Angels play visit to the Rangers for a 3 game set and our MLB handicapper is hotter than a July afternoon in Texas. Read on for his Friday night MLB Pick!
The Los Angeles Angels enjoyed a day off after taking a home series from the New York Yankees and visit the Texas Rangers on Friday night for a three game set. The Angels and Rangers are the 2nd and 3rd place teams in the AL West so this is an important series as the Houston Astros are back to their winning ways and are 5 and 6 games up on these two teams, respectively. I’d like to point out that the weather will be hot in Arlington, but it’s hot basically everywhere - and where I’ve posted up for the 4th of July, they just banned fireworks because of the heat. Banning fireworks might not be big news to you city folk, but we are talking about Butte, Montana here, the home of Evel Knievel and drinking on the street. So yes, it’s hot in Arlington and we should expect some dingers. Since it's almost the 4th of July I’ll take a minute out of complaining about my first world problems and thank my serviceman buddy, Kevin, who just got deployed to Kuwait where it is 104 F at 6:30AM in the morning. Basically, it’s the Ballpark at Arlington in August there - 24 hours a day. (Happy belated Canada Day too!)
We have some interesting early line movement in this game as the Angels opened at -110 on the money line at Pinnacle, and have moved all the way to -131 in the first two hours of betting. That’s a damn strong move so some big dogs may have jumped on that early line at that book. The O/U total is listed at 8.5 and the juice is moving up, so it could touch 9 before game time.
Possessing one of the greatest games in the MLB right now, Texas pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez has enjoyed some success over his first six starts of the year. Although his ERA is strong at 2.59, Gonzalez has a troubling K/BB ratio at 14/17. That ratio is double that of the opposing pitcher, Garrett Richards, and is indicative to me that his ERA is a result of some luck. What is important for Chi Chi is to get a first pitch strike. His batting stats against after going 0-1 are .151 BAA with a 10/5 K/BB ratio; and after going 1-0 is .241 BAA with a 4/12 K/BB ratio. I’m not writing about live betting here, but if I were and Gonzalez wasn’t getting his first strike across within the game I’d hammer the line against him.
On the other hand, veteran Angel pitcher Garrett Richards has a very respectable season K/BB ratio at 68/33. In only two of his last ten games have Richards given up more than three runs, so he is keeping the Angels in every game even though he’s only 6-4 in his last ten starts. One of those losses Richards gave up 6 ER in only 0.2 IP versus the Yankees, so his season numbers would be much better with that start thrown out as his ERA went up .75 after that game alone. He’s been good so far though, and has his ERA down to 3.54 on the season. More importantly, Richards has excellent career numbers versus Texas, with a 7-1 record, 54/18 K/BB ratio, and 1.25 WHIP.
The MLB Pick
I’m going to follow the early money on this one and take the Angels. Grab the line early as it looks like it will continue to trend towards the favorite as we get closer to first pitch.
Free MLB Pick: Angels at -128 at Heritage