We hit a road bump yesterday when we backed the New York Mets at home as big underdogs against the New York Yankees. It was much less of a vote of confidence on the Mets, and more of a fade of the Yankees and their starting pitcher, Domingo German. German hadn’t pitched in a month as he was injured, and in his last several starts before hitting the IL he was downright awful.
I expected him to be at least a little bit rusty and felt that his stat line, specifically his very good win/loss record, was masking the fact that this guy just isn’t all that good. To me, that created a lot of value, and I looked to exploit it.
Well, it turns out German was pretty good. He clearly tired out early and labored to finish the sixth inning, despite throwing just eighty pitches. But ultimately, he was quite effective. German scattered five hits and allowed just one run in his six innings of work. That was more than enough to give the Yankees the time to tag Mets starter Jason Vargas with a couple of runs and put this one away as the Yankees cruised to a 5-1 victory. For today’s bet, we will head to Arlington, Texas, where the Rangers host the Angels.
The Los Angeles Angels are in Texas on this Fourth of July holiday, looking for a sweep of the Rangers. This series was marred by the untimely death of Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who passed away earlier in the week, causing game one of this series to be postponed. Tonight, the teams finish out the series in a game that was originally scheduled to have Skaggs on the mound. Emotions are sure to be high tonight in Arlington.
The Rangers are doing their best not to be distracted by all of the news as all of the sudden, they have now lost four straight games. That losing streak comes on the heels of a six-game winning streak for Texas, and they are hoping to get back on track tonight.
For the Angels, this is the second time they have gone through a tragedy like this one in the last decade as Nick Adenhart was taken too early as well, dying in a car crash ten years ago. The Halos have used all of this emotion to pick up wins the last two nights, after losing six out of their last ten games to close out the month of June.
Starting for the Rangers is Lance Lynn (10-4 4.00 ERA), and for the Angels it is rookie Griffin Canning (3-4 3.79 ERA). The game total over-under is set at ten and a half runs. The Rangers are -119 home favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 PM PST from Globe Life Park in Arlington.
Lance Lynn probably should have made the All-Star team this year. He has ten wins, good for second in the American League, and his WAR is top five amongst all pitchers as well. His ERA is a bit inflated at 4.00, but that was really just one awful start back in April where he got tagged for eight earned runs in just three and a third innings of work.
In June, he was 4-0 with a 2.90 ERA in six starts. He had a quality start, six innings or more, three runs or less, in five of his six starts. Overall, this guy has been really good, and he is a big reason why the Rangers are right in the middle of the playoff race in the AL, currently just a game and a half back of a playoff spot. He has faced the Angels twice this year and pitched well both times. Pitching a combined twelve and two-thirds of an inning and allowing just four runs.
The Angels will start youngster Griffin Canning tonight. Canning has been decent in this, his rookie season in the big leagues. He did hit a little bit of a summer wall, which happens a lot for young guys, as he was 1-3 with a 4.60 ERA in the month of June. Canning pitched well against the Rangers earlier this year as he tossed five innings of one-run ball and got a no-decision.
Look, I hate to kick a team while they are down, but this emotional lift they have gotten from Skaggs untimely passing can’t last forever. And when you look at the injuries this team has suffered in the last couple of days, they are using a barebones lineup tonight in Arlington. Tommy La Stella, just named to his first All-Star team, broke his leg fouling a ball off of his shin and is out for 8-10 weeks. And they also lost two of their three starting outfielders as both Justin Upton and Brian Goodwin are expected to miss the game with injury.
The win one for the Gipper mentality that carried them to victories in the first two games of this series won’t be enough tonight as they just don’t have the firepower on the field. Lynn is clearly the better side of the starting pitching matchup, and with two of their best bats out of the lineup in La Stella and Upton, I just don’t see a way they are going to be able to get much going against him tonight.
I expect a deflated and exhausted Angels team to go out and try hard, likely too hard, and come up short tonight. Canning gets shelled, and the Rangers take this one going away. I much prefer to take underdogs, but in a game like this one, where the Rangers are being undervalued, I have no choice but to back them and lay a little wood. Give me the Texas Rangers as small home favorites tonight in the series finale at -119!