MLB Picks: Lock Angels & Rangers To Go 'Under' 4 In First Five Innings

Ian Cameron

Friday, April 8, 2016 6:30 PM UTC

Friday, Apr. 8, 2016 6:30 PM UTC

Sports handicapper Ian Cameron provides a betting preview of tonight's AL West Clash between the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels. Which team will beat the MLB odds?

Rangers vs. Angels
The Los Angeles Angels got their first win of the season last night in a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers and will be looking to make it two wins in a row tonight. A.J. Griffin for Texas will square off against Matt Shoemaker for the LA Angels in tonight’s pitching matchup. Griffin had an up and down spring for Texas but he does own very strong career numbers against the LA Angels dating back to his time in Oakland as he has a 2.81 ERA and .197 average against in five career starts against the Angels. He hasn’t pitched in a regular season game in the Majors since 2013 when he went 14-10 with Oakland as he underwent Tommy John elbow surgery in 2014 followed by a shoulder injury last season. Griffin: "I'm just going to go out there and get everyone out and work well with whoever is catching. I'm thankful that the Rangers gave me an opportunity to come and pitch."

This is still not a prolific Angels offense as even with 2 hits apiece from Mike Trout and Albert Pujols last night, they still managed just 4 runs. LA has only scored 5 runs in their first three games combined and I think Griffin has the chance to neutralize the LA Angels bats tonight. On the flip side, there is a conundrum involved in evaluating Matt Shoemaker heading into his first start of the season for the Angels tonight. Shoemaker has very good numbers against Texas in his career with a 2.39 ERA against them but he declined last season from his strong 2014 campaign and did not pitch all that well this spring but sometimes with pitchers that have been in the Majors for a few years at least, they simply do not put much stock into spring training numbers and performances with the focus being on tuning up their arm for the games that count so I certainly leave the door open for Shoemaker to have a solid outing tonight against a Texas team that is supposed to have a very solid lineup but they've struggled to some extent out of the gate and have been held to 3 runs or less in three of their first four games.

Betting Analysis
I don’t trust either bullpen. The Texas bullpen has been a major disappointment in the first week as that unit has struggled quite a bit while the LA Angels pen is also very sketchy and not a reliable source for outs in the latter innings. I’m going to take these two bullpens out of play for my MLB picks and lean to this game staying Under 4 at +102 MLB odds in the first 5 innings.

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MLB Picks: Under 4 (first 5 innings)
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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