Cliff Lee vs. Mike Trout
You usually don’t get to see a matchup like this, but this is the benefit of interleague play. This is in fact somewhat of a homecoming for Trout who is from the South New Jersey area, a car ride away from Citizens Bank Ballpark.
While Cliff Lee is a tough customer, my money is on Mike Trout. That said, Trout is hitting one of the worst slumps of his career. He’s batting just .272 on the season and is 5 for 38 in the month of May. Regardless, Trout will be the face of baseball for the next 15 years and he’s liable to break out of a slump at any time.
The Angels are a hard-hitting ball club, featuring one time National Leaguer, Albert Pujols. Pujols has seemed to have gotten his stroke back this season as he enters this game with 10 HR and 26 RBI. With that said, Pujols has also hit a bit of slump where his batting average is concerned. Cliff Lee may have caught the Halos at an opportune time.
The L.A. Kid
Chase Utley is the opposite of Mike Trout. He plays on the East Coast, but is a Southern California kid. Thus far this season, Utley has one of his stronger starts to a season in a long time. He leads the Phillies with a .338 batting average with 3 HR and 19 RBI. Along with Utley, Marlon Byrd has been tearing the cover off of the baseball to the tune of 4 HR, 23 RBI, and a .312 BA. The New York Mets sure made a mistake when they didn’t retain the services of the hard hitting Byrd.
Even veterans such as Jimmy Rollins (4 HR, 17 RBI, 5 SB, and a .370 OBP%) and Ryan Howard (7 HR, 21 RBI, .255) are getting into the act. Just recently, Howard helped the Phillies pull out some games against the Mets with his exceptional play.
With Cliff Lee starting tonight, plus the way that Philly has been hitting, this will be a lot for the visiting Angels to overcome.
Good pitching wins games, and the way that Pujols and Trout have been slumping, you have to like the Philadelphia Phillies in this spot. Take Philly and lay the juice as part of your MLB picks tonight.
My Free MLB Pick: Pick Phillies as -148 betting favorite. This can be partially due to the mismatch at starting pitching favoring the Fightin Phils. The total for this game is 7.5 runs. The odds are moving quickly, therefore I recommend that you place your bets quickly.