In: MLB Free Picks19 Jul 2011
Chris Hodge, Free Picks Newsletter Editor
222-124-2 of last 350
MLB: Texas Rangers (-135) vs. Los Angeles Angels (+125) *Over/Under (7.5u -110)
The Los Angeles Angles are probably glad to be home, where the chances of the team pulling out of its second-half swoon are greatly increased. Well, that’s at least true in most situations.
All of the ingredients that accompany tonight’s game against the Texas Rangers, add up to Josh Hamilton and crew feasting on angel food cake to bring the team’s win-streak to an even dozen games.
The Rangers might be on the road, but the good news for Texas is they are scheduled to face rookie Tyler Chatwood of the Angels.
Chatwood’s first half wasn’t a total disaster, but much of his “success” can be attributed to luck.
Chatwood has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 1:1. He’s matched his 52 strikeouts with 52 walks. The Angels sent him to the minors for a start over the All-Star break to give him an opportunity to get more experience under his belt and hopefully find his control.
In his last big-league outing he threw 101 pitches in slightly more than five innings against the Tigers. He walked five batters in that short appearance, and the Angels lost the game 5-4. In 17 starts this season, Chatwood has walked three or more batters nine times.
His walk-a-thon continued in his minor league start as well. Chatwood walked five Triple-A hitters in his All-Star-break start in just three innings pitched.
The Rangers have lost only two games in the month of July, and a big reason for that has been the resurgence of the team’s bats. The Rangers are hitting .316 as a team and they’ve scored 94 runs just 14 games.
That’s nearly seven runs per game for you math geeks.
Hamilton is hitting .327 for the month with four homers and 16 RBIs. The rest of the lineup has hit 19 out of the yard in the Rangers’ mid-summer binge.
While Chatwood has given up only four home runs this season, if he continues his trend of walking far too many hitters against a team like Texas, that disaster he’s narrowly avoided this season could be on the horizon.
The Rangers are 8-3 in Alexi Ogando’s last 11 starts, including a May 13 start against the Angels. His ERA has been steadily climbing as the season has trudged along, but he’s still checking in just under 3.00 through 17 starts.
Ogando’s issues have been keeping the ball in the ballpark. He’s allowed 10 home runs this season, and in his typical start hitters put the ball in the air twice as much as they put it on the ground.
The Angels are collectively hitting just .233 in July with 10 home runs. They’ve only hit 30 home runs in 48 home games this season as well.
In other words everything points to Texas winning their twelfth straight game, and a final total that blows right past the 7.5 points set for the Over/Under.
Pick: Take the Texas Rangers (-135)