Angels at Rangers – Free Pick September 30th

Los Angeles Angels +110 at Texas Rangers -120 (Total: 10)

Ervin Santana vs. Derek Holland

Somewhere lost in all the hoopla; the Mike Trout mania, the Oakland and Baltimore improbable runs to the playoffs, the constant drama with the Yankees and the excellent battle in the Central between the White Sox and the Tigers… everyone has almost “forgot” about the two-time defending American League Champs and runaway West winners, the Texas Rangers.  Perhaps because they have had a sizable division lead since the first few weeks of the season, or for other reasons, they rarely seem to come up in the “best teams in baseball” articles or conversations.

They can grab a moment back in the spotlight tonight with a division-clinching win (provided the A’s lost this afternoon, otherwise, they clinch at least a tie) against the team most thought to be their foremost challenger, Los Angeles.   The Angels are fighting for their lives, two back in the wildcard race and cannot afford a single loss in their final five games.

These two teams will square off at 1pm, but the game I am writing about is the evening game, which is technically the make-up game of yesterday’s rainout.  So – please make sure you wager properly tonight, as there are two games to choose from; make sure you note the pitching matchups accordingly.

Ron Washington is on record as saying he will not follow the normal routine of resting starters in the second game of the doubleheader, and that all his starters will play both ends given the magnitude of the game and this series.  The first game features a matchup between Yu Darvish and Zack Greinke, the nightcap a potentially run-centric affair between Santana and Holland.

It’s fairly rare to see a double-digit runline, but given the history between these two teams it is probably warranted.  The over is 10-2 in the last 12 games in this matchup.   Seven of the last ten games have scored 11 or more runs, and three of those games were over 17!  It’s been a wild season series, and today’s day/night double header is a great way to cap it off.

The Angels have been playing excellent baseball, winning 21 of 29 games.  The problem has been Oakland and Baltimore have refused to give any ground back.  It is reaching the end of the line for Anaheim but I don’t think it is today.  I like Greinke in the early matchup, and despite the fact Derek Holland hasn’t lost in ten starts, I like Santana in the nightcap.  Holland may not have lost, but his ERA around 4.00 is far from dominant.  The Angels will score some runs off him, and I like Santana to give a vital quality start when his team needs it most.  He has had a disastrous season, but has allowed two or less runs in six or more innings in six of his last seven and seven of his last nine starts.

All those early season woes can be wiped away with one more dazzling outing tonight.  And I think he’ll get it.  Give me the Angels to WIN, but also give me the UNDER 10 run total tonight.

Free Pick:  Los Angeles Angels to WIN +110 & Run TOTAL UNDER 10

** Editor’s Note – at publishing time, many sportsbooks had this line delisted.  The+110/-120 reflects the original line posted.  Please make sure to line shop accordingly as more options become available!