A red-hot Los Angeles Angels (28-23) club will host a Miami Marlins (25-26) team experiencing some deep blues. These clubs met last season, with the Angels taking three of the four. That includes a two-game sweep in Anaheim. Miami can get payback in this series, and beginning with a Friday night smackdown would help tremendously. The first pitch for this series is set for Friday at 9:38 p.m. EDT, with Angel Stadium opening its doors for the contest.
Fish out of WaterMiami is on a road trip right now, with this game being the eighth out of 10 total. Entering this one, they're 2-5 on the trip, which has dropped them below .500. Offense hasn't been the problem lately, although Coors Field certainly inflated those numbers. Still, this is a team that's 28th in runs per game. Looking at their run production, most people would never guess that they have MLB's batting average leader (Luis Arraez) and a player that's tied for second in home runs (Jorge Soler). A walk rate that's narrowly above the White Sox for the worst in the majors and a home run count that's only 22nd. At least they steal bases well.
Pitching has also been an issue for the fish, as the team is 20th in staff ERA. Their relievers aren't terrible, but they aren't great either unless it comes to inducing ground balls. Starting pitching hasn't done much either, and Jesus Luzardo's last start illustrates that. He gave up six runs in 5.0 innings, including two home runs. Luzardo hasn't had fun on the road this season, with a 5.91 ERA in four starts. He has a chance to improve upon that, but this game could get ugly against the Angels lineup.
The Hot HalosWhile Miami has been on a road trip, the Angels have been on a homestand. The first six games are in the books, and they're 5-1, including wins in the last four. Every team during the stretch has a winning record. Los Angeles' success this season has been rooted in offense, which was on display Wednesday night. The team put up seven runs in the win, moving to ninth on the runs-per-game leaderboard. The Angels are ninth in batting average, 10th in OBP, and 10th in slugging percentage. Led by Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Hunter Renfroe, Los Angeles is seventh in home runs. Their walk rate could use some work, but the team is putting up runs consistently.
Hook, line, and sinker 🎣#GoHalos pic.twitter.com/kZwUUdy2dF— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) May 25, 2023
Their pitching hasn't been awful, but it's not great either. The bullpen is seventh in ERA and sixth in FIP, so they've done their part. It's on the starting rotation to piece together better outings. Reid Detmers will get his shot in this game, and he'll also have an opportunity to lower his 5.31 home ERA. Walks are his primary issue, as his 9.6% walk rate would be the 13th-highest if he had enough innings to qualify. Detmers makes up for it by racking up strikeouts. Run prevention is the most important statistic though, and Detmers has allowed at least two in each start. Maybe facing this Miami offense will yield a clean performance.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Jesus Luzardo struggles on the road and got blown up in his last start. He's facing an Angels lineup that's dangerous and the bullpen behind Luzardo may not help much. Los Angeles' Reid Detmers hasn't pitched well at home, but he's facing a Miami offense that is one of the worst at plating runs. With a lead, the Angels' relievers are much more reliable. This game should be all Angels as they push their winning streak to five.
Full-Game Total Pick
Reid Detmers isn't reliable at home, and Jesus Luzardo doesn't pitch well on the road. This game also features a top-10 scoring offense in Los Angeles. Miami's offense doesn't usually put up many runs, but they have a favorable matchup and just had a productive series against the Rockies. Between the two teams, there should be enough runs for the over to hit.