Texas Rangers (61-61 SU, 69-53 RL, 55-64-3 O/U) vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (64-60 SU, 61-63 RL, 49-66-9 O/U)
MLB: Monday, August 21, 2017, Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California, 10:07 pm ET
Lines: Anaheim -131, Texas +121; Over/Under: 8.5
It’s the opener of a series between a pair of AL West rivals out in the Golden State. The Texas Rangers play the first game of their four game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Saturday night. Texas closed a four game series at home against the White Sox Sunday: they won 17-7 on Saturday. Anaheim played the rubber game of their series on the road with the Orioles Sunday. The Rangers took two of three in the last series between the teams, which came at home July 7-9.
Texas Rangers Staying in AL Wild Card Race
Texas bounced back from a rough first inning to pile up the runs in a victory Saturday to stay right in the wild card race. The Rangers entered Sunday 1.5 games behind the Twins and Angels for the second wild card spot. Texas was down 5-0 after half an inning but piled up 13 runs in the next four innings to take control of the game. Shin-Soo Choo (three runs, three RBI) had four hits for the Rangers while Delino DeShields Jr. (three runs) added three hits in the win. Rougned Odor (his 25th and 26th), Mike Napoli (his 26th) and Choo (his 15th) each went deep in the game. Martin Perez (8-10) picked up the win as he threw six innings, allowing six runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Cole Hamels makes his 16th start of the season for the Rangers. He missed nearly two months earlier this season with a strained oblique. Hamels is 8-1 with a 3.48 ERA, a 1.108 WHIP, 31 walks and 62 strikeouts over 98.1 innings of work. He won his last start, which was Wednesday at home against the Tigers. Hamels tossed six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits with five walks and four strikeouts in a 12-6 Rangers victory. He is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP, eight walks and 14 strikeouts over 22 innings in his last three starts. Hamels is 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.028 WHIP over 47.2 innings in seven career starts against the Angels. He is 1-0 with a 1.89 ERA and a 1.211 WHIP over 19 innings in his three starts at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in his career.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Looking to Maintain Wild Card Position
Anaheim took two of three from the Orioles and guaranteed that they would still, at worst, be tied for the second wild card spot with the Twins entering Monday. The Angels finished with only six hits in the game with Kole Calhoun (three runs, RBI) and Andrelton Simmons (run, RBI) each going deep in the game. Cameron Maybin drove in the eventual winning run in the eighth inning with a RBI single. Parker Bridwell recorded a no-decision as he threw five innings: he allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Cam Bedrosian (3-2) got the win with a scoreless seventh while Bud Norris pitched the ninth for his 19th save of the year.
Tyler Skaggs is on the hill for his ninth start of the year for the Angels in this contest. He is 1-3 with a 3.63 ERA, a 1.388 WHIP with 16 walks against 43 strikeouts in 44.2 innings of work. He missed more than three months earlier this season as he suffered from a Grade 2 oblique strain. Skaggs took the loss in his last start, which came on the road against the Nationals Tuesday. He threw five innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts in a 3-1 Angels loss. He is 0-2 with a 2.93 ERA, a 1.63 WHIP plus seven walks and 14 strikeouts over 15.1 innings in his last three starts. Skaggs makes his seventh career start against the Rangers in this contest. He is 2-1 with a 5.46 ERA and a 1.517 WHIP over 29.2 innings of work. He is 2-5 with a 4.86 ERA and a 1.471 WHIP over 16 starts covering 87 innings of work in his career at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
- Rangers are 4-0 in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning record
- Rangers are 5-1 in their last 6 overall
- Rangers are 5-1 in their last 6 games on grass
- Angels are 1-4 in their last 5 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days
- Angels are 1-4 in their last 5 Monday games
Two of the teams in the crowded AL wild card field open up their four game set in this one. Hamels is on a roll as he’s won three straight starts and is 4-0 in his last five outings. Skaggs is scuffling right now as he hasn’t been able to get into form this season. The Angels had a solid weekend against the Orioles but they have struggled at times at home this season. Hamels is pitching well and he gets the Rangers a victory in this contest.
Pick: Texas Rangers +121
The Rangers are fighting to stay in the wild card race at this point, which is surprising after dealing ace Yu Darvish along with catcher Jonathan Lucroy and reliever Jeremy Jeffress at the trade deadline. Anaheim still holds a wild card spot despite their mediocre pitching staff: how the team is surviving with Ricky Nolasco, Skaggs and Jesse Chavez holding three-fifths of the rotation. The wild card race will be one of those that could go down to the wire with so many teams jammed in there: eight teams were within four games entering Sunday.
The under is 4-0 in the Rangers last 4 Monday games, 3-0-1 in their last 4 vs. American League West foes, 6-1 in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning record and 24-9-2 in their last 35 during game 1 of a series. Anaheim has seen the under go 9-2-3 in their last 14 home games vs. a team with a losing road record, 4-1-1 in their last 6 overall, 4-1-1 in their last 6 on grass and 18-7-1 in their last 26 Monday games. Hamels is pitching well and has had success against the Angels in his career: look for this one to end up falling under the total.