Texas Rangers (62-63 SU, 70-55 RL, 56-66-3 O/U) vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (65-61 SU, 62-64 RL, 50-67-9 O/U)
MLB: Thursday, August 24, 2017, Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California, 10:07 pm ET
Lines: Anaheim -125, Texas +115; Over/Under: 9.5
It’s the conclusion of a series between a pair of AL West rivals battling in the wild card race out in the Golden State. The Texas Rangers play the final game of their four game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Thursday night. Texas won the opening game of the series as they took a 5-3 victory Monday night. Anaheim squared the set with a 10-1 rout in Tuesday’s second game. The pitching matchup for the third game of the set Wednesday night saw Andrew Cashner pitch for the Rangers against the Angels’ Andrew Heaney. First pitch in that game was set for 10:07 pm ET.
Texas Rangers Look to Make Move in Wild Card Picture
Texas was clobbered in the second game of the series to fall back under the .500 mark again. The Rangers entered Wednesday three games behind the Twins for the final wild card spot in the American League. Shin-Soo Choo and Elvis Andrus (RBI) each had two hits for the Rangers in the game while Delino DeShields scored the only Texas run in the fifth inning. The pitching fell apart in the middle frames as they allowed seven runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Tyson Ross (3-3) took the loss as he gave up three runs on seven hits with four walks and four strikeouts over 3.2 innings of work.
Martin Perez takes the mound for his 25th start of the year for Texas. He is 8-10 with a 5.26 ERA, a 1.569 WHIP, 48 walks and 87 strikeouts over 137 innings of action this season. Perez won his third straight start in his last start, which came Sunday at home against the White Sox. He allowed six runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts over six innings of work as the Rangers took a 17-7 win. Perez is 3-0 with a 4.05 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, four walks and 11 strikeouts over 20 innings in his last three starts. He faces the Angels for the 11th time and makes his 10th start against them: he is 2-4 with a 3.53 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP over 58.2 innings of work. This is Perez’s fifth start at Angel Stadium of Anaheim: he is 1-3 with a 5.47 ERA and a 1.703 WHIP over 24.2 innings of work.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Shoot to Climb Wild Card Standings
Anaheim evened this series by taking the second game of the series. As a result, the Angels remained half a game behind the Twins in the race for the second wild card spot in the American League. Kole Calhoun (run, two RBI) led Anaheim with three hits while Mike Trout (three runs), Albert Pujols (run, four RBI), Martin Maldonado (run) and Kaleb Cowart (two runs, three RBI) each added two hits. Ricky Nolasco recorded a no-decision after going 4.2 innings: he allowed one run on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Keynan Middleton (5-1) got the vulture win out the bullpen with 1.1 scoreless frames.
Rookie Troy Scribner is expected to get the call for his fifth major league appearance and third start of the season in this contest. He is 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA, a 0.923 WHIP, five walks and nine strikeouts over 13 innings of work. Scribner won his last start, which came back on August 9 against the Orioles at home. He threw five innings, allowing a run on two hits with no walks and four strikeouts in a 5-1 Angels victory. This marks his first career outing against the Rangers in his short career. Scribner is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP, five walks and seven strikeouts over 10 innings in three career appearances, two starts, at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. He is 11-4 with a 4.35 ERA, a 1.335 WHIP, 38 walks and 103 strikeouts over 103.1 innings in 20 appearances, 19 starts, for Triple-A Salt Lake of the Pacific Coast League.
- Rangers are 5-1 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning record
- Rangers are 4-1 in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- Angels are 1-4 in their last 5 during game 4 of a series
- Angels are 1-4 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing record
These two division rivals are fighting, along with half the American League, for the second wild card spot that the Twins owned entering Wednesday. Scribner is expected to get the start as it’s unclear who exactly will slot in for this outing. Perez has pitched well with wins in each of his last three starts, including his victory over the White Sox. Lean toward the side of experience on the mound in this contest and that means backing the Rangers.
Pick: Texas Rangers +115
This contest, depending on what transpires in Wednesday’s game, could be extremely crucial to the Rangers. They could ill afford to drop three of four in this series and hope to stay in the playoff picture. Anaheim is getting by despite a lack of marquee pitching in their starting rotation or their bullpen: their top starter is J.C. Ramirez, a guy who has thrown more innings this season than he had in his major league career coming into 2017. Veteran Bud Norris, who spent most of his career as a starter, is trying a late career switch to closer. How long can smoke and mirrors carry either of these teams?
The under is 8-2-2 in the Rangers’ last 12 vs. American League West foes, 4-1-1 in their last 6 vs. a team with a winning record, 7-2 in their last 9 road games vs. a team with a winning record and 17-5-1 in Perez’s last 23 road starts vs. a team with a winning record. Anaheim has seen the under go 5-1 in their last 6 vs. a team with a losing record, 9-2 in their last 11 during game 4 of a series and 6-2-1 in their last nine overall. Given the way both teams scuffle offensively, you have to lean toward this staying under the total.