Perhaps the Angels haven’t quite hit rock-bottom yet afterall… Last night they again had silent bats and dropped a second straight game, losing a series to the lowly Astros to fall to 11-22. At this pace, the Angels would lose a stunning 107 games. Obviously, things won’t get that bad in Los Angeles… will it?
In the meantime, Los Angeles has become the sports epicenter for over-priced, under-achieving, injury-riddled disappointments. First the Lakers, now the Angels and Dodgers – between the three Los Angeles has become one of the worst wagers in sports.
Let’s move on to some more upbeat news and dig into a few good matchups tonight.
Philadelphia Phillies +110 at Arizona Diamondbacks -116 (Total: 8)
Cole Hamels (1-4, 4.38 ERA) vs. Patrick Corbin (4-0, 1.80 ERA)
It’s been a rough start to the season for Philadelphia starting pitching. Roy Halladay is having surgery and Cole Hamels only has one win all season. The Phillies staff ranks next to last in the NL with a 4.34 ERA and has allowed a staggering 42 homeruns in barely 35 games. In order for things to not get out of hand and the Phills to fade quickly in the NL East, they are going to need better from Hamels.
The good news is, he has shown signs of getting back to his true form. In his last three outings he has posted a 2.05 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP in 22 1/3 innings pitched. I expect him to have another good outing tonight and by the time the season is over, his struggles will be a distant memory.
Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks will send pleasant surprise Patrick Corbin to the mound. The 23-year old lefty was the final pitcher to make the roster, narrowly earning the fith spot in the starting rotation after a good Spring. He has been excellent this season, with a perfect record and a 1.80 ERA.
Neither team hits left-handed pitching well at all, both nearly 30 points below their averages against right-handers. The Philllies and D’Backs hit .215 and .220 respectively against southpaws. That makes the 8 run total seem about a run too high. I like the value of the Phillies tonight behind a good effort from Hamels and I like the game staying in the low-scoring range.
Free Pick: Philadelphia Phillies to WIN +110 & Run TOTAL UNDER 8
Toronto Blue Jays +135 at Tampa Bay Rays -142 (Total: 7.5)
R.A. Dickey vs. David Price
This is a battle of disappointing Cy Young winners. Dickey has been a near disaster since arriving in Toronto, giving up tons of homeruns and not fooling many AL hitters with his knuckleball. Meanwhile, Price’s struggles have been a little more difficult to figure out. One of baseball most consistent pitchers over the last four years, Price is going through a perplexing rough patch, exacerbated by his worst outing of his career against Colorado last week, giving up nine runs in six innings.
Both will try to get on track tonight in pitcher friendly Tropicana Field. Sadly, you can bank on not many people being there to watch it… throw the ERA’s out the window, it is a RARE RARE treat to have both reigning Cy Young winners facing off against each other in the regular season.
Enjoy the game. I have a feeling the hitters will not. I’m taking the under tonight, and also Tampa Bay to WIN.
Free Picks: Tampa Bay Rays to WIN -142 & Run TOTAL UNDER 7.5