July 22nd 2014 - Posted at 3:00 PM ET
Take LA Angels (-132) on the Money Line against Baltimore Orioles risking 2%
(Santiago and Gonzalez must start)
The Baltimore Orioles and LA Angels continue their series tonight in the second game of their 3-game set. The Orioles managed to pick up a 4-2 win in Game 1 last night and widened their lead on the New York Yankees for the top spot in the competitive AL East division. They have Adam Jones to thank for two 2-run homers and will send Miguel Gonzalez to the mound tonight.
Gonzalez comes into this game making his first start in the majors since July 11th! On the road, he has been fairly poor this season going just 2-3 in 8 starts and posting an unimpressive 4.76 ERA! Gonzalez for the most part is a fly-ball pitcher, which means that he tends to "jam" hitters into popping the ball up, rather than striking them out or forcing them into putting the ball on the ground. Rust is a concern after 11 days of not pitching in the majors and being a fly-ball pitcher doesn't help in a hitter-friendly ballpark like Angel Stadium! Guys like Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols are extremely powerful and saavy hitters and could easily take that ball out of the park as they have done numerous times this season.
The LA Angels are surging towards the postseason and are chasing down Oakland for the top spot in the AL West. They are playing at a high level and their offense has been surging for awhile now. LA boasts the league's best offense, with 491 runs scored thus far this season! They are also an incredibly strong home team with a 34-17 record at Angel Stadium! The Angels are also a team that typically bounces back after a loss and has shown its character and tenacity. They are 28-11 when they have lost their previous game this season! Last night the Angels left 8 men stranded on base against Bud Norris but we believe they will be less wasteful against the Mexican Gonzalez and trouble him with a homer or two.
The Anaheim club will send Hector Santiago to the mound tonight. Santiago has been much better recently and will be keen to take his chance and show that he deserves a spot in the rotation. Being a left handed pitcher should give him and his team an edge tonight since Baltimore hasn't had much success against lefties this season. The O's have a .500 record against lefties at 13-13 while the Angels have consistently punished right-handed starters and have a 39-24 record to show for it.
Both pitchers could be somewhat of a wildcard tonight and we don't expect neither to be at their best. The Angels bullpen performs well at home however and should have an advantage over the Orioles' bullpen. They will be motivated to even up this series after dropping Game 1 last night. They have not lost consecutive games since the middle of June and will receive a boost when Erick Aybar makes his return to the lineup tonight. The Oakland A's will likely win against Houston tonight and with LA just 2 games back in the division, a loss to Baltimore would make things difficult. We expect them to give Santiago the needed run support and like the fact that we're getting them at a cheaper price than the opening odds.
Other notable facts to consider:
- The Angels are 24-7 at home when the total is set at 8 or 8.5 this season!
- The Angels rank #1 in runs scored (491) this season!
- The Angels have not lost back-to-back games in over a month!
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