7:10 p.m. Angels at Red Sox (-125 ML) O/U: 9.5
The 16-20 Angels travel to Fenway Park to open a three-game series against the 23-16 Red Sox on Friday night. Los Angeles lost two of three to the Astros earlier this week, including getting outscored 14-2 in the final two games of the series. Boston also is trending in the wrong direction, losers of three of its last four games.
About the Angels
Two-time American League MVP winner Mike Trout is batting .355 this season and leads all of baseball with a 1.150 OPS, but has looked human over the past two weeks. Trout has hit just .237 in that stretch and has been held hitless in three straight games.
He is not one to slump for long, so it is a safe bet to expect him to get back to his usual ways in Boston over the weekend. The Angels also have received outstanding offensive production from two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani, who leads the team with 10 home runs. Right fielder Jared Walsh has been a pleasant surprise this season, batting .328 with seven home runs and a team-leading 29 RBI this year.
The issue for Los Angeles is the same as it has always been in the Mike Trout era: the pitching staff is not effective. The Angels allow the most runs in baseball at 5.6 runs per game.
About the Red Sox
The Red Sox are perhaps the biggest surprise in all of the major leagues to this point, as few envisioned them leading the American League East on May 14 as even a possibility. One of the main reasons why has been the team’s offensive production. At 5.1 runs scored per game, Boston ranks third in all of baseball.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts is hitting .348 with eight home runs and 23 RBI to set the tone at the top of the lineup for power hitting left fielder J.D. Martinez. Martinez is batting .340 with 10 home runs and a team-leading 33 RBI in his 2021 campaign. The dynamic duo went a combined 6-for-7 on Thursday with a double and a home run.
The pitching staff has done exactly what it has needed to do this season, which is to perform at least around the middle of the road and give the batting order a chance to win games. Boston owns a 3.87 ERA this year, the 14th-best in Major League Baseball and right about in that middle. If the bats can stay this hot throughout the season and the pitching staff remains adequate, the Red Sox will be a force to be reckoned with in the American League all season long.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Los Angeles Angels||+1½ (-170)||+105||O 9½ (-110)|
|Boston Red Sox||-1½ (+140)||-125||U 9½ (-110)|
The Pitching Matchup
The Angels are turning to right-hander Griffin Canning on Friday night in the series opener. Canning is 3-2 in five starts with a 5.19 ERA in 26 innings of work. Canning went 5.2 innings against the Dodgers his last time out, limiting the defending World Champions to one run.
Boston is turning to right-hander Nick Pivetta, who aims to keep his record perfect. Pivetta is 5-0 with a 3.19 ERA in 36.2 innings pitched across seven starts this season. Pivetta owned an ERA north of 5.00 for most of his previous four-year tenure with the Phillies, and while he has shown some improvement, regression is inevitable. He is walking over five batters per nine innings and allowing hard contact rates that suggest a much higher ERA is on theway. That being said, Pivetta was solid again last time out, recording a no-decision after allowing two runs in six innings against the Orioles.
Canning’s metrics suggest that his ERA should begin to lower throughout the month of May, while Pivetta’s metrics suggest that his ERA will rise. This is a perfect buy-low, sell-high situation between these two teams.
*Odds Courtesy of MyBookie Sportsbook