Thursday MLB Betting Preview – Rangers at Angels

Angels starter Jered Weaver has managed just two victories at home while ranking second in the majors in strikeouts.

Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels

Texas has the second-best record in the majors and handicappers better start paying attention.  The Rangers enjoyed an outstanding June, posting the most wins and best record in the majors.  Part of this success must be attributed to the play of outfielder Josh Hamilton.  He came into Wednesday night’s contest hitting safely in a career-best 22 straight games and hitting .462 with nine home runs and 29 RBI over that span.  Those numbers have led to Hamilton batting an MLB-best .457 in June.  The Rangers have held their own against the Angels, posting wins in 13 of their last 22 games before the series started.  The Rangers are 13-6 against the AL West (+710), but have played just seven games on the road (4-3).

Rangers starting pitcher C.J. Wilson is 6-3 with a 3.35 ERA in 15 starts this season (+660), as the team has picked up victories in five straight starts with him on the hill.  The left-hander is a perfect 3-0 with a 3.09 ERA in five starts this month, but has still issued 20 walks in 32 frames.  Despite the wildness this year, Wilson has allowed just 76 hits in 96.2 innings.  He has made just six starts away from Arlington, tallying a 1-2 mark and 3.03 ERA, as opposing batters are hitting just .204 against him.  In his 29 career appearances (two starts) versus the Halos, he stands at 1-2 with a 5.59 ERA and five saves.

Los Angeles came into Wednesday’s contest a season-best nine games over .500 and will be playing the ninth game of a season-high 12-game homestand tonight.  The Halos picked up their first winning season of the month, after posting an average record of 14-15 in May and 12-12 in April.  One important betting factor for the team in 2010 is its performance during the week.  Los Angeles has managed to post a 20-23 record from Monday through Thursday compared to a fantastic 24-12 mark over the weekend (Friday-Sunday).  Manager Mike Scioscia’s club hopes to bring back the magic heading into the All-Star break, as they tallied a 19-7 record in July last year.

Angels starting pitcher Jeff Weaver is 7-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 16 starts in 2010 (+30), managing to strike out an incredible 118 batters in 101.2 innings.  His strikeout numbers this season are a drastic improvement from his 174 total in 211 frames from the prior year.  The right-hander is just 2-1 in seven home starts despite carrying a 1.96 ERA.  The Angels have dropped two of his last three starts by a single run margin.  Weaver gets set to face the Rangers for the 16th time in his career, going 4-3 with a 3.88 ERA.  He’s made just a single start against them this year, picking up a no-decision in a 8-7 loss in Texas.  In that game, he lasted a season-low 4.2 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits.

Bettors need to take notice in the Rangers 6-14 mark against teams with a winning record this season (-990).  Despite those numbers, the club must be respected against right-handed starters, bringing in a 33-20 record in 2010 (+1,010) and 149-119 mark over the last three years (+3,810).  Considering the home team has provided Weaver with just two wins at Angel Stadium, it’s not going to be hard betting against its even 13-13 record against left-handed starters (-140).

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