The Rangers and Angels are separated by five games in the A.L. West Division standings heading into their 4-game series opener on Thursday night in Texas. The set is clearly more critical for the trailing Angels, as anything but a series win will leave them continuing to play catch-up for next near future. They will send ace Jered Weaver to the hill on Thursday night, but he is a hefty +155 underdog to Cliff Lee, according to Sports.com. Basketball Betting Lines. Let’s take a look at this key showdown.
Weaver probably isn’t as worried about squaring off with a fellow ace as he is having to pitch in Texas. He has had trouble regardless of who is pitching for the Rangers. His team will look to avoid losing their seventh straight game started by Weaver at Texas on Thursday night. The right-hander has a 6.17 ERA during that stretch, surrendering seven runs in two of his last three outings. Scores
This four-game series gives three-time reigning division champion Los Angeles (51-46) a chance to cut into Texas’ five-game lead.
“It’s huge,” Weaver (9-5, 3.16 ERA) told the Angels’ official website. “We’ve been sitting four, five games back for a while now. … When you’re playing those guys, you pick up a game or lose one. Simple as that.”
Lee, meanwhile, has won four straight starts versus the Angels, posting a 1.91 ERA, and is 6-3 with a 3.18 ERA in nine outings against them all-time.
Lee is facing an Angels team that is hitting .329 while averaging 5.8 runs over its last six games. Los Angeles had 15 hits against New York on Wednesday, but still lost 10-6. Baseball Scores
Today’s top StatFox betting system favors the host Rangers at -165:
Play On – All favorites with a money line of -150 or more (TEXAS) – allowing 4.7 or less runs/game on the season (AL) against opponent starting a pitcher who did not walk a hitter last outing. (102-29 over the last 5 seasons.) (77.9%, +52.3 units. Rating = 3*)
There is also good reason to believe that the offenses will take center stage, rather than the pitchers:
Play Over – All teams where the total is 8 to 8.5 (TEXAS) – with a starting pitcher whose WHIP is 1.100 or better on the season-AL, with a rested bullpen – threw <= 2 innings in each of the last 2 games. (43-12 over the last 5 seasons.) (78.2%, +30.4 units. Rating = 4*)
Texas has been solid the last couple of years against its toughest opposing pitchers, going 15-4 (+13.6 Units) against the money line vs. an AL starting pitcher whose WHIP is 1.100 or better over the last 2 seasons. The average score was TEXAS 5.3, OPPONENT 4.0 – (Rating = 2*). On top of that, Cliff Lee is on a 15-2 (+11.7 units) surge as a home favorite of -150 to -175. Of course, that has come with four different teams.
Perhaps the only blemish on the Rangers scorecard heading into tonight’s key game is that they are just 3-7 at home this month. Baseball Spreads
The Angels took two of three from Texas the last time these teams met at the end of June.
The StatFox Power Line indicates the Rangers hold value all the way up to -176. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 PM ET from Arlington.