TEXAS RANGERS (87-60)
at LOS ANGELES ANGELS (81-67)
First pitch: Wednesday, 10:05 p.m. EDT
Line: Los Angeles -115, Texas +105, Total: 8
The surging Angels, winners of four of their past five games, including an 11-3 series-opening win on Tuesday, will look to make up more ground in the AL West and Wild Card against the division-leading Rangers Wednesday night.
Two southpaws will duel in this one with Derek Holland pitching for Texas and C.J. Wilson for the Angels. The Rangers enjoy facing left-handed starters with a 25-17 record (.595) against them, averaging 5.6 runs per start on offense. Holland enters this game on a hot streak with a 2.05 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in his past three starts. Overall in 2012 he has a 4.53 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 10-6 record, but he prefers pitching away from Arlington where he has a 3.77 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. Holland has not lost a start dating back to July 31. Wilson is also pitching well lately with a 2.55 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 2-0 record in his past three starts. Overall in 2012 he has a 3.73 ERA and 1.31 WHIP, working his way to a 12-9 record. Both of these pitchers sport miserable career numbers against Texas and Los Angeles respectively. With such an even pitching matchup, this game comes down to offense. The Rangers have the definite advantage with 5.1 runs per game, considerably higher the L.A.ís 4.8 runs per game overall and 4.4 runs per game in its home ballpark. The pick here is slight underdog TEXAS to prevail.
This three-star FoxSheets trend also favors the Rangers:
Play On - Road teams when the money line is +125 to -125 (TEXAS) - average offensive team (4.7 to 5.2 runs/game) against a good starter (ERA<=4.20) (AL), with an on base percentage of .300 or worse over their last 10 games. (51-25 since 1997.) (67.1%, +28.3 units. Rating = 3*).
The Rangers will be short-handed in this game without star OF Josh Hamilton, who has a sinus infection. Texas is 5-2 in Hollandís past seven starts, but Holland is 0-2 in two 2012 starts against the Angels this year. He surrendered six earned runs in 6.2 innings in both of those outings, while yielding a total of 14 hits and five home runs. Overall, he has a 5.40 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in his career against Los Angeles, with a 4-5 record (team is 4-7) in 11 career starts. Although Holland has been working deep into games lately with 7.3 innings per start his past three times out and 6.5 overall in 2012, he must be comforted to know that the Texas bullpen, with its 3.44 ERA and 83% save conversion rate is supporting him.
As bad as Holland is against the Angels, Wilson is worse against the Rangers. In four career starts he is 0-1 with a 7.27 ERA and 1.90 WHIP. All four of those starts have come in 2012, and did not pitch more than six innings in any of those outings. However, like Holland, Wilson is supported by a strong bullpen that has a 2.56 home ERA and 1.18 home WHIP. The left-hander has also been helped out by a great offense in his past five starts (all L.A. wins), as his team has scored 47 runs (9.4 per game) over this span. The Angels are 5-2 against the Rangers at home this season and 8-6 overall, but look to be outgunned in this one. Play against the favorites.