Odds Favor Angels to Complete Sweep of Red Sox

Willie Bee

Thursday, August 21, 2014 12:45 PM GMT

After rallying for an 8-3 win in Game 3 of their MLB odds set in Boston, the Angels are favored to complete the sweep of the Red Sox on Thursday night at Fenway Park.

Wednesday night's 8-3 win in Boston over the Red Sox could turn out to be the biggest loss of the season for the Los Angeles Angels.

The Angels spotted the Sox an early 3-0 lead, then rallied behind Josh Hamilton's 3 RBI and some fine bullpen work to win their third straight against the Red Sox and put LA in position to complete a 4-game sweep on Thursday. But the big story from the game was Garrett Richards' left knee injury that likely ended the righthander's 2014 season.

MLB odds for Thursday's tilt (7:10 PM ET) like the Halos' chances of finishing the Boston broom job behind Matt Shoemaker. Los Angeles is priced at -125 for the clash, a 9 run total also featured on the card with Rubby De La Rosa pitching for the Red Sox.

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De La Rosa Seeks 2nd Win Of '14 Vs. Angels
Shoemaker faced the Red Sox in the Aug. 9 marathon at Angel Stadium, tossing three perfect frames in relief to close out LA's 5-4 victory in 19 innings. He struck out four of the nine Boston batters he faced to accent his only career appearance against the Sox.

The Eastern Michigan alum followed that up with a winning performance in Texas last Saturday, pitching into the sixth and allowing two runs with six K's on his scorecard. Shoemaker has managed to record five wins this year away from Anaheim despite a 5.70 ERA over six starts and two relief outings.

De La Rosa got knocked around by the Astros this past Saturday, allowing nine hits, four walks in six runs in his four innings of work. That no-decision came after a solid performance against the Angels in his previous start (7 IP, 1 ER, 8 K), one of two games Boston won in that set. That was his only appearance vs. the Halos since joining the Red Sox, having also faced them in his 2011 rookie campaign while he was with the Dodgers.

 

Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
Andy Fletcher will call balls and strikes in the series finale, bringing a 9-11-4 (O/U/P) record into the matchup. The Memphis native has been dead level his last five plate assignments (2-2-1) as well as his last 10 (4-4-2). Fletcher worked the dish at Fenway late in August, and a 9 run total was easily breached in Toronto's 14-1 rout.

The Angels have been relatively lucky using only six starting pitchers to date, Tyler Skaggs among that group and he just recently underwent Tommy John surgery. One candidate that could fill in at least temporarily is well-traveled veteran Randy Wolf who has been pitching for Los Angeles' Triple-A affiliate in Salt Lake City.

The good news is the Halos still have a very potent offense and one of the deeper bullpens in the game. So while it's going to be tough to overcome Richards' injury, it's not a deal-breaker, and the combination of the current streak plus Shoemaker pitching well has me on LA to leave Boston with a 4th-straight win for my free MLB pick.

MLB Pick: Angels -120 at 5Dimes

Season: 102-108 (-7.05)