A short 2-game series in
It was at the 44-game mark last season that the Los Angeles Angels really started to turn their slow start around. Granted, the club still fell well short of expectations and missed the playoffs, and if they don't kick it into high gear from this point on, it will very likely cost manager Mike Scioscia his job.
Wednesday's Game Two
By: Willie Bee
You have to learn to walk before you can run, and maybe that's what the Los Angeles Angels are going through right now after posting their third consecutive win in a rout of the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday.
The Halos will shoot for their first 4-game win streak of the campaign on Wednesday when this mini series comes to an end with a late afternoon clash in Anaheim. The four o'clock local start (7 PM ET) begins with Brandon Maurer on the mound for Seattle and CJ Wilson going for the Angels.
Chalk is heavy on the Angels, as the MLB odds are now going for anywhere from the -170s up to -190 for this matchup. Totals bettors have a choice between 8 runs priced to the high side or 8.5 priced to the low.
Mike Trout and Jerome Williams did the heavy lifting for LA in a 12-0 Game 1 laugher. Trout hit for the cycle, the youngest AL player to ever do so, and drove home five runs while Williams worked the first eight scoreless innings for the Angels. The setback was Seattle's fifth straight.
The Mariners are 2-6 with Maurer on the hill, but one of those wins came against the Angels when the clubs met in Seattle about a month ago. It was without a doubt the best outing in the rookie's career, keeping the Angels off the scoreboard while working into the seventh of a 7-0 triumph. Like his counterpart in this tilt, Maurer will be out to stop a string of three straight Mariners losses when he takes the mound.
I mentioned yesterday that poor pitching deserves the lion's share of the Angels' rough season to date, but Wilson hasn't been among the guilty parties. Offense and defense are behind his current 3-game losing streak, and coupled with the bullpen blowing a lead in one of Wilson's earlier assignments, he could easily be 8-1 up this point.
As it is, the Angels are 4-5 when Wilson takes the mound in 2013, but 4-0 in his starts vs. the Mariners since coming to Anaheim a year ago (3.52 ERA).
Vic Carapazza, now in just his third full season as a major league ump, is scheduled to work the plate this afternoon in Anaheim. His previous nine dish assignments have split 4-4-1 O/U/P on the totals board. He'll be behind the mask under partly cloudy skies with a 10-12 mph breeze from the SW (out to left-center).
Though they've come out on the short end more times than not with Wilson on the bump, I'm going to back the Angels today and reduce some of that moneyline by playing this one on the run line. You also don't want to miss the preview and pick for the series finale between the Yankees and Orioles in Baltimore.My pick: Angels -1.5 (+115)
Tuesday's Series Opener
By: Willie Bee
The good news is the Halos are on a little mini 2-game win streak as they prepare for a short 2-game series with the skidding Seattle Mariners. The second meeting between the division foes gets underway Tuesday in Anaheim where the Angels send Jerome Williams to the mound opposite Seattle's Aaron Harang.
MLB odds opened with LA in the -150 to -160 span, and they remain there Tuesday morning. An 8.5 run total is priced a little higher to the OVER at some online baseball betting outlets.
The first meeting this season between the Angels and Mariners was played in Seattle, with three of the four going to the home team. The UNDER also cashed three times in that series. Seattle also won five of the nine played last season in Anaheim where six of the contests jumped the total, along with a push.
Pitching Woes Continue To Plague Halos
Offseason conversations regarding the Angels focused on offense, and why not? The addition of Josh Hamilton to a lineup that already had Albert Pujols and Mike Trout seemed destined for greatness, something which has yet to materialize with the team 10th in scoring (4.30 RPG), below average in home runs and near the bottom of the AL stack in steals.
But while the offense has disappointed and assisted in the Angels being the biggest money-burner on the baseball betting front (-15.9 units), it would take a record-setting lineup to push enough runs across the plate in support of this pitching staff. Angels hurlers rank 28th in the majors with a 4.77 ERA and have issued an alarming 165 walks in 44 games, 12 of them intentional. To be fair, it is a staff that has been without its ace for about six weeks. Still, the absence of Jered Weaver, who is expected back in the rotation soon, can't be blamed too much for the 17-27 record.
Williams has looked pretty good his last two starts which split on the team's W-L ledger. He has a pretty good track record vs. Seattle, and has surrendered just two runs against the M's over the last 15.2 innings.
Mariners Reach Anaheim After Being Broomed In Cleveland
Seattle started this 9-game road trip by taking two of three from the Yankees last week, but that euphoria disappeared after being swept four straight in Cleveland. You might think the Mariners should own a better mark than 20-25 with their 53 homers among the MLB leaders and a pitching staff that ranks in the middle of the AL pack with a 4.06 ERA.
But those home runs haven't translated into a lot of scoring, and the mound corps has been equally vulnerable in serving up long balls.Seattle sits at the bottom of the AL plating just 3.7 runs per game, and Houston's beleaguered staff is the only team in the league allowing more homers.
Harang hasn't pitched in two weeks after some lower back pain kept him on the shelf. The Mariners are 1-4 in his five starts since joining the team in mid-April, and his shortest outing of the five came against these Angels (3 IP, 5 ER, 2 HR).
Dry and clear is the forecast the next two days in Anaheim where the temps should be in the upper-60s for most of this game with a light breeze out of the south (out to LF).
Playing it more as a fade of the Mariners instead of banking on the Angels, I'll follow the home team tonight. Another series we're covering this week is the Orioles and Yankees in Baltimore, so make sure and skip over to that preview and free MLB pick before you get away.My pick: Angels -155 at Bet365