We finished up a very profitable week last night by picking up another win, to run our record to 4-2 for the week. Three of those four winners came on underdogs, and the other as a slight favorite, and we were able to grind out two and a half units of profit on the week. Last night’s win came as we backed the Oakland Athletics on the road at +124 against the Los Angeles Angels.
The number just didn’t make a lot of sense to me, as in my estimation, this game was a coin flip at best, and I liked the A’s side of the starting pitching matchup. Oakland had the better record on the year and have been playing much better recently as well. So, I made a play on the A’s and expected a winner.
And that is just what I got. The game itself quickly got out of control as the Athletics battered this Angels pitching staff. After building up a 5-1 lead early in the game, the A’s broke it wide open with a seven-run eighth inning and eventually took the game 12-3. A’s starting pitcher Chris Bassitt continued his trend of pitching well on the road as he threw five and two-thirds of an inning and allowed just two earned runs and picked up the win for his efforts.
The win was a big one for Oakland as they finished up June by winning ten out of their last thirteen games. They outscored the Angels 23-5 in the final three games of this series. With the win, the A’s are now just a half of a game back of the Texas Rangers for the second wild card in the American League.
For Los Angeles, the struggles continue as they closed out the month losing six out of their last ten, and are at risk of falling completely out of contention as they are now chasing five teams for the wild card in the AL and are four and a half games back. For today’s pick, we will follow the Angels as they head to Texas for game one of a four-game series with the Rangers.
The Texas Rangers host the Los Angeles Angels tonight in game one of a four-game set. The Rangers have been overachieving all season long, and currently, occupy a playoff spot in the AL wild-card race. The great results didn’t go unnoticed by the All-Star voting committee as the Rangers ended up getting three players on the AL squad, the most they have had in a year since 2013. Joey Gallo and Hunter Pence will join tonight’s starter Mike Minor on the AL team.
For the Angels, their struggles have been well documented, and they badly need to right the ship before the trade deadline, or they will likely end up selling off pieces and shutting it down for the season. Los Angeles will see two of their players on the AL All-Star team as Tommy La Stella joins Mike Trout.
Starting for the Rangers is All-Star Mike Minor (8-4 2.40 ERA), and for the Angels it is Jose Suarez (2-1 5.57 ERA). The game total over-under is set at ten and a half runs. The Rangers are -142 home favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 PM PST from Globe Life Park in Arlington.
I have been pounding the Texas Rangers for much of the season. They have been winning at a high rate, and the books have yet to really catch on to the fact that this is an elite team. I can consistently get Texas as either underdogs or small favorites most nights. They are slightly bigger favorites tonight than they have been, but I still feel that they are being undervalued.
Why, you ask? Because of Mike Minor. Minor is having a career year and leads the American League in ERA at 2.40. He was nearly perfect in June as he went 3-0 in five starts with an ERA of just 1.70. The Rangers won each of those five games.
Minor has done a remarkable job of getting deep into games for the Rangers this year. He has pitched seven innings or more eight times already this year. That includes two complete games. In his last start, he threw a complete game, allowing just one run on five hits. In two starts against the Angels this season, he has pitched a combined fifteen innings and has allowed just one run. At home, Minor has an ERA of just 2.03 in eight starts. You might not know his name just yet, but this guy is elite and is a leading candidate for the Cy Young Award this season.
Jose Suarez is a twenty-one-year-old rookie that has made a total of three big league starts. And he has not had much success. He has allowed thirteen earned runs in just twenty-one innings pitched this season after joining the rotation in June. He has already given up six home runs and struggles with his command as he has nine walks. The young lefty is going to have his hands full tonight with a hard-hitting Texas team.
Look, this is a bad number. I could see the Rangers as -200 or more in this game. If this were the Red Sox, with let’s say David Price on the mound, it would be -200. And this Texas Team has a better record than the Red Sox, and Minor has been significantly better than Price. The fact that the books and the public have yet to really react to just how good Minor and the Rangers are right now is what is keeping this line manageable, and I am going to take advantage of it.
I don’t think the Angels are going to score many runs tonight. They have had nothing for Minor all year long, and I don’t think that changes tonight. This Angels team looked defeated yesterday and didn’t even seem to be trying as they got blown out on their own field. So, I absolutely see a lot of value in backing Texas at the current price. But I also see some value in the game total of ten and a half runs.
A double-digit game total is generally reserved for two really bad pitchers or a game at Coors Field. And I suppose you can add any game in London to that list as well after the fiasco we saw this weekend across the pond. But it is rare you see a double-digit game total in a game where the league leader in ERA is on the mound. To get to eleven runs, both teams are going to need to score, and I just don’t see the Angels as being able to get much going tonight.
So, I will give you the rare double pick in this one. I will take the Rangers as -142 home favorites. And I will also jump on the under ten and a half runs. I wouldn’t at all be shocked to see the Rangers pound, Suarez early, but I also don’t think the Rangers can push this game over by themselves. So, I will go for the double dip tonight in game one from Texas!