With the trade deadline quickly approaching, both the Angels and Tigers could look completely different in a few days. Until then, the two teams will meet tonight in Detroit to start a three-game series. We’ll preview the series' opening game before going over why I’ll be targeting a team total bet for my play in this one.
The questions surrounding the Angels about what they will do at the deadline is one of the most interesting storylines in the MLB. Still, as the front office continues to navigate that situation, the players look to remain focused on the field. Since returning from the break, LA has won two of their three series, including their most recent one, in which they secured the series with a 7-5 win over the Pirates on Sunday.
In the win, Shohei Ohtani continued to show he cannot be affected by the off-the-field noise as he left the yard for the 36th time this season. Tonight, the team will send Griffin Canning to the mound for his 16th start. The right-hander has had a lot of ups and downs up to this point which is evident with his 4.52 ERA, but he is coming off a start in which he went 5.2 innings with 12 strikeouts and two earned runs allowed.
Unlike the Angels, the Tigers will come into this matchup after playing yesterday, as they had a makeup game with the Giants in which they won 5-1. Detroit got a big boost from Riley Greene in the game, as he has continued to swing a hot bat in the second half of the season. The young outfield went 3-4 at the plate, which gives him 11 hits over his last six games.
While Greene is an integral piece of the Tigers' future plans, Detroit’s starting pitcher tonight, Eduardo Rodriguez, could be making his last appearance in a Tigers uniform. The lefty stands to be one of the biggest trade acquisitions for a contender at the deadline, and for good reason, as he is boasting a 2.69 ERA in 83.7 innings and has racked up 21 strikeouts over his last three starts.
The Los Angeles Angels have gone over their team total in 11 of their last 15 games, and while Rodriguez might be a tough matchup, for my play in this one, I’ll be taking the Angels team total over 3.5, which is priced at (-130). The Angels' offense has continued to produce without Mike Trout in the lineup, and they have proven they can do so against high-level arms.
Over the last 30 days, the Angels rank 4th in OPS, 2nd in wOBA, and 2nd in wRC+ against left-handed pitching on the road. Even if you wanted to zoom out a bit and see their production in more at-bats, LA still ranks 6th in OPS and 5th in wRC+ against lefties both at home and on the road in 208 at-bats over the last 30 days.
LA has typically performed well when Griffin Canning is on the mound for them, as he gets an average of 6.17 runs per game in run support this season. The team has scored four or more runs in ten of his 15 starts. Even when the starters leave the game, the Angels should still be able to tack on runs since they will be taking on a Tigers bullpen with a 5.20 ERA and 4.68 FIP over the past month.
Los Angeles Angels Team Total Over 3.5 (-130)