It is the middle game of this East vs. West series in the American League. Proponents of betting baseball are digesting last night’s results to see if this helps formulate an edge.
By virtue of four home runs last night, Baltimore not only won opening game of series 9-4, but is back as the leader of long balls in the junior circuit. Being able to face a Los Angeles pitcher who is not getting many people out also has to boost the Orioles confidence and in turn they are a favorite in tonight’s contest and a likely popular choice for MLB picks.
Kevin Gausman (0-1, 3.00, 1.07 WHIP) seems to have everything a power pitcher needs. He has big mid to upper 90′s heater, a curveball with excellent downward breaking action and change-up that appears to hitters like a splitter, with sinking movement that rolls out of the strike zone. At 25, he’s no longer a prospect and after several changes to delivery and going up and down to the minors since 2013, does he really have what it takes? Still winless this season, time for Gausman to elevate his game.
When Matt Shoemaker (2-5, 8.49, 1.85) at 27 broke out in 2014 to post 14-6 record with 3.01 ERA, nobody could figure out how. He was given chance only because of injury, had five innings of previous big league experience and his pitches were merely slightly above average. That season is looking more and more like an aberration and the only reason he’s with the big club is three normal starting pitchers are on the DL and he has the most experience until somebody better comes along. Not missing many bats with 42 hits allowed in 29 2/3 innings.
The O’s are fourth in the AL in scoring at 4.7 runs per game and are seventh in all of baseball in tallying runs on the road at 5.1. This club is classic Buck Showalter, depending on the home run to generate runs, but also having scrappy hitters like Nolan Reimold (.359 OBP) and Joey Rickard on the bases and coming up with key hits to drive in runs along with the big boys like Manny Machado, Mark Trumbo, Adam Jones and Chris Davis.
After a slow start, Mike Trout is being Mike Trout with .323 BA, .410 OBP and 10 homers. Other than him and Kole Calhoun (.368 OBP), the rest of the Angels offense is a bunch of .250 or worse hitters. Albert Pujols is well past his prime and his occasional ball over the fence is a reminder of what used to be. It is not a coincidence this team averages 4.0 RPG.
Betting Odds, History and Bullpen Numbers
This will be the eight conflict between these clubs in Anaheim since 2014 and Baltimore holds a 4-3 edge and the UNDER for totals has the exact same record. The MLB odds at Sports Betting have the Birds at -122 with total of 8. The Angels bullpen surrendered five runs (three earned) after the offense had come back from 4-0 deficit to tie the contest and they have slipped to sixth in ERA in the AL at 3.37. The Orioles pen on the other hand was perfect over 3 2/3 innings and they are the best in the league at 2.49.
Here are the facts. Kevin Gausman might not be in the win column yet, but backed with superior team and a great bullpen, this gives him fantastic chance to earn a W. His team of sluggers should have a very good night against a hurler who is starting only out of necessity, not because he’s earned.
Lastly, AL home underdogs with a money line of +100 or higher like the Angels, with an OBP of.320 or lower, against a starting pitcher whose WHIP is 1.30 or less, with a cold starting pitcher whose WHIP is 2.00 or higher over his last three starts, are 7-37 since 2012.
Free MLB Play – Baltimore wins