Angels at Rangers – Free Pick for May 13th

Los Angeles Angels +118 at Texas Rangers -128

Jered Weaver (5-0, 1.60 ERA) vs. Neftail Feliz (2-1, 3.38 ERA)

Josh Hamilton is on a run about as fierce as any I can remember in recent years.  Even in their loss yesterday, setting up a nice rubber match tonight, he still went yard.  His lead in the AL homerun race has widened to eight, as his total is now 18.  Coupled with his .402 average and nearly 40 RBI, the only thing standing in the way of a historic triple crown run is Hamilton’s oft-questionable health.  If Josh can play his stated goal of 156 games this season, Carl Yaztremski better watch out…

Hamilton will face a mighty test tonight as he faces the hottest pitcher in all of major league baseball in Jered Weaver, no hitter aside, has still been nearly unhittable this season and especially in the last three weeks.  Over his last three starts Weaver is a perfect 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP.  Complete domination.  But tonight, he faces the most potent lineup in the American League.  So something has to give…

Neftali Feliz has been solid this year for Texas.  He is 2-1, and the Rangers are 3-2 in games he has started.  His ERA in the three and half range is a good, if not spectacular, ERA in the American League.  Given the Rangers dynamic lineup, it should be good enough to win more nights than not.  However they are going to need a fantastic outing tonight as I don’t see them denting the plate too often against Weaver.

Weaver hasn’t been too dominant against the Rangers in his career, with a 9-6 record against a 3.41 ERA in 25 starts.  However, the Jered Weaver of three and four seasons ago doesn’t bear much resemblance to the Weaver who is making an early claim for the Cy Young Award in 2012.  I expect him to pitch well on ESPN’s Sunday Night Game of the Week.  Hamilton might be able to keep his 12-game hitting streak alive tonight, but I would wager against him wrecking havoc and dominating the game like he has most of the past week.

The Rangers have a huge lead in the AL West, but the season is still young.  Don’t forget the Angels were nearly everyone’s darling heading into the season with their additions of Pujols and CJ Wilson.  It hasn’t panned out yet, but don’t expect Albert to hit .195 all season.  A series win tonight over the Rangers would mean a TON more to the Angels than it would the two-time defending AL Champ Rangers.  And there is no one better to take the ball for a big game than Jered Weaver.

The HUGE factor for me?  I can get the most dominant pitcher alive right now against a #3 starter for +118??!?  It’s an insanely good value play.  Take the Angels.  For my own wagering purposes, I’m making this a double-pick (two units) tonight.

Free Pick:  Los Angeles Angels to WIN +118


Chris Scheeren / Author