Andrew Heaney (4-3, 4.02 ERA) vs. Clayton Kershaw (6-2, 2.15 ERA)
The Freeway Series will be the end of the road for the LA Angels and LA Dodgers in the regular season. This isn’t the end of the year for the Dodgers, though. They are NL West title holders after maintaining control of the division for the duration of the regular season. Barring something crazy happening, the Angels will be left out in the cold in October again.
The Colorado Rockies had a brief flurry of success at the beginning of the season, and the San Diego Padres threatened for a minute. However, the Dodgers were never in any real danger of giving up the lead. The Dodgers will go into the playoffs with the best overall record in the major leagues.
Actually, if the Rays sweep the Phillies, and the Dodgers get swept by the Angels, then the Rays and Dodgers will be tied with a record of 40-20. It’s hard to see that scenario playing out, though. Not impossible, but we’ll go with the Dodgers being the regular season leaders going into October.
They are a tough team to beat on paper, but as we’ve seen in the past, that’s why they play the games. The Dodgers know all too well about losing when games matter the most. When speaking of the Angels, it’s mostly done with an angle of disappointment.
After struggling to get over the hump in the Mike Trout era and into the postseason, it would appear that a season with an expanded playoff would be the season that the Angels get in. That hasn’t been the case, and the Angels enter the final series of the regular season with a measly record of 26-31.
Disappointment is an understatement for the Angels. They are the only team that hasn’t been eliminated or clinched in the American League yet. Having said that, the Dodgers likely put them out of their misery this weekend. Andrew Heaney will be called on Friday night, while Clayton Kershaw is expected for the Dodgers. Head below for our free LA Angels vs. LA Dodgers pick for September 25, 2020.
LA Angels vs. LA Dodgers MLB Betting Odds:
LA Angels vs. LA Dodgers Prediction:
There isn’t much more to say about Clayton Kershaw at this point in his career. As a 32-year-old, Kershaw continues to pitch in peak form and has proven that he’s still in his prime years. From his sophomore campaign in 2009, Kershaw has been mowing hitters down and has shown no evidence of regressing yet.
The only knack on his career has been his struggles in the postseason. In any event, Kershaw has been on fire this season, with an ERA of 2.15 and 0.75 WHIP. Teams are hitting just .172 versus Kershaw. He’s coming off a solid performance against the Colorado Rockies, allowing 1 earned run through 7 innings at Coors Field.
Kershaw had just allowed 3 earned runs in back-to-back performances, so that was a nice response by him. The Angels have been able to do nothing against Kershaw in his career. They’re hitting .136 with 1 home run in 126 at-bats. That’s a fairly decent sample size of at-bats, and Anthony Rendon is the only Angel on the current roster that has taken Kershaw deep.
One would assume that Mike Trout would have at least a little success against Kershaw, though that hasn’t been the case. Trout is hitting .125 with no RBI against Kershaw through 16 at-bats. For all of the accolades that Trout has racked up in his career, he hasn’t figured out a way to hit Kershaw. Overall, Andrew Heaney has been strong against the Dodgers on this roster.
However, if you take a closer look, several of the heavy hitters have had success versus Heaney. Cory Seager, Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, and Mookie Betts are hitting better than .300 against him. Chris Taylor is also .286 with a home run. The Dodgers scored 4 earned runs on 5 hits and 4 walks against Heaney in their most recent meeting on August 15.
Heaney has gotten touched up on the road for an ERA of 5.28 through 30.2 innings of work. That’s a drop from an ERA of 2.81 at home in Anaheim. Look for Kershaw and company to use Friday night as a tune up for the postseason. The Angels might hang around early, but I like the Dodgers to pull away.