Saturday MLB Preview – Angels at Rangers

The Angels are desperate for a win in this series and are perfect this season in tonight’s situation.

Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers

Los Angeles has dropped the first two games of a crucial four-game set in Arlington, failing to score a single run in a 1-0 defeat on Friday night to the Texas Rangers.  “I made one mistake in the first inning and it kind of cost us,” starting pitcher Joe Saunders said.  Since opening the break with a 3-0 mark, the club has dropped three straight and four of five.  “We’re still a little unsettled in a couple of areas on the offensive end,” manager Mike Scioscia said.  After plating 16 runs on 29 hits in two games versus New York, the Halos have been held to just two runs and batting .145 in the first two games of this series.  Los Angeles now trails Texas in the 2010 series 2-5, as six of the seven meetings this season have been one-run affairs.  The Angels are 3-6 after three or more consecutive losses this season (-310) and 12-8 in this situation the last three years (+320)

Angels starting pitcher Ervin Santana is 8-7 with a 3.63 ERA in 19 starts this season (-90), but the club has dropped his last three outings due to the offense offering just three runs of support.  Over that span, the right-hander has allowed six runs and 13 hits over 23.1 innings of work.  He is an even 4-4 with a 2.79 ERA in nine road starts, managing to strike out 46 batters and walk 20 in 61.1 frames.  Santana has made nine nighttime starts on the year, posting a 4-3 record and 3.96 ERA.  In 16 career outings versus the Rangers, he has posted a winning 8-6 mark despite having a lofty 6.06 ERA.  Most of his troubles against tonight’s opponent have come at Rangers Ballpark, going 3-4 with a 8.05 ERA, allowing 16 home runs in 50.1 innings.

Texas leads the AL West division by seven games for the first time since wining the division by eight games in 1999.  The Rangers have won 10 of 13 at home in Arlington against the Angels, including all four contests in 2010.  “It’s going to be huge for us to win the series,” Elvis Andrus said.  “Everybody’s excited about how great we’ve been playing right now.”  The club’s 52-31 record since April 22 is the best in the majors and the team’s 57-40 record is the third-best overall mark in the American League (+310).  Texas is 2-1 after shutting out their opponent this season and 9-13 the last three years in this spot (-280).  Playing on Saturdays has been difficult over the last three campaigns, posting a 27-39 record (-1,620), including a 7-8 mark in 2010 (-440).

Rangers starting pitcher Scott Feldman is 5-8 with a 5.48 ERA in 19 starts this season (-380), with the club snapping a three-game losing streak with him on the mound last time out.  The right-hander is 2-3 with a 4.78 ERA in 10 home starts (-260), giving up 77 hits and an opponents batting average of .321 in the process.  He is a winless 0-1 with a 5.50 ERA in three starts this month, after tallying a 3-2 mark and 4.93 ERA in six outings in June.  In 19 career outings versus the Rangers, Feldman stands at 4-5 with a 5.54 ERA, while picking up a 6-5 road defeat against them on June 29.  In that start, he surrendered five runs and nine hits in 5.2 innings.

Bettors will note the Angels being 2-0 this season (+200) and 10-4 over the last three years after being shutout (+490).  This play gains strength due to Los Angeles winning 11 of 15 games on Saturday (+720), with the total being 6-9 O/U in those games.  Texas must be respected with a 6-1 record at home with a money line of -100 to -125 (+480).

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