Errors and a wild pitch sunk our battleship last night, with the Indians and Yankees bet losing despite only 9 hits total in the game. I rarely say that I was on the right side in a loss, because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter, which is true, but I was on the right side. You can’t forecast balls being thrown away by infielders and wild pitches. In any event, those kind of losses will spring up from time to time. Nobody can avoid it.
We leave Yankee Stadium and head over to California, where the Angels are looking to find a way into the postseason. The Angels, with last night pending, are 66-65 and 1.5 back of the final wildcard. They were tied for a wildcard a few days ago, but things can change in a hurry. At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to which bullpen doesn’t suck the most.
Games or won and lost in the later stages of a game more than ever these days, if you haven’t noticed. Bullpens losing a bet for you is probably one of the most frustrating ways to lose, and it happens all the time in baseball. The moral of the story is you must have thick skin to bet on bases.
For the Angels, they have to have some thick skin and put on their big boy pants down the stretch. It’s really a shame that Mike Trout hasn’t had an opportunity to play in October. He’s kept the Angels on the fringes of the postseason, but the extra help hasn’t been there to push them over the top. The signing of Albert Pujols to a monster contract didn’t help matters much.
He’s had his moments, including a 40 HR season in 2015, but he hasn’t earned the $240 million he is set to make by the end. I really don’t think ownership has been to keen of opening up their wallets for another big contract. They could need a superstar in their pitching staff, though.
If you want to pinpoint anything, it’s been the starting pitching holding the back, all the while Trout is doing his best to carry the load. The bullpen has been a point of improvement for them this season, as they’ve ranked among the top teams in that regard. However, they still long for a lockdown ace in that clubhouse. The Athletics will try and throw up a road block tonight behind Chris Smith. Get our free Athletics vs. Angels pick below.
Oakland Athletics vs. L.A. Angels Pick
Chris Smith (0-3, 5.56 ERA) vs. Troy Scribner (2-1, 4.00 ERA)
Chris Smith has been trying to reignite his career after five years out of the majors. He made his first appearance since 2010 last season, where he came out of the bullpen thirteen times for a 2.92 ERA. He’s been trying to make it work as a starter for the first time in his career in 2017. The Athletics shipped Sonny Gray to the Yankees, so they’ve been trying to plug up holes with bandages just to finish the year. Smith enters with a 5.56 ERA and 6.89 ERA in his last three outings. He had yet to record a win.
The Athletics had a tremendous series against the Rangers before turning their attention to the Angels. They swept them for three straight wins, including 16 runs over the final two games. Rookie Troy Scribner will settle in for the Angels on the hump tonight, as he looks for the third win of his career.
He’s done a fine job of keeping runners of the bases, with a 0.94 WHIP overall and 0.93 WHIP at home. Scribner just has to keep the ball down in the ballpark and his ERA would look much better. Scribner must look out for Khris Davis, but other than him there isn’t too much pop in the A’s lineup. Angels should be able to help Scribner out with some power against Smith. I don’t love much on this card on Tuesday, but I expect a winning pick to come through in Anaheim.
PICK: ANGELS (-156)