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#929 Los Angeles Angels 9 vs.
#930 Los Angeles Dodgers -200
Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at 10:10pm EDT
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#929 Los Angeles
#930 Los Angeles
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When and where: July 24. 2019, Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA, 10:10 PM ET

An interleague battle for Los Angeles will take center stage late Wednesday night when the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Los Angeles Angels. Dodger Stadium will serve as the backdrop for the Angels’ attempt to upend the team with the best record in baseball. The Angels are coming off a three-game series win over the Seattle Mariners, while the Dodgers recently swept the Miami Marlins. Jaime Barria is expected to start at pitcher for the visiting Angels against Dodgers righty Ross Stripling.

Late run puts Angels in third place

The continued struggles for the Texas Rangers and an unexpected run for the Angels has created a seismic shift in the AL West division. After sitting in fourth place for most of the season, the Angels have now been bumped to third place in the standings ahead of the Rangers and behind the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics.

They have defeated the Mariners in two series meetings, along with splitting even with the division-leading Astros.

Time will tell if their current success is sustainable, but the Angels should be feeling good about their chances, especially with series meetings against the lowly Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers coming up on the schedule.

Barria is expected to get the green light as the Angels’ starting pitcher on Wednesday against the Dodgers. It’s a tough game to come back to after his recent meltdown against the Mariners, who lit him up for nine hits and 10 runs in only three-plus innings. He also threw four walks in that nightmarish performance. The 23-year-old Panama City native is sitting 3-3 on the season with a 7.36 ERA.

Dodgers can’t afford complacency

You’d have to go outside of the NL West division to even find a team in the same ball park as the Dodgers’ league-leading record (67-35). On second thought, you’d have to go outside the entire National League to find a team within at least five games. The Dodgers are without question the dominant team in baseball right now, but even though they have plenty of breathing room, they can’t afford to get complacent.

It’s unlikely any of the other teams in the NL West will have a legitimate shot at catching them, but they do want to stay ahead of the Atlanta Braves to ensure they finish the season out with the No. 1 seed. There is still plenty of baseball left to be played. They’ll already have their hands full in a dangerously tough five-game slate against the Angels and Washington Nationals.

Stripling gets the starting nod on Wednesday against the Angels. The 29-year-old righty is throwing a 3.64 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP and a 4-3 record. After leading the Dodgers to a win over the Boston Red Sox, he gave up five hits and two earned runs in his recent outing against the Philadelphia Phillies.

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The Angels swept the last Freeway Series back in June, but both games were held at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. An opportunity for vengeance is on the line for the Dodgers in the rematch, but they’ll be facing the same feisty team that derailed them in the previous meeting. The Angels are surging right now, and their offense is capable of standing toe-to-toe with anyone when they’re at their best.

Will they be at their best on Wednesday?

The answer to that question could very well decide the game. However, it’s still hard for me to completely commit to the Angels’ hot run with the Mariners serving as their opponent in six of their last 10 games. Granted, they did manage to split even with the Astros, which was a phenomenal feat, but it still isn’t enough to convince me they’d be able to waltz into Dodger Stadium and come away with a victory.

Barria is also coming off a terrible pitching performance, and his youth and inexperience is likely to cost the Angels in this match-up. Stripling, on the other hand, has the more proven track record as a 2018 MLB All-Star. Even if he doesn’t completely shut down the Angels at the plate, he can frustrate them enough for the Dodgers to work their run-scoring magic on the other end. The deeper and more talented team will win this game. Give me the Dodgers eking out a tough outing.

Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers (-200)

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The under is 7-1 in the last eight head-to-head meetings between the Angels and Dodgers. It will be a slog for the Angels going against a Dodgers pitching rotation that currently has the best ERA in baseball. Runs won’t be easy to come by in this game, even with the youngster Barria on the mound. He won’t have enough in the tank to lead the Angels to a win, but he’ll bounce back and play well enough to keep things respectable. I like the under betting total here.

Prediction: Under (9.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.