In: MLB Free Picks16 Aug 2011
Chris Hodge, Free Picks Newsletter Editor
233-132-2 of last 367
MLB: Texas Rangers (-125) vs. Los Angeles Angels (+115) *Over/Under (8.5o -120)
The Los Angeles Angels have fallen from grace, and if they don’t win some head-to-head games against the Texas Rangers their hopes of seeing the post season will have gone to hell.
The Angels have lost five of their last six, including yesterday’s 8-4 home loss to the Rangers. The streak has put them a full five games behind Texas in the AL West standings.
A big reason they’ve stumbled has been the team’s pitching. The Angels pitching staff has allowed 40 runs to cross the plate over that six-game stretch. Tyler Chatwood will bear the weight of the skid tonight while facing one of the most potent offenses in baseball.
The Rangers are hitting .278 as a team and have scored 630 runs on the year. They are hitting .296 in the second half of the season. Mike Napoli, Michael Young and Nelson Cruz have combined for an average of .363 in that run and have hit 16 homers with 60 RBIs. They have been the core of the Rangers attack.
The trio are a combined 2-6 against Chatwood. They’ve faced him only once, and that was about a month ago in LA. The Rangers won that game 7-0, but only three of those runs were charged to Chatwood. He was pulled in the fifth inning, mainly because he walked too many hitters in a game where Alexi Ogando was on fire.
It was a rough outing for the right hander, but he did well to escape allowing only three runs.
Derek Holland didn’t have the same success the last time he faced the Angels.
The day after Ogando shut down the Angels, Holland turned in one of his worst performances of the season. He lasted just five innings, allowing seven earned runs and on nine hits. The Texas bats helped him avoid picking up the loss, but the Rangers did lose the game 9-8.
In his last outing against the Mariners Aug. 10, Holland walked five batters in six innings losing to Seattle 4-3.
Torii Hunter has been on fire in August (.438, 2 HR, 7 RBIs, 3 doubles, 1 triples), has two homers against Holland in 14 career at bats. Maicer Izturis and Erick Aybar each went 2-4 yesterday and they are both hitting better than .300 in their careers against Holland.
This is probably the Angels’ best chance to beat the Rangers.
Pick: Los Angeles Angels (+115)