The Angels will look to secure a series sweep tonight before getting an off day tomorrow. We’ll preview tonight’s game before going over why I’ll be targeting a team total play in this one.
It’s been a low-scoring series through the first two games, as there has been a combined seven runs scored between both teams up to this point. The Angels had nine hits and three home runs in yesterday’s game, but the true story was their pitching for the second straight night. Los Angeles shut out a talented Red Sox lineup as Griffin Canning went seven scoreless with five strikeouts, while Matt Moore and Jacob Webb closed the game out over the last two innings.
With the Angels looking for their third straight strong pitching performance, they will turn to left-hander Tyler Anderson. In eight starts and 42.7 innings, the lefty has pitched to a 5.27 ERA with 27 strikeouts and 21 walks. Anderson took the no-decision for his seventh straight start in his most recent outing, as he went five innings with two strikeouts and three earned runs allowed.
Anderson will face a Red Sox lineup that has gone cold over their past three games, as last night marked the second time they have been shut out in their past three games. Boston had just two hits in last night’s game and four in the night before, to go along with a combined 15 strikeouts in the series. Last night, their struggles at the plate wasted a strong outing from Bryan Bello, who went seven innings with just two earned runs.
Tonight Boston will hand the ball to James Paxton to make his third start of the year. In 11 innings, Paxton has a 2.45 ERA with 14 strikeouts and three walks, so his return to the Majors has gotten off to a phenomenal start. The lefty picked up his first win in his most recent start as he went six innings with five strikeouts and one earned run allowed.
The Angels F5 team total is currently set at 2.5, and I’ll be taking the over, which is priced at (+115). Los Angeles has found a lot of success against lefties when playing at home this season, and they are averaging 3.04 runs per game in the first five innings at home.
Los Angeles has the 8th-best wRC+, 7th-best wOBA, and 10th-best BAbip against left-handed pitching at home, so I think they start putting pressure on Paxton right from the first pitch. The Angels also have the second-highest hard-hit percentage against lefties at home, and they have multiple hitters that have been swinging a hot bat, including Mickey Moniak, Mike Trout, and Hunter Renfroe.
James Paxton enters tonight with a 2.46 ERA, but his expected ERA is 4.60, while his expected wOBA is .333, so he is likely headed for a bit of a regression. Additionally, Paxton has an above-league-average fly ball rate and line drive rate, and I think that is a bad mix against an Angels team that swings the bat well at home and hits lefties at an impressive clip.
Los Angeles Angels F5 Team Total Over 2.5 (+115)