Featured Video from Scott Reichel
The LA Angels meet the Texas Rangers in the first of a twin bill on Tuesday afternoon. The second game will start at 8:05pmET. This was the game that was supposed to be played on July 1 but was postponed due to the passing of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.
*(this game was written before Monday night’s result).
Angels playing well, but that’s not enough
Barring an incredible run in August, this will be a lost season for the Angels. Obviously, the tragic passing of Skaggs has put a damper on their season. But the team has basically hovered around or below the .500 mark all season. They entered Monday night at 11.5 games behind the last wild card spot. That’s after beating up on the White Sox in three of four games at home, but losing two of three to Pittsburgh. Amazingly, they are mediocre, despite having the best player in baseball. Mike Trout is having another MVP season with a .298 average, 41 homers, 96 RBI and 10 steals (.666 slugging, .444 OBP). Pitching has been an issue all season. They don’t have one starter that keeps teams up at night.
*𝑂𝑏𝑖-𝑊𝑎𝑛 𝐾𝑒𝑛𝑜𝑏𝑖 𝑣𝑜𝑖𝑐𝑒*
These are not the pitches you are looking for. pic.twitter.com/vpPx6chbfr
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) August 18, 2019
The Halos will send lefty Andrew Heaney to the mound. He is 2-3 with a 4.76 ERA and owns a 1.25 WHIP. He is coming off a solid outing against the White Sox, giving up three runs in seven innings with two dingers. But before that, had failed to go at least six innings in his previous three starts. He last faced Texas on May 26 and gave up two runs over five innings with eight strikeouts.
In a rut
The Rangers were .500 before meeting the Minnesota Twins over the weekend at home. Now they are 12.5 games behind the last wild card after getting swept in four games. Three of their four starters were rocked and Mike Minor was the only one who got past the fifth inning. It always seems to be that way for Texas, who ranks 24th in ERA (4.99), 27th in WHIP (1.45) and 18th in quality starts (45). Offensively, they are solid, averaging 5.10 runs per game (10th) with a .250 batting average (19th) and a .762 OPS (15th). They don’t have a Trout but they do have six guys with 17 homers or more.
Getting the start will be Brock Burke, a left-hander and third-round pick from Tampa Bay in 2014. The Rangers acquired him in the offseason in a three-team trade with Oakland that included infielder Jurickson Profar. Burke has suffered through blister and shoulder issues this season. He recorded a 3.18 ERA with a 50.9 percent groundball rate in 45.1 innings at the AA level. He was promoted to Triple-A Nashville earlier this month and made two starts, allowing seven runs with 12 hits in eight innings.
Update: 8/20/19: The Rangers are sending another young left-hander in Joe Palumbo, another Triple-A pitcher, who could be sent down after he pitches. Stay with the original pick.
- 0-4 last 4 home games.
- 4-10 last 14 vs. AL West.
- 4-1 last 5 overall.
- 8-2 in Heaney’s last 10 starts with four days rest.
- 7-0 last 7 opening games of a double header.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I like the Angels here, who are playing better baseball. They’ve won four of the last five in this series going into Game 1. The Angels are taking on a rookie in the first game and they should pounce on him. Heaney is a lefty, who has given the Rangers some trouble, giving up just four runs in his last two starts against them. The Angels are also playing in the memory of Skaggs, which is why this game is being made up.
Prediction: LA Angels
Full-Game Total Pick
It’s always tough on rookies making their debuts against Mike Trout and company. Heaney also has problems with the gopher ball, giving up six in his last three starts against Texas. The Angels have gone 7-0 over their last 7 games and 5-1 Over their last 6 vs. a left-handed starter. Texas is 10-3-1 Over their last 14 home games.