The Angels have taken the first two games of this series, including Saturday night's 4-1 victory. Will LA complete the sweep Sunday afternoon? Or can Texas avoid it?
Rangers vs. Angels Game 3
By: Ron Patrick
Game 2 Recap
Texas grabbed a 1-0 lead with a run in the top of the fourth inning Saturday night, but Los Angeles scored three times in the bottom of the sixth, twice on CJ Cron's two-out base hit, and once in the seventh, on its way to a third straight victory, a 4-1 decision. The Angels won as -145 favorites on the MLB odds, and covered at +145 on the run line.
Also, to our frustration, Saturday's game stayed UNDER its total of 7.5 runs, in part because Texas left five runners on base in scoring position and had a guy picked off second base.
LA has played three straight UNDERS, because the pitching staff has allowed just three runs, while the batters have produced nine runs.
Angels starter CJ Wilson came up an out short of a quality outing Saturday night, limiting the Rangers to one run and seven hits through 5 2/3 innings. He also walked three batters and threw a wild pitch. The LA bullpen then tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings.
Texas starter Colby Lewis, who got bombed by the Angels last season, took a shutout into the sixth inning Saturday, left the game with the bases loaded, then watched as the Rangers bullpen allowed two of his runners to score.
Texas has lost three games in a row, totaling eight runs in the process.
Game 3 Betting Odds
?As of early Sunday AM the best line we could find on Los Angeles and Hector Santiago was the -140 offered at WagerWeb, while Texas and Nick Martinez were getting +136 at Pinnacle. And most books were listing the total on today's game at eight runs.
Santiago is two-for-three on quality starts this season. Last time out he held Oakland to one run and three hits through six innings, with three walks and eight strikeouts, and on the season he's allowed five runs and 19 base-runners (hits + walks) over 18 1/3 innings. LA is 2-1 in Santiago's starts, with the totals going 2-1 because the Angels have exploded offensively twice for him.
Since the beginning of last season Santiago has started six times against Texas, giving up 17 earned runs and 39 base-runners through 31 innings. LA split those six games, with four of those games going OVER.
Martinez has been super so far this season. He's three-for-three on quality starts, and Texas has won all three of his starts. First, he held Oakland scoreless on four hits through seven innings; then he limited these Angels to one unearned run through seven innings; and Tuesday he held Arizona to one run through six innings. So on the season Martinez has given up just one earned run and 20 base-runners through 20 innings.
Two of Martinez' starts have played OVER the totals, but that's because the Rangers have scored 10, eight and seven runs for him.
Since the beginning of last season Martinez has started four times against Los Angeles, giving up eight ER and 24 base-runners in 26 innings; Texas only won one of those games, but that certainly wasn't his fault.
Game 3 Free Pick
Martinez gets the check mark in the pitching match-up, and he and Texas are underdogs. The value MLB picks on today's betting line resides with the Rangers.
Free MLB Pick: Texas +133 at Pinnacle
Rangers vs. Angels Game 2
By: Ron Patrick
Rangers-Angels Game 1 Recap
David Freese poked a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh giving LA a 3-2 lead, and the bullpen hung on for an LA victory. The Angels won as -175 favorites on Friday's MLB odds, but to our dismay couldn't cover on the run line, in part because they left four runners on base in scoring position.
Friday's game also played UNDER its total of eight runs.
Even in winning Friday night Los Angeles has been held to three runs or fewer in six of its last seven games.
LA starter Garrett Richards held the Rangers to two runs and three hits through seven innings, picking up his first victory since injuring his knee last August. Angels closer Huston Street walked two guys in the top of the ninth to make things interesting, but survived to record his sixth save of this season.
Texas got five good innings from newcomer Wandy Rodriguez, who allowed one run on five hits in his first ML start since last May, when he was with Pittsburgh.
Game 2 Betting Odds
In the early betting the best line we could find on Los Angeles with CJ Wilson was the -152 offered at Heritage, while Texas and Colby Lewis were getting +146 at 5Dimes. And the total on tonight's game sat at eight runs.
Wilson, the former Ranger, is two-for-three on quality starts this season. But he also had this turn in the rotation pushed back a couple of days because of “elbow stiffness.” So that throws an extra unknown into the mix when handicapping this game.
Last time out Wilson held Houston to two runs and three hits through 6 2/3 innings, with four walks and eight strikeouts. So on the season the lefty has allowed eight earned runs on 20 base-runners (hits + walks) through 20 1/3 innings. LA is 1-2 in his starts, with the totals going 1-2.
Wilson missed Texas last year; in 2013 he started three times against his former team, giving up 13 runs through 13 1/3 innings. The Angels lost two of those games.
Lewis is one-for-three on quality starts this year. Last time out he gave up three runs and 10 hits through 5 2/3 innings against Seattle, and on the season he's permitted 24 base-runners through 19 innings of work.
Texas is 1-2 in Lewis' starts, with the totals going 1-2.
Last year Lewis started five times against the Angels, and got pushed around for 27 earned runs (11 in one terrible appearance) on 46 base-runners through 26 innings. The Rangers lost four of those games, and three of those games played OVER.
Game 2 Free Pick
LA bombed Lewis last year; our guess is the Angels will score more than three runs tonight. But we're not sure what to expect out of Wilson, who walked four guys his last time out. So in thinking we might see some runs scored tonight we like the OVER with our MLB picks.
Free MLB Pick: OVER eight runs (+107)
Rangers vs. Angels Game 1
By: Ron Patrick
Rangers-Angels Game 1 Betting Odds
As of early Friday AM the best line we could find on Los Angeles with Garrett Richards was the -166 offered at GT Bets, while Texas and Wandy Rodriguez could be bet at +163 at BetDSI.
Also, most books were listing the MLB odds total on Friday's game at 7.5 runs, although there were several eights out there.
And BetOnline was chalking the Angels at -240 to win this series, with the Rangers getting +200.
This is the second meeting this season between these two teams; two weeks ago the Angels took two of three games from the Rangers in Arlington, with two of those games playing OVER the totals.
Los Angeles just split four games with Oakland, losing Monday 6-3, winning Tuesday 14-1, losing Wednesday 9-2 then winning Thursday 2-0, even while managing just one hit. The Angels scored 21 runs in that series, but two-thirds of those came in one game.
Just before that LA dropped two of three games at Houston. So the Angels are only 2-4 over their last six games.
Texas just split two games with Arizona, winning Tuesday 7-1, then losing Wednesday 8-5. The Rangers then had yesterday off.
Just before that Texas dropped two of three games at Seattle; just before that it lost two of three to the Angels; just before that it lost two of three to Houston; and the Rangers opened the season by splitting four games with Oakland. So Texas hasn't yet won a series this season.
The Angels took the season series from the Rangers last year 14 games to five, with the totals leaning toward the UNDERS by a 9-8-2 margin.
Richards will be making his second start of this season, coming back late after having knee surgery last year. Last Sunday he gave up four runs - three earned – on five hits and four walks through five innings of a 4-3 loss at Houston.
Prior to going down and out for the season last August Richards was 13-4 with a 2.61 ERA, with 164 strikeouts in 169 innings. So he was on his way toward taking that next step, and if he can re-find that groove he could turn into a good regular betting proposition.
Last year Richards started four times against Texas, allowing six runs and 25 hits through 26 1/3 innings; the Angels won all four of those games, with the totals going 1-2-1.
Rodriguez will be making his first start this season for his new team. The former Astro and Pirate earned a call by allowing two runs and four hits through seven innings of work down at Triple-A Round Rock this spring.
Last year Rodriguez pitched in just six games for Pittsburgh, before being released. This spring it looked like he might make Atlanta's rotation, but they released him, too. At the moment the guy is a total question mark.
The last time Rodriguez started against the Angels came back in 2007 when he was with Houston.
Battle of the Bullpens
Los Angeles ranks 15th in the Majors with a bullpen ERA of 3.60, with five saves in six chances; the Texas bullpen ranks 24th with a 4.13 ERA, with two saves in three chances, and a terrible K/BB ratio of 51/28.
At the Bat
Texas owns a .286 team OBP and an anemic .308 team slugging percentage against right-handed pitching this season.
Los Angeles owns a .304 OBP but a .444 slugging percentage against lefties this year.
Game 1 Free Pick
Despite his opening performance of this season we still give Richards the edge in the pitching match-up. Also, the Angels have an advantage in the bullpens. But today's price is a bit steep. So we'll take a chance and go with the home team on the run line MLB pick for Friday night.
Free MLB Pick: Los Angeles -1.5 runs getting +120 from BookMaker