Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#973 Texas Rangers 9 vs.
#974 Los Angeles Angels -160
Friday, May 24, 2019 at 10:07pm EDT
Written by Sporty Jordy

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When and where: May 24, 2019, Angel Stadium, Anaheim, CA, 10:07 PM ET

The surging Texas Rangers take the show on the road on Friday for a weekend series against the slumping Los Angeles Angels. A three-game sweep against the Seattle Mariners has the Rangers determined to continue their AL West ascent against the Angels, who have lost their last four consecutive games. Griffin Canning has been selected to start things off on the mound for the Angels, while the Rangers are rolling out left-handed pitcher Drew Smyly in the divisional showdown.

Rangers back on the winning track

The Rangers have reverted to showing shades of the success they had earlier in the season. After ending a five-game losing streak, they have since gone on to win seven of their last eight games. They are currently riding a four-game winning streak and coming off three series wins over the Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals.

Granted, none of those teams have winning records, but it was still a much-needed turnaround nonetheless for an overachieving Rangers team that was absolutely decimated by the Houston Astros. Most considered this a rebuilding season for manager Chris Woodward’s squad, but the Rangers have worked their way up to second place in the AL West division behind the Astros.

Smyly steps on the mound to start off the weekend series against the Angels on Friday. The left-handed pitcher is throwing a 6.51 ERA this season and riding an 0-3 record. He recently appeared in last Sunday’s game against the Cardinals at home, where he allowed three hits and two earned runs in four innings. The 29-year-old has struggled throughout the season, but he has also faced some difficult opposition in the Angels, Oakland Athletics and Astros multiple times.

Angels come up empty against the Twins

All the rain did was delay the inevitable for the Angels in a pitiful series against the Minnesota Twins. They were dominated and swept on their home field in the second series they’ve lost to the Twins in the month of May. The Angels have managed to remain competitive in the AL West, which isn’t saying much considering how top-heavy the division is right now. However, those wins have mostly come against other struggling teams with losing records. They have generally shelled up when playing against .500 and above win teams. Their slumping offense hasn’t helped matters in recent outings, where they only scored a combined five runs in the three games before Thursday’s 16-7 blowout loss.

That kind of lack of offensive efficiency isn’t going to cut it against a division leader like the Twins.

Canning is hoping to help turn things around when he gets his turn on the mound on Friday against the Rangers. The 23-year-old pitcher is throwing a 3.80 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. He is coming off a seven-inning shutout performance against the Royals, who were held to only three hits. It was a step in the right direction after his disappointing showing against the Baltimore Orioles, when he allowed five hits and four earned runs in four-plus innings on the mound. He has been limited to only four appearances so far this season.

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I get the urge to want to bury the Angels at the start of this series. The Rangers are playing like a team possessed right now, and the Angels have looked like a complete mess in their last five games. They couldn’t even win one game at home against the Twins in a four-game series.

However, what isn’t being mentioned enough is the fact that the Twins are tied for the best record in baseball right now with the Astros. It isn’t like they were getting abused on their home field by some bad team. Meanwhile, the Rangers have burst back onto the scene with wins over the Mariners, Cardinals and Royals—all of whom have struggled recently. I’d wager the Rangers wouldn’t have fared well against the Twins, either.

We’ve already seen Smyly pitch against the Angels in Anaheim, and there was nothing pretty about it. He finished the game with a 7.11 ERA in 3.1 innings on the mound, where he allowed six hits and four earned runs, including one homer. You can put your hard-earned money on him facing seven-time MLB All-Star Mike Trout and the crew if you want, but I’m rolling with the right pick and taking the Angels in this game.

Prediction: Los Angeles Angels (-167)

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The under is 14-3 in the last 17 head-to-head meetings between the Rangers and Angels in Los Angeles. I expect the Rangers come a bit back down to Earth on Friday, while the Angels find more success at the plate against a much more susceptible defense than they faced against the Twins. However, it still won’t be enough to cover the 10 points needed for the over. I like the under betting total here.

Prediction: Under (9.5)

Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

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