The Texas Rangers are out in Anaheim for the second time this season after losing three of four in early April. The Rangers came out swinging in the first game, as they rode an offensive surge to a 11-4 win. However, they went on to lose the next three games as the Angels responded. Over a month later, the Angels haven’t had much to celebrate, though.
They’re a losing team despite having the richest ball player in the league on their roster. The Angels were torched yesterday as they got blasted, 16-7, for their fourth straight loss. It was their fourth straight loss and third in a row against the Twins to get swept.
Mike Trout is the best all-around position player in the major leagues. Along with an outstanding OBP of .457 this season, he does so many other things well that separates him from others. When the rest of the team is terrible, though, success as a team is difficult to find. Despite having Trout in the lineup, the Angels are a 22-27 ballclub.
What is going to change between now and September? Probably nothing. Sorry to spoil the rest of the season for the Angels. The Albert Pujols’ contract and lack of production from their pitching staff is killing this team. Swap Pujols out for some good pitching and this is suddenly a decent team.
The Angels spent a lot of money on Trout, but that was money well spent on the best player around. With Pujols, his contract has not matched his production, not even remotely close. The Angels will look for brighter skies against the Rangers this evening.
They are going to have to slow down an offense on a torrid pace led by Joey Gallo this season. You want to know who else is hot for Texas? Remember the name Hunter Pence? The former fan favorite in San Francisco is having his best season in years. Pitching is part of the game, though and the Rangers have struggled in that regard. Head below for our free Rangers vs. Angels pick.
Texas Rangers vs. L.A. Angels Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
The fact that Drew Smyly is a fixture in the Rangers’ rotation tells you all that you need to know about their pitching situation. The former Tiger is collecting a paycheck in Arlington without having to do much work. He’s out there on the bump, but isn’t collecting too many outs. The left-hander has been an inconsistent throughout his six-year career. Detroit made a wise move trading him in 2014 when he was at his peak. After posting an ERA of 3.10 in 12 starts for the Rays in 2015, Smyly had a shoulder injury and has never been able to get back on the track he was on then. He returned to a 4.88 ERA last season and has been fading in the wrong direction this season.
Smyly was a cheap option for the Rangers in free agency, though I think they would have considered something better if they knew the offense was going to perform like this. Given the pace they’re scoring at, it’s reasonable to assume that they’d be 1st with some adequate pitching.
After all, the Rangers are 1st in the major leagues in scoring yet are just 24-23 on the season. They’re averaging 5.77 runs per game which puts them in front of the Twins and Astros. They might need all the runs they can get with Smyly pitching this evening.
Smyly has especially been having a heap of problems on the road. Note that he has been shelled for a 9.00 ERA, 2.12 WHIP, and .419 OBA as a visitor this season. One of those games was to Angel Stadium earlier in the season where the Angels made easy work of Smyly. He exited after allowing 6 hits and 4 runs in 3.1 innings of work. The Angels own a .362 OBP against Smyly in 49 at-bats. Trout has taken him deep twice in just 15 appearances against him.
Griffin Canning hopes to be the difference for the Angels in this one. The rookie has been adequate with an ERA of 3.80 and 1.08 WHIP. He is coming off his best start of the year, as he allowed 3 hits and no runs to the Royals in 7 innings.
This is by far going to be the most difficult offense he’s seen this season. His first four outings as a major league pitcher have come against the Blue Jays, Tigers, Orioles, and Royals. The Royals are the best of the bunch in 18th with 4.49 runs scored per game. Expect Canning to find life a little tougher against a lineup like the Rangers this evening. I recommend a look at the OVER at Angel Stadium in this contest.