The New York Yankees don’t have the best MLB record at the moment, but they do qualify as the hottest team in baseball with six straight wins behind them. Aaron Judge and co. will look for win number seven in a row tonight at Angel Stadium when they take on J.C. Ramirez and the Halos.
Judge slammed a home run for the third consecutive game last night, helping his Yanks nab a tight 5-3 win on the road. New York has been lights out lately, winning 7 of their last 10 and finding ways to boost an already respectable 16-14 road record. New York will hope to keep their current streak alive as they hope to add another win to a strong 38-23 record, which has been good for first place in the AL East.
The Halos are merely trying to keep their heads above water while Mike Trout is on the shelf with a thumb injury. Los Angeles has done a fine enough job of that lately, as they’ve stuck their foot in the ground and stayed competitive during a 5-5 stretch over their last 10 games. The Angels are still floating around .500 (33-34) and have almost no hopes of taking first place in the AL West given how hot the Houston Astros have been, but they can continue their push past .500 ball with a big home win tonight.
New York Yankees (-128) @ Los Angeles Angels (+118) Total: 8.5
C.C. Sabathia (7-2, 3.66 ERA) vs. J.C. Ramirez (6-4, 4.33 ERA)
The Angels don’t have an unbeatable matchup on paper and have sported a solid record (18-13) at their home stadium. Known for containing the long ball, it’s arguable the Halos could benefit greatly from their park in this showdown. Of course, the recent form of C.C. Sabathia and New York’s troublesome offense could make that awfully difficult and Vegas seems to agree.
The 36-year old Sabathia really is turning back the clock right now, as he stifled a potent Red Sox team at home (5 hits, 0 runs) in his last start. The veteran southpaw has been managing games masterfully lately in general, too, as he’s given up a combined four runs over his last five trips to the mound. Sabathia is limiting his hard contact and mixing in solid K numbers, so it’s not crazy to think this vintage showing recently could last. That’s especially true on the road in a pitcher’s park, as the Angels are lacking elite bats these days and Sabathia owns a strong 2.93 ERA on the road this year.
Los Angeles doesn’t strikeout a ton, but Sabathia’s game isn’t built just on making batters miss. Beyond that, this just isn’t an amazing matchup for the Halos, who rank 27th in power and just 13th in batting average against left-handed pitching. Sabathia has been looking very sharp and he’s got the matchup and park setting to keep that success rolling tonight.
New York looks as attractive as ever on the offensive side, too, as their bats remain red hot and they get a very beatable arm in J.C. Ramirez. Ramirez flashed some upside earlier in the year, but it’s largely gone thanks to a recent rough patch (11 runs given up over his last two starts). The 28-year old righty displayed elite K upside over his first three starts in 2017, but when he’s not making batters miss he has difficulty limiting hard contact. That’s translated 6+ hits seven different times already in 2017.
None of this sounds good when a pitcher prepares to battle the Yanks, who are obviously in a groove, don’t get that phased by playing on the road and also happen to rake right-handed pitching. As in, they mash the heck out of the ball (#1 in home runs and #1 in batting average) when facing right-handed hurlers.
Ramirez hasn’t even been able to take solace in a conservative park, as he’s averaging a weak 4.68 ERA across five starts at Angel Stadium. We could chase the Total either way or aim high for an Angels upset, but tonight’s MLB slate offers very little value and we need a locked in pick. L.A. doesn’t offer as much value as we’d like to see and this Total is tricky. I don’t see any reason to get cute here, so just bet on the Yanks to stay hot. All of the data certainly points to that happening.