MLB Predictions 2012: Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels

The Texas Rangers (55-37) and Los Angeles Angels (51-43) will continue a three-game American League West series on Saturday afternoon at Angel Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 4:05 ET on FOX

Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels

The Texas Rangers have lost their last five games against divisional foes with starting pitcher Yu Darvish on the mound

Texas suffered a 6-1 defeat in the season opener against Los Angeles on Friday night, going 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.  “The difference in the game was hitting with runners on base,” commented Rangers manager Ron Washington.  “They did and we didn’t.”  The Rangers are now an even 16-16 against division rivals this year, dropping 15 of their last 24 in that situation.  Texas is 10-10 as a road favorite of -125 to -150, with the “under” going 11-9 in that situation.

Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish (10-6, 3.96 ERA) has dropped back-to-back starts, including a 7-0 road loss to the Seattle Mariners last time out, giving up seven runs and eight hits over 6.1 frames.  The right-hander is 3-5 with a 4.42 ERA in nine road outings, issuing 37 walks and striking out 57 batters in 55 innings.  In two career starts versus the Angels, Darvish has collected a 1-1 record and 3.86 ERA, including a 3-2 loss at this ballpark on June 2.

Los Angeles need last night’s win in a big way, coming home after a disappointing 2-5 road trip, which came directly after a 17-9 mark in June.  “Every game in this last stretch is going to be big,” commented Angels rookie outfielder Mike Trout.  He continues to play like a gritty veteran, hitting his 15th home run of the year, while Mark Trumbo crushed his 27th big fly of the season in the series-opening victory.  Los Angeles has won both of its games as a home underdog of +100 to +125.

Angels starting pitcher Ervin Santana (4-9, 5.60 ERA) has watched the club drop his last four starts, getting outscored by a 30-15 margin over that span.  The right-hander is 2-5 with a 4.25 ERA in eight home outings, but opposing hitters are batting just .196 against him in that situation.  In 24 career starts versus the Rangers, Santana has registered a 12-9 record and 5.53 ERA, including a 1-2 mark and 5.96 ERA in four efforts a year ago.

Sports bettors will likely back the Angels due to their 10-3 record in Santana’s last 13 starts as a home underdog, while the Rangers are 0-5 in Darvish’s last five efforts against division opponents.

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