The Angels have been one of the hottest teams in baseball over the past ten games, as they are 8-2 in that span and have won the first two games of their series with the Rangers. We’ll preview tonight’s game, where the Angels can secure a series win, before going over which side I’ll be backing in this one.
Owen White, one of the Rangers' top pitching prospects, made his MLB debut last night in relief, and the red-hot Angels' offense did not make a memorable one. Los Angeles got to him for three runs on four hits in his two innings of work, capped by a Hunter Renfroe two-run home run. White was not the only reliever that got hit around, though, as Jose Leclerc also allowed three runs in ⅓ of an inning.
Angels starter Jose Barria allowed three runs himself, but the Los Angeles bullpen kept it right there as five pitchers combined for no runs and just two hits allowed across 4 ⅔ innings. Since they needed to use five relievers, the Angels will need tonight’s starter Reid Detmers, to give them some length. The lefty is fresh off his first win of the season, in which he went five innings with eight strikeouts and one earned run allowed.
Detmers faces a Rangers lineup tonight that is still highly dangerous, especially at home. In five of their last seven home games, Texas has scored at least four runs, and they could have made that number six last night if they didn’t leave 25 runners on base. Outside of Corey Seager and Nathaniel Lowe’s home runs early in the game, the Rangers did not have a night at the plate baseball fans have grown accustomed to seeing this season.
As they look to set themselves up for a series split at best, the Rangers will send lefty Andrew Heaney to the mound for his 13th start. Heaney has thrown 63 innings this season and pitched to a 4.14 ERA with 65 strikeouts and 25 walks. He will enter tonight off his fourth loss of the season, as he allowed four runs in five innings against the Rays.
The Rangers are currently listed at (-130) on the moneyline, and I’ll be backing them for my play in this one. Their three-game losing streak is their second-longest losing slide of the season, and with their success against left-handed pitching, I think it will come to an end tonight.
Over the last month, the Rangers rank 3rd in wRC+, wOBA, and OPS against lefties at home, and road starts have not gone ideal for Reid Detmers this season. The Angels lefty currently has a 4.97 ERA on the road with an opponent batting average of .265 on the road. Not only do the lefty's strikeout numbers decrease on the road, but his expected FIP is currently 1.17 points higher than his current fielding independent in this spot.
Offensively, with as good as the Angels have been recently, the one area they have still not produced stellar results is against left-handed pitching on the road. Los Angeles is 26th in wOBA, 25th in wRC+, and 24th in OPS against lefties on the road over the last month. Andrew Heaney is currently in the 70th percentile in hard hit percentage and 62nd percentile in expected batting average, so as long as he can keep his command in check tonight, I like the Rangers to get a game back in the series.
Texas Rangers (-130)