We won again last night when we took the Los Angeles Angels on the road against the Texas Rangers. The Angels were starting Jaime Barria in his first ever major league start, and the youngster dazzled. Barria pitched five innings and allowed just a single hit, a solo shot home run to Ryan Rua in the third inning. The powerful Angels lineup was able to take care of the rest as they punished Rangers starter Matt Moore and were able to play add on against the Texas bullpen to the tune of seven runs. Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani was inserted back into the lineup and went 1-3 with yet another RBI, this guy is a run-producing machine.
You know your season is off to a hot start when you go 1-3 and your batting average drops thirty points! This Angels team looks to be as well rounded as any team in the league, and they are quickly asserting themselves as a team to beat in the American League. For today’s pick, I will stay right here with the Angels as they head to Kansas City to play the Royals.
The Los Angeles Angels will travel to Kansas City Thursday for game one of a four-game series with the Royals. The Angels come into this series on fire, having swept the Texas Rangers in their last series and are winners of seven out of their last eight games. L.A. will send young right-hander Nick Tropeano (0-0 0.00 ERA) to the mound to face off against the Royals Ian Kennedy (1-0 0.75 ERA).
The Royals are struggling badly right now and have yet to win a series and have a record of just 3-7. The Angels are -135 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at nine and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 5:15 PM PST from Kauffman Stadium.
The Los Angeles Angels are killing it right now. They are pitching well, hitting well, and winning at a very high rate. This team doesn’t seem to have any weakness at this point, and if they stay healthy, they could give the Houston Astros a run for their money for the American League West Division title. The Angels used a very untested arm last night in Jaime Barria, and that didn’t slow them down one bit. Tonight, they will turn to another fairly untested starter in Nick Tropeano.
Tropeano started just thirteen games last year for Los Angeles but did enjoy some decent success. Tropeano went just 3-2 but had a more than a respectable ERA of 3.65. He strikes out hitters at a solid rate of just over nine per nine innings and gives his team a chance to win every time he pitches. He will need his best stuff tonight if he wants to match up with Royals ace, Ian Kennedy.
Ian Kennedy was a Cy Young candidate in the National League. In the American league? He has been a run of the mill, middle of your rotation kind of guy. Last year, his second year in Kansas City, Kennedy was downright awful. He ran up a record of 5-13 and had a sky-high ERA of 5.38. A lifetime in the American League, Kennedy is 18-28 with an ERA of 4.55. That is almost a full run higher than what he was able to do in the National League. So, while Kennedy might jump out at you as a headliner type of name, his recent results show that he clearly doesn’t deserve top line billing.
I have been pounding the Angels so far this year. I love everything about this lineup and the starting rotation. Even their young starters have been able to produce solid results. Ohtani, Barria last night, and Tropeano tonight, all look like guys that are going to be able to get guys out and give the Angels ways to win ball games. But even if the pitching isn’t great today, I still like them in this matchup.
Kennedy has pitched well so far this year, but his history of struggles in the American League tell me that it is going to be short-lived and he is due for a regression start. I expect that to happen tonight. This Angels team is first in almost every major offensive category, including runs scored, home runs, and batting average. I expect them to jump all over Kennedy tonight. I sound like a broken record right now backing the Angels every night, but until they cool down a bit, I am going to continue with that trend. Give me the Los Angeles Angels o the road as small favorites, laying -135 tonight!