Angels at Orioles – Free Pick June 26th

Los Angeles Angels -133 at Baltimore Orioles +123 (Total: 8.5)

CJ Wilson (8-4, 2.44 ERA) vs. Brian Matuz (5-8, 5.00 ERA)

The Angels suffered a dreadful start, causing the sporting world (and possibly even management) to question the intelligence of extending a decade-long quarter-billion dollar contract to Albert Pujols.  After all, a month into the season he hadn’t homered and was hitting under .200.

What a difference a month makes.  The Angels still trail the Rangers (largely because Texas has the league’s best record) by five games, but they are the current leader in the American League Wild Card race, and look to be the strong World Series threat everyone expected them to be before the season began.  Rookie Mike Trout has energized the lineup, and second-year sensation mark Trumbo has been fantastic.  And, oh yeah, they still have Albert Pujols.  Albert is now sitting at .259 with 11 HR and 44 RBI.  Don’t be the least bit surprised when he ends the year at .290 with 35 and 100+

The Angels have a very favorable pitching matchup tonight with co-ace CJ Wilson squaring off against the O’s struggling Brian Matuz.  Wilson has been solid all season, but especially good over his last three starts, going 2-0, with his team a perfect 3-0, and posting a 2.11 ERA.  Contrast that with the struggle Matuz has had lately, going 0-3 with a 8.18 ERA.  Not exactly the momentum you want before facing the potent Angels lineup.

To make matters even worse for the O’s, the current lineup of the Angels has a career .464 batting average against Matuz.  That is staggering, about the highest numbers I have ever heard for a guy who has made at least a handful of starts against a team.  Expect the Halos to score early and often and place a lot of pressure on the Oriole bullpen tonight.

However, I think it will be WAY too little too late by the time the pen is summoned.  They have one of the best bullpens in all of baseball with a combined ERA of just 2.30, but if they are already down four or five runs, it may not matter.  The Angles might just be the best team in baseball right now, and no one seems to be noticing.  They have won 11 of 12 on the road, and are 9-1 in their last ten games as a road favorite (as they are tonight).   They are 22-8 in their last 30 games overall, the best mark in all of MLB.  And tonight, they are throwing their ace against a guy with an ERA over 8.00 in his last four starts…

I like Los Angeles, and I am willing to double-up on tonight’s game, picking both the Angels to win at -133, but also on the -1.5 runline to get a little more value added at +130.

Free Pick(s):  Los Angeles Angels to WIN -133 and LA Angles -1.5 (+130)