Don’t expect a lot of fans to show up to Monday night’s game between the Los Angeles Angels and Minnesota Twins, as temperatures are expected to dip into the mid-30s in the Minneapolis area.
First series win
Los Angeles enters the week 4.5 games back of the Oakland Athletics in the AL West divisional standings, but it did earn its first series victory of the 2013 MLB season by picking up a 4-1 win over the Houston Astros as -212 home favorites Sunday.
Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton went 4 for 8 with two home runs and four RBI in leading the club to two-straight victories over the Astros, which may signal a turnaround after hitting just .179 in his first 10 contests with his new club.
Minnesota didn’t get a chance to put an end to its five-game losing streak Sunday, as its series finale against the New York Mets was postponed due to inclement weather.
The Twins have been outscored by a 33-12 margin over the last five contests, with the lineup producing a dismal .200 batting average. The club is 19-40 (-1,605) in April the last two-plus seasons.
Will the weather help Blanton?
Angels starting pitcher Joe Blanton (0-2, 9.00 ERA) continues to give up the long ball, as he’s allowed four home runs in 10 innings of work this season, while opposing hitters are batting .370 against him overall.
With wind chills around freezing for most of the game, Blanton should be able to keep Monday night’s opponent inside the ballpark, especially since Minnesota ranks 23rd in the majors in hitting only seven home runs on the year.
Blanton earned a 6-1 complete game victory over the Twins in his only career effort at Target Field on June 14 of last season, as he surrendered just one run on seven hits.
Not known around these parts
Kevin Correia (0-1, 3.14 ERA) has recorded just a single out in his career against the Angels, as he’s set to make his third start for the Twins during the 2013 season. He hasn’t seen many of the hitters that Los Angeles will have in its lineup, but first baseman Albert Pujols is 6 for 18 in his career against him.
The right-hander didn’t earn a decision in a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers as +135 underdogs in his lone home start this season—allowing two runs and seven hits over seven strong innings.
I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their MLB picks Monday, as the Angels rank dead last in the majors in hitting .136 with runners in scoring position, while their bullpen hasn’t allowed a run in its last 9.1 innings of work.
Minnesota is hitting just .204 at home this season, which isn’t very surprising due to the early-season weather conditions in Minneapolis.
I suggest waiting to see if this number rises to 9 on the MLB betting odds page before placing a wager.
MLB Pick: Under 8.5 at 5 Dimes