The Los Angeles Angels (52-53, 22-27 away) begin a four-game series with the Texas Rangers (38-67, 25-27) with the series opener Monday night in Texas. Los Angeles owns a 5-3 head-to-head record in games played this season.
Monday’s first pitch is scheduled for an 8:05 p.m. start time at Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX. According to oddsmakers, the Angels are the favorite at -140, and the run total is 7.5.
What to Know – Los Angeles Angels
The Angels return to the road after a seven-game homestand against Colorado and Oakland. Los Angeles went 3-4 over those contests, dropping three of four to the A’s. The Angels find themselves in fourth place in the American League West, 11.5 games back of the division-leading Houston Astros.
While no official reports have a listed starter for Monday’s opener, the Angels could go a few different ways here. Shohei Ohtani hasn’t started since last Monday, or the visitors could move up Tuesday’s expected starter, Jose Suarez. If those two aren’t available, look for a bullpen game employed by Los Angeles to get them through the contest.
Los Angeles is 16th in the majors in on-base percentage (.315) and fifth amongst opponents in slugging percentage (.431). With star outfielder Mike Trout missing significant time from the Angels’ lineup, it has been two-way player Ohtani exciting the crowds. Ohtani leads the majors with 37 home runs and is tied for second with 82 runs driven in.
What to Know – Texas Rangers
The Rangers opened up the second half of play with ten straight losses before winning three of their last five. Texas took a pair of one-run victories against Seattle over the weekend. The Rangers have one of the worst records in baseball and sit at the bottom of the AL West.
The expected starter for the Rangers as he tries to keep the momentum going is right-hander Dane Dunning (4-7, 4.20 ERA, 1.41 WHIP). The 26-year old locked up his first victory of the second half in his last start, firing 6.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits with three strikeouts against the Diamondbacks. Dunning was solid on the hill in July, posting a 2.70 ERA over four starts during the month.
Texas ranks last in the MLB in on-base percentage (.295) and 28th in slugging (.374) with a lineup that fails to generate many runs. Outfielder Joey Gallo, the Rangers’ primary source of offense, was shipped to the Yankees last week before the trade deadline. Texas now has a very young lineup highlighted by 28-year old outfielder Adolis Garcia who’s driven in a team-high 63 RBIs behind 23 home runs.
The Pick is In
This is a battle between the bottom two franchises in the AL West, but there is a noticeable gap in talent separating the two on paper. Los Angeles is expected to get Mike Trout back soon and still have a slight chance at a wild card spot with solid play down the stretch.
Regardless of who starts for the Angels, the arm should have no problems getting through the Rangers lineup with little trouble. L.A. kicks off the series with an opening victory in Arlington.
The Pick: Los Angeles Angels ML