One of the closer expected games on Sunday’s MLB slate is the September 5th Rangers at Angels matchup. LAA has taken the first two games of this series, and five of their last six overall yet are just a -124 favorite in the finale.
The Rangers meanwhile have dropped 7 of their last 10, and are the worst road team in baseball at 16-51 away from Arlington. Shouldn’t LAA be priced higher in this one, especially after rarely using their bullpen the last two games? It looks like Sunday’s contest has trap written all over it.
How Do You Back the Rangers?
The one bright spot going for Texas in the September 5th Rangers at Angels contest is that LAA will be starting a rookie pitcher. Besides that though, there’s not a whole lot to love about Texas as the +114 underdog line doesn’t offer a tremendous amount of value either.
The Texas bats have failed the make the trip to the West Coast this weekend. The Rangers could only manage 2 runs in 7 innings against Shohei Ohtani on Friday – which is understandable – but then Jose Suarez pitched a complete game giving up just one run to Texas in Saturday’s loss. Texas should be a bit better offensively on Sunday against Janson Junk in his MLB debut, but can we count on that?
One of the big reasons Junk making his first MLB start on Sunday isn’t an automatic play on the Rangers is because they’re not exactly throwing Nolan Ryan out there themselves. Taylor Hearn (4-4, 3.96 ERA) has mostly appeared out of the bullpen the last two years, and makes just his 7th start of the season in the series finale. To his credit, Hearn has picked up the win his last two times out.
Can Angels Complete the Sweep?
LAA is trying to finish out the last month of the season on a high note, and they’ve done a solid job of that over the last few series. The Angels have split with San Diego and taken 2 of 3 from the Yankees so far on their current home stretch, and have a pretty good price at -124 considering they are 5 games above .500 at Angel Stadium this season.
The Angels used offense to get three straight wins against the Padres and Yankees, plating 24 runs over that stretch. It’s been starting pitching that has solidified the last two games though, with Ohtani and Suarez combining to throw 16 innings of three ER ball on Friday and Saturday.
Joe Maddon can hope for a quality start from Janson Junk in his MLB debut, but even if he doesn’t get it the Angels bullpen is very fresh. Junk came over from the Yankees in the Andrew Heaney trade, but is just 2-2 with a 5.27 ERA in Double A ball this season. That being said, Junk did take a perfect game into the 9th inning in his most recent start on August 27th.
September 5th Rangers at Angels Pick
Los Angeles seems like the play here, but at the same time the line is telling us to take the Rangers. LAA should be a much bigger favorite than -124 at home, especially against Texas which is the worst road team in baseball. Contrarian play on Texas.
Rangers 6 – Angels 4
Free Pick: Rangers +114