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Angels at Indians – Free Pick July 2nd

Los Angeles Angels -131 at Cleveland Indians +121 (Total: 8)

Jered Weaver (8-1, 2.31 ERA) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (7-6, 4.34 ERA)

How’s this for an interesting turn of events?  The Los Angeles Angels are sending four representatives to the All Star Game next week in Kansas City.  And none of them are Albert Pujols.

Instead it is the two young catalysts of their offense, Mark Trumbo and  twenty year-old phenom Mike Trout who will be representing the Halos alongside starting pitchers CJ Wilson and Jered Weaver.  Don’t despair for Albert though, the ten-time All Star will probably benefit from the four day vacation and don’t be surprised if he comes back with a vengeance and winds up a top-five MVP vote getter by the time it is all said and done.

One of the Angel All Stars takes the hill tonight, as Jered Weaver looks to continue the fantastic roll he has been on of late.  He is 2-0 in his last three starts with a ridiculous 0.74 ERA.  Tonight is a good opportunity for him to make a late case for being the AL’s starting pitcher over Justin Verlander and a few others.

On the opposing mound, the enigmatic Ubaldo Jimenez looks to post a decent outing against a dynamite lineup and begin to turn around a rather frustrating season.  This is a guy with no-hit stuff, yet his record is hovering .500 and his ERA has on occasions ballooned near 5.00.  Over his past three starts he is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA, which is actually an improvement on his season overall stats.   He will have his work cut out for him tonight.  The Indians are just 2-5 in Jimenez’s last seven starts against a pitcher with a winning record.  And that isn’t even coming close to doing justice to the dominance that is Jered Weaver.

The Angels are 11-2 in their last 13 games as a road favorite between -110 and -150.  They are also 4-0 in Weavers last four starts as a road favorite and 5-1 in Weaver’s last six starts when the game total is set below 8.  This stat tells me that even against a formidable opponent, Weaver and the Angels are generally able to rise to the occasion.

This is a big series for both teams; the Angels who are trying to keep pace with the Rangers and stay close heading into the All Star break, and the Indians who have made up two games in as many days to pull to within a game of the division-leading White Sox.

The Angels are 25-10 over their last 35 games, easily the best mark in baseball.  Not coincidentally, they have been the best team in baseball since calling up rookie sensation Mike Trout.  I think the blistering win pace continues this week in Cleveland, and I love the value of the Angels at just -131 with Weaver on the hill.  My official pick is Angels to WIN, but I also like them at near even money on the -15 run line.

Free Pick: Los Angeles Angels to WIN -131