Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#3971 Los Angeles Angels vs.
#3972 Texas Rangers
Wednesday, August 4, 2021 at 8:05pm EDT
Written by Eric P.

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The Texas Rangers host the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night in the third game of their four-game series from Globe Life Field in Texas. The two teams split the first two meetings of the series and want nothing more than to grab a win to get ahead in the series and maybe for the Angels, to put together one final push towards the playoffs. The two teams have a pretty extensive history against each other this year, having faced each other 12 times, including the first two games of this series. The Angels have the slight lead in the season series, having won seven games. With both teams trying to balance getting younger player experience with putting their best lineups out there, expect a back and forth effort on Wednesday night.

Angels Pitching Woes Continue

The Angels have had a strong season on the offensive side of things but the pitching continues to let them down and hold them back. After starting the season looking primed to grab one of two Wild Card spots in the American League, the Angels would now need a miraculous comeback through the final seven weeks of the season to even sniff playoff contention. Injuries haven't helped though, especially when it's their biggest bats being left out night after night. Dexter Fowler (knee) is out for the season, while there's no timetable for Anthony Rendon (hamstring) or Mike Trout (calf) to make a return to the lineup. Add that to Jared Walsh being out through the middle of the month and both a starter and reliever out as well, and the lineup quickly is struggling for depth.

With the injuries to some of the Angels' key position players, it has fallen on David Fletcher and Shohei Ohtani to carry the offense over the last few weeks. Fletcher leads the team in batting (.303) and hits (124), while Ohtani leads the team in home runs (37), RBI (82), and OBP (.362). Over the last week though, neither has been setting the world on fire, with Max Stassi leading the way with a .318 batting average and two home runs. Justin Upton has been a key cog for much of the season but has struggled lately, namely only hitting .167 over the last week, though has added one home run. The Angels will need much more from the youngsters if they want to be able to keep up on Wednesday night.

According to MLB.com, Shohei Ohtani will be getting the start on Wednesday night, which may mean limited impact for him at the dish. Ohtani comes in with a 5-1 record and 3.04 ERA, as the All-Star game starter continues to be one of the most intriguing players in recent history. He already has two starts against Texas on the season, both coming back in April. In those two starts, he combined to pitch nine innings, allowing four hits and four runs, striking out 16. Of late though, he's been dominant. In his last three starts, he's combined to pitch 20 innings, with 13 hits and three runs allowed, striking out 17.

Rangers Eyeing Strong Finish

In a season that has been a disappointment for Texas fans and players alike, the Rangers are now looking to finish the season on a winning note, even with the playoffs too far out of reach. Becoming sellers over the last few weeks has allowed Texas to stockpile some nice prospects and young players, and with the ability to get some of their inexperienced big leaguers at-bats over the end of the season, Texas could get some nice momentum going into the off-season. For the Rangers, injuries have been more of an issue for their pitching staff than for their lineup. They are without two starters and five relievers this week, and without a deep pitching staff to start with, it has clearly been an area of concern. Add that to Willie Calhoun remaining out and Ronald Guzman out for the season, and it's understandable to see Texas' struggles.

Texas ranks in the bottom ten of baseball in runs per game, batting average, hits per game, and home runs per game, and after dealing away Joey Gallo at the deadline, it's hard to imagine those numbers improving over the next month. Adolis Garcia is the leader left in the clubhouse now, leading the team in batting average (.254) and RBI (63). Over the last week, it's been Jonah Heim leading the way with a .313 average and an astounding four home runs, as he cements himself as the catcher of the future. Beside shim though, a mix of .100 and .200 hitters just won't cut it against a team that has the potential behind Ohtani and Fletcher.

According to MLB.com, Kolby Allard will get the start for the Rangers. It's been a brutal year for the lefty, with a 2-9 record and 5.23 ERA, and has lost seven straight starts. In his last three starts, he's failed to allow fewer than five runs in any of the three. He does have one start against the Angels on the year, only making it through 2.2 innings, allowing a hit, as he came out of the bullpen. Until Allard can turn things around, it's tough to imagine anything besides another loss from when he takes the mound.

Best Bets for this Game

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The Angels should feel good about their chances with Ohtani taking the mound on Wednesday, especially with the shape of Texas' lineup right now. The righty has found the form that set up him to be the starter for the All-Star game and he won't have any issues making quick work of Texas' lineup. For the Rangers, Allard taking the mound is another story and they are winless in his last eight starts, a trend that can be expected to continue into Wednesday night, even with some of Los Angeles' injuries. The Angels still have a lineup with some potential behind Fletcher and Ohtani, along with some youngsters, and will get by with a win in game three and take control of the series.

Prediction: Angels -1.5

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Ohtani has the form to make life incredibly difficult for Texas on Wednesday night and coming in with some of the best form he's had this season, shouldn't give him any issues keeping Texas off the scoreboard. While Allard has struggled and the Angels won't have issues getting to him, the number of runs they score will be interesting to see. The Angels are still missing quite a bit of potential from their lineup and are far from the offense from the beginning of the year that can hit double-digits consistently. Additionally, according to covers.com, for the Angels, the under is 4-0 in Ohtani's last four starts against AL West opponents and is 4-0 in his last four starts with eight days or more of rest. For Texas, the under is 4-0-1 in their last five Wednesday games. In meetings between the two teams, the under is 4-1 in the last five games played in Texas.

Prediction: Under 9
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Written By Eric Ploch , "Eric P."

Eric grew up surrounded by sports, whether it was spending the weekend catching games in person or on tv, or heading out to the fields to play whatever sport was in season. What started as a hobby, soon became a passion, as he became the sports editor of his high school newspaper, then wrote for his university newspaper during his undergrad years.  After obtaining a degree in Sports Operations and Promotions, and spending 8 years deeply immersed in the sports world, Eric decided to take his love for analytics and predictions, and his experience, to online sports fans everywhere. We are glad to have Eric on OUR Team.