This Friday, the Los Angeles Angels and the Minnesota Twins will play the first game of this three-game series. The first pitch will be thrown out at 8:10 PM EST inside Target Field. The last time that these two teams matched up, the Angels ended up stealing two of three games.
The Los Angeles Angels are entering this one after a brutal series with the Texas Rangers. They lost 2 out of 3. They are going to need their bats to heat up if they want to challenge the Twins on the road.
The Minnesota Twins are entering this one after getting swept by the Kansas City Royals. Their bats will have to be better if they want to defend Target Field in this one.
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Can the Angels Finish Strong?The Los Angeles Angels are currently in 4th place in the AL West, as they still trail the first-place Houston Astros by 33.5 games. They are also 4-6 in their last 10, as their poor play has kept them out of the AL Wild Card race. The Angels still trail the Seattle Mariners by 17.5 games, as they will most likely miss the playoffs this season.
At the plate, the Angels are scoring 3.87 runs per game and they are hitting .229 as a team. This is the 26th most runs scored per game and the 26th highest overall team batting average. They have struggled to consistently make contact with the ball, which has made it much more difficult to score. Luckily, they have realized that they do have some serious power inside of their lineup. They are hitting 1.21 home runs per game, which is the 11th most in the league. They have multiple superstars on their team that can change a game with one swing of the bat. I would watch for Mike Trout at the dish in this one, as he leads the team with 36 bombs. I would expect the Angeles to stay conservative once they have reached base safely. They have only stolen 75 bases this season, which is the 17th most in the league. Los Angeles will allow their bats to move runners into scoring position.
According to MLB.com, the Angels will be starting Shohei Ohtani on the mound. He can do it all, as he is currently 13-8 with a 2.43 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. The last time that he was on the mound, he pitched for 7.0 innings and he only allowed three hits and zero earned runs to the Mariners. This was also his fourth straight win. Ohtani has also been great on the road, as he is 7-4 with a 2.96 ERA this season. The Angels bullpen will be able to enter the game once he is finished, as they are allowing the 17th most runs per game. As a team, Los Angeles is surrendering 4.28 runs per game, which is the 12th least in the MLB.
The Twins are COLD at the PlateThe Minnesota Twins are 3-7 in their last 10, as they have almost removed themselves from the AL Wild Card race. They are currently 9.5 games back from the Seattle Mariners for the third and final AL Wild Card spot. The Twins are also in third place in the AL Central, as they trail the first-place Cleveland Guardians by 10 games. They will need to go on an incredible run if they want to scratch their way into the Wild Card.
At the plate, the Twins are scoring 4.35 runs per game and they are hitting .248 as a team. This is the 17th most runs scored per game and the 12th highest overall team batting average. They have shown that they can consistently reach base safely, but they have struggled with men in scoring position. Minnesota has also realized that they have multiple players with some serious power. They are hitting 1.15 home runs per game, which is the 12th most in the league. I would also expect the Twins to stay extremely conservative once they have reached base safely. They have only stolen 31 bases this season, which is the least in the MLB.
According to MLB.com, the Twins are still undecided on who will start on the mound in this game. This makes me believe that it will be a group effort, as they will most likely rely on multiple bullpen arms to get the job done. I wouldn't expect the starter to stay in the game for long. I would also recommend checking ESPN or covers.com to see who is starting in this game before you place your bet. The Minnesota bullpen has also been decent this season, as they are allowing 3.87 runs per game. As a team, the Twins are currently surrendering 4.31 runs per game, which is the 14th least in the league.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
I'm going to hammer the Los Angeles Angels money line in this matchup with the Twins. Minnesota's bats are as cold as ice, as they looked horrible in their last series against the Royals. They will now continue to struggle, as they won't be able to challenge Shohei Ohtani in this one. Ohtani is currently 13-8 with a 2.43 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. He has also won four straight games, as he is coming into this game with a ton of confidence. The Twins are only hitting .232 vs. RHP in their last 10 and only scoring 3.27 runs per game in that stretch. They don't have it rolling right now and Ohtani is going to take advantage. I see him pitching very deep into this game, as he will give his team a great chance of winning. Now, I also see the Angels having some success at the plate. They are hitting the 11th most home runs and they are hitting .242 as a team in their last 10. They are seeing the ball well and will continue to score consistently throughout this one. Minnesota is sliding in the wrong direction and that will continue in this one.
Hammer the Los Angeles Angels ML and trust Ohtani in this one.
Full-Game Total Pick
I see this being a low-scoring battle, as both of these teams have struggled at the plate at times this season. If your book doesn't have the total set at (8.5), then I would recommend buying to it. The Angels will be starting Shohei Ohtani on the mound, as I see him silencing the Twins bats for the majority of this game. He has won four straight and he looked incredible in his last start. He shut out the Mariners, as he pitched very deep into that game. I see something similar happening in this one, as the Twins looked horrible at the dish against the Royals in their previous series. Their bats will remain cold and Ohtani will keep the Twins team total extremely low. Now, I also see the Angels struggling at the plate during this game. The Twins haven't announced a starter, but I'm not sure if that matters. The Angels have the 26th worst overall team batting average and they are scoring the fifth least amount of runs. They have struggled to reach base consistently this season, which has made it more difficult to score. I see that trend continuing in this one, as neither team will be able to pull away on the scoreboard. They will both struggle at the plate and this score will remain under the total.
Hammer the under (8.5) and expect both pitching rotations to show up in this one.