need to have myself a good cry.

Check out our Friday Morning MLB Odds & Betting Lines Report.

LA Angels (26-34, -19.5 units)

The Angels were resting last evening while the Red Sox gutted out a David Ortiz walk-off homerun to defeat the Rangers.  Now they must prepare to take on the best team in the minor circuit as they lumber through an abysmally disappointing season, currently 10 ½ games behind the AL West leading Texas Rangers.  It’s been more of the same lately as the Halos dropped a three-game set to the Astros at home and then split with the Cubs.  If this team is struggling against those two teams, the future does not look promising.

Tommy Hanson (2-2, 4.19) will get the ball tonight for LA as they hope to get on track after their 8-6 loss to the Cubbies on Wednesday night in extra innings as -155 favorites.  He looked shaky in his last start, only his second since April after coming off the MLB bereavement list, surrendering five runs (four earned) in a 6-3 loss to the ‘Stros as -225 home chalk.  Mercy me, if you like big favorites, the Angels have you talking to yourself.

Boston Red Sox (37-24, +6.4 units)

The Boston Red Sox are the polar opposite of the Angels.  Boston fans had moderate expectations for this club that finished so dismally last season while the rest of the MLB fan base had dismissed them entirely.  But when you have Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, David Ortiz and a pair of top of the rotation guys like Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester playing to their potential, it can’t come as a big shock that Boston is competing.  But they’re not simply competing, what is shocking to even the most ardent member of Red Sox Nation is that they’re not only tops in their division but lead all teams in the American League.

Felix Dubront (4-2, 4.88) will take the hill after his best outing of the season on Saturday when he allowed only one run and struck out six as Boston rolled to an 11-1 massacre of the dreaded New York Yankees as +105 underdogs in the Bronx.  He will look to build upon that effort when he faces a potentially potent but erratic Angels lineup.

After the Red Sox come-from-behind victory last night, culminating in a three-run blast off the bat of David Ortiz as -140 favorites in MLB odds, Boston hopes to keep the wagon rolling tonight.  Despite playing without the services of Will Middlebrooks, Shane Victorino and losing their closer Joel Hanrahan for the season the Sox reserve corps hasn’t missed a beat.


The Pick:

Before you read any further, note that I picked the Angels to win the AL West and I am more stunned than anyone by their inability to get the job done.  Albert Pujols got old the moment he signed that mega-contract luring him away from his beloved Cardinals (I can hear the snickering all the way from St. Louis), Josh Hamilton has been a mess and Mike Trout has not posted the devastating numbers he did last season.

But now that you are aware of my preseason prediction then also know I have not given up hope.  It’s too early and this team has the potential to explode.  Angels pitcher Tommy Hanson is a known commodity while Felix Dubront is more suited to long relief as opposed to a regular starter.  As we researched our MLB picks, I can’t help but think that the Sox had the proverbial adrenaline dump after last night’s game and the Angels will be well rested and motivated. 

MLB Picks: Play the Angels for 4 units +132 at
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