MLB Picks: Rangers vs. Angels Series Odds

Willie Bee

Friday, June 20, 2014 12:22 PM UTC

Friday, Jun. 20, 2014 12:22 PM UTC

If the Angels are going to complete a sweep in their MLB odds series against the Rangers, they'll have to beat Texas ace Yu Darvish on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball.


22nd June
Rangers vs. Angels Game 3

By: Willie Bee


It took 10 innings Saturday night, but the Angels finally beat the Texas Rangers to put them on the edge of a sweep of this 3-game series. To finish off the broom job, however, the Angels have to beat one of the best pitchers in the game when ESPN aims its Sunday Night Baseball cameras on the final contest of the set.

Los Angeles and Texas get the prime-time treatment in the final game on Sunday's baseball betting schedule, ESPN beginning its broadcast at 8 PM (ET). Angels rookie Matt Shoemaker will deliver the first pitch a few minutes later while the Rangers send ace Yu Darvish to the mound.

Texas is priced as modest chalk in the -120 to -125 range on the moneyline, with both 7.5 and 8 run totals listed on SBR's live MLB odds.

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Rangers, Darvish Wrap Up Long Road Trip
Darvish is coming off his worst outing of the season, giving up seven runs to the A's in Oakland this past Tuesday to stop a 4-start win streak for the 3rd-year righthander. That might raise some eyebrows for some, but considering it was his eighth consecutive loss to the Athletics and he has an ERA up around five in 10 career assignments against them, it was really pretty much the norm.

The Angels have proven to have a much easier lineup for Darvish, and Anaheim has been very kind to him the past few seasons. He beat the Halos on this field in May, giving Darvish five wins in six starts and a 2.43 ERA on this mound.

Shoemaker is facing the Rangers for the first time, and making just his eighth career start under ESPN's bright lights.  The 27-year-old rookie has been shuffled back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen this month and pitched a gem his last time out Tuesday in Cleveland. Shoemaker tossed eight frames and allowed just two runs while striking out 10 in a 9-3 triumph, giving the Angels a 5-1 mark in his starting assignments.

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Calling balls and strikes for the series finale should be Bill Miller. It's his 15th game behind the dish this year with a 7-5-2 O/U/P record after trending strong to the 'under' the past two seasons (22-46 O/U). Miller worked a Shoemaker start in Anaheim on May 18, and that final just skipped past a 7.5 run total.

Another great forecast is in store for Anaheim on Sunday, very similar to the previous two games though this one will start a couple of ours earlier. We're looking at a game-time temp around 76º and sun for the first three hours of tonight's contest. The same 8-10 mph SW wind (out to right, right-center) is also in the mix.

I just can't see where the offense is going to come from in this one, and that's why I'm sending my free pick out on the low side of the total.

MLB Pick: Rangers-Angels Under 7.5 (-105)

Season: 68-69 (-0.75)


21st June
Rangers vs. Angels Game 2

By: Willie Bee


The Los Angeles Angels gifted Garrett Richards with an early big lead Friday over the Texas Rangers, and the righthander responded with one of his best performances on the home mound this year as the Halos scored a 7-3 victory. 

Mike Scioscia's club also took advantage of some sloppy Texas fielding to hand the Rangers their 3rd-straight loss, and Scioscia now hopes his team will take advantage of a pitching mismatch in Game 2.  The Angels have ace Jered Weaver on the hill for the 10:05 PM (ET) tilt, and LA is a $2 favorite on SBR's live baseball odds.

Nick Martinez gets the call for Texas, an 8.5 run total serving as the scoreboard hurdle.

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Weaver Out To Stop 2-Game Skid
Texas has lost Martinez's last three starts after winning the previous three.  He was on the mound last Sunday in Seattle where he pitched well (6 IP, 2 ER), but it still wasn't good enough for the Rangers who fell 5-1 going for a sweep in that series.  Martinez faced the Angels once out of the 'pen in the May series, working 2.2 scoreless innings and striking out a pair.

Weaver is having a rough month of June so far, 1-3 in four assignments with a 5.79 ERA.  The lanky righty has surrendered four runs or more in three of the outings, and shown a propensity for serving up the long ball --14 HR, 95.2 IP -- this season than in year's past.

He missed the Rangers when they came through Anaheim a little more than six weeks ago, and the Angels lost both of his starts against them in 2013.  Thirty-two life assignments vs. Texas have yielded a 13-8 record for Weaver along with a 3.85 ERA, Shin-Soo Choo (14-for-31, .452) and Elvis Andrus (23-for-65, .354) two of the tougher hitters for him to coax an out.

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Vic Carapazza is expected behind the plate for Game 2, and the New York Native has been a good friend to home chalk so far this season with a 7-1 mark.  Saturday will be his second plate assignment in Anaheim after an 'over' at the Big A on May 15, and he's 6-7 O/U for the year.

The summer solstice will be observed under great baseball conditions in Anaheim with clear skies and temps in the low-to-mid 70s throughout the contest.  The weatherman is also listing an 8-10 mph SSW breeze (out to center, left-center) for Game 2.

Texas appears to be running on fumes as this long road trip draws to a close, and the Rangers are totally reliant on the top half of their batting order to deliver any offense.  Weaver and the Angels have struggled some against the Rangers, but I'm confident enough in them tonight to back them with a run-line play for my free pick.

MLB Pick: Angels -1.5 (+110)

Season: 68-67 (+1.25)


20th June
Rangers vs. Angels Game 1

By: Willie Bee


Gutted by injuries, the Texas Rangers are slowly watching their season slip away. Only one healthy arm remains from their season-opening rotation which was already thinned by offseason injuries or rehab, and their prize winter acquisition, Prince Fielder, won't be back in the lineup until September at the earliest.

Ron Washington's troops haven't thrown in the towel yet, however, and Texas still has a chance to be a factor in the American League playoff chase as a spoiler -- if not a true contender -- when they begin a 3-game series against the Los Angeles Angels this weekend.

The weekend set in Anaheim gets underway Friday when Garrett Richards is up next in the Angels rotation, the Rangers trotting left-handed veteran Joe Saunders out to the same mound he made his major league debut on nearly nine years ago. Los Angeles is a pronounced favorite in the 10:05 PM (ET) contest, the Halos commanding a moneyline price in the -185 to -195 range after opening a good 20¢ or more lower on the MLB odds where 8.5 is the total.

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Rangers Aim To Continue Winning Ways In Anaheim
With a 3-3 record on this West Coast swing, Texas (35-37, -1.4 units, 36-31-5 O/U/P) arrives in Anaheim after dropping two straight to the A's. The Rangers brought out their bats in the series opener at Oakland, but then couldn't keep up with the Athletics as the two clubs each scored 22 runs in the set.

Los Angeles (38-33, -0.3 units, 38-30 O/U/P) is returning from its 6-game road trip a day later than expected after rain washed out Wednesday's game in Cleveland. The game was made up Thursday when the Angels appeared to be headed towards a split on the journey with a 3-1 lead over the Indians in the 10th inning, only to be stunned by Nick Swisher's walk-off slam. Mike Scioscia's club remains second in the AL West, but the loss dropped the Halos six games behind the Oakland A's who sport the best record in the majors.

It's just the second meeting of the season between the division foes, and we mentioned in early-May when the Angels and Rangers got together in Anaheim how tough it was to find a closer rivalry over the years. It's even closer now after the Rangers won two of three, leaving the Halos 415-406 all-time.

Texas has been muscling up on the Angels recently, winning 59 of the last 98 matchups going back to the start of 2009, and 22 of the last 30. The Rangers are 10-4 their last 14 games at the Big A where seven of the last 11 have gone 'over' the mark.

Richards Guns For 2nd Win of '14 Vs. Rangers
Saunders was on the mound last Saturday in Seattle where the Rangers grabbed a late 4-3 win over the Mariners. The southpaw didn't figure into the decision having worked six innings and allowing two runs, leaving him winless so far in five starts while the Rangers sit 2-3 (-1.3 units).

He'll be facing the team he started his career with for the fifth time since being traded away from Anaheim in 2010. Three of the previous four outings came last year while Saunders was in a Mariners uniform, one of those a tough-luck 1-0 loss to give him a 1-3 record vs. the Angels to go with a career 2.89 ERA.

Richards appears to have found his groove after a rough stretch in late-May. The former OU star has turned in three successive efforts, all Angel victories while Richards surrendered just 12 hits and a run over the course of 21 innings, striking out 23 along the way. He beat Texas here in May, striking out nine in six frames with three Rangers crossing the plate.

Weather shouldn't be a factor in this series, but we're going to keep an eye on possible shifting winds. Friday evening should find the thermometer in the mid-to-upper 70s under mostly clear skies, with an 8-10 mph WSW breeze (out to right-center).

It's hard not to like Richards and the Angels tonight, even if they are a day late getting back home and coming off Thursday's disappointing loss on Thursday. But Richards' home splits aren't enough for me to lay nearly two bucks, so I'll be taking a shot at a scoreboard buster with a free pick on the over.

My Pick: Rangers-Angels Over 8.5 (+110)

Season: 67-66 (+1.20)

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