Friday 8/30 MLB Free Pick
LA Angels (Weaver) @ Milwaukee (Peralta) 8:10 ET
Game # 979-980
These two clubs had high expectations entering the season that have gone astray with each basically playing out the string. The Angels enter the opening game of this series having won 5 of their first 6 games on this current 9-game road trip. Angels starting pitcher Jason Vargas was brilliant last night in a 2-0 Angels win at Tampa Bay. Milwaukee returns home after a successful 4-2 road swing. The Brewers took 2 of 3 from both the Reds and the Cardinals. Let's look at their task in the Angels for our MLB picks tonight.
The Starting Pitchers
The Angels ace Jered Weaver (8-7) take the mound tonight for the opening game of this series. After a couple of shaky starts versus the Yankees and Indians Weaver bounced back with a strong performance in his last start which resulted in an 8-1 win at Seattle. Weaver went 8.0 strong innings in that outing allowing just 1 earned run on 3 hits while striking out 8 and walking none. Weaver has seen 22 of his 29 career starts go under the total when he didn’t walk a batter in his previous start. Weaver is an outstanding 30-10 in his team starts over the last 2 seasons as a favorite of -110 or more. This will be Weaver’s first career start versus Milwaukee.
The Brewers send right-hander Wily Peralta (8-13) to the hill on Friday night. Peralta has been less than impressive in 13 starts this season at Miller Park posting a lofty 5.17 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in those outings. In 3 Interleague starts this season Peralta has been solid with a very good 3.32 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. This will be Peralta’s first career start versus the Angels.
The Pros and Cons
The Angels enter tonight with a disappointing record of 60-72 including 29-35 on the road. Their pitching has been very good of late as they allowed an average of just 2.0 runs per game over their last 7. Interleague play hasn’t been real kind to the Halos in 2013 as indicated by their 6-11 record in that role. The bats have been cold of late as they’ve hit just .234 as a team over their last 10 games. However, this is a club that’s gone over the total in 8 of 9 games this season when hitting .240 or less as a team in their last 10 games. The good news for the Angels backers is there’s a 60.1% money line angle since the start of the 1997 season that supports their side. Any road team that’s between +125 and -125 on the money line and has hit .240 or less as a team over their last 10 games, in addition to having a starting pitcher (Jered Weaver) who has an ERA of 3.00 or less in his last 10 starts is 113-75.
The Milwaukee Brewers enter the weekend with a record of 59-74. The most frustrating part of the season for Brewers fans is the fact they are just 30-35 at home. This is a club that’s been absolutely dominant at Miller Park in the previous 2 seasons. The Brewers bats have come alive over their last 7 games hitting a stellar .286 as a team in that span. Milwaukee has been a miserable 14-29 in day games this season but has held serve at night going 45-45. “The Brew Crew” is an extremely profitable 53-21 in the last 3 seasons at home after winning 4 or 5 of their last 6 games. On the dark side of the ledger the Brewers will be facing a very good control pitcher tonight. Jered Weaver averages just 1.53 walks per start in 2013. The Brewers are a miserable 17-33 this season when facing a pitcher who allows an average of 1.75 or less walks per start. If you are looking for a strong supporting angle for the Brewers I have one for you. Since the start of the 2009 season if you have played against any team (Angels) who is -125 to +125 on the money line, they average 4.5 or less runs per game, and they’ve failed to hit a home run in their last 2 games, versus an opponent with a bullpen ERA of 3.75 or less on the season you would be 67-30 (69.1%).
It comes down to the matchup of the starting pitchers for me in this one, in addition to coupling that factor with the value on these current MLB odds. The current MLB Betting Lines show the Angels as a -122 money line favorite. I’m of the opinion this is a bargain of a price when it involves a top notch starting pitcher like Jered Weaver versus an opponent with a overall losing record. The other point to be made is the Angels have played extremely well on this current road trip and the Brewers no longer are the dominant home team that we’ve witnessed in recent years.
MLB Free Pick: LA Angels -122 or better