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July 26th 2014 - Posted at 3:00 PM ET

Take LA Angels (-115) on the Money Line against Detroit Tigers risking 2%
(Shoemaker and Verlander must start)

The Angles and Tigers collide once again in the third battle of this 4-game series. This has been a competitive series from two of the best teams in the league and fun to watch. This will no doubt be an entertaining contest but from a handicapping perspective, one team has the edge.

Even though Justin Verlander will be taking the mound for Detroit, the Tigers are no longer set up for a victory. He has lost a step over the last couple of years and is currently enduring his worst career season! He is not quite the same pitcher that won the CY Young and MVP title back in 2011. Verlander has lost some velocity and control and has become very hittable. He had previously struggled against the Angels in his career even in his prime with an ERA of 4.08 and WHIP of 1.323! He has surrendered at least three runs in 11 of his last 13 outings and has yet to keep an opponent under two runs this season! He's also issuing walks quite frequently and the Halos' success against him should continue tonight.

The Angels will counter with Matt Shoemaker who has been leaving his mark for this team thus far this season. Shoemaker has proven to be a quality prospect and has done some impressive things on the hill thus far. He has made some appearances in relief pitching, however in the starting role, he is 6-2 through 10 starts this season. He has quite the variety of pitches in his arsenal and has consistently baffled batters this season. His control has also been impressive given his 62 to 12 strikeout to walk ratio this season! Shoemaker has had only 10 starts in the Majors so his decision making hasn't been the greatest at times but he's constantly improving in that regard while his fundamental skills are solid. Detroit has been able to hit lefties hard this season but the same cannot be said about right handed pitchers. With this being the first time that they get to see him up close, we expect them to take a bit of time to get used to his style and delivery and that gives him an edge.

With the series being tied up at the moment, one would think that this is the Angels' most winnable game as Rick Porcello, who is having a stellar season will pitch opposite Hector Santiago tomorrow. If the Angels lose this game tonight, they will likely lose another home series following the series loss to Orioles. The Halos are currently chasing Oakland for the division title and need wins to catch them. They also have an East coast road trip coming up in 2 days and having to play red-hot teams like the Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays, which could prove difficult.

The LA offense is currently one of only two teams in the Majors to have scored over 500 runs! The Angels are one of the very best home teams in the league this season. They have a dominant record of 36-19 at Angels Stadium and have been able to have their way with the Tigers in this venue. In the 8 games that have been played at this stadium between these two teams, the Tigers have only been able to grab the win in just one over the last 3 seasons! Detroit seems to struggle against the Halos and we expect that to continue tonight. Not only are the Angels a bit more potent that Detroit on the offensive end; they also hold an edge on defense as well.

The Angels currently rank 3rd in DER (Defensive Efficiency Ratio) in the American League while Detroit is 12th out of 15 teams! Justin Verlander is no doubt the bigger name in this matchup. He has the past credentials and with that comes added pressure from media, fans and others to 'turn things around'. In terms of actual current performances however, these pitchers are quite similar. Shoemaker is still a relative unknown, but he has done slightly better on the mound than Verlander this season. He has regularly struck out batters and received great run support. There are numerous advantages that the Angels hold in this particular matchup and for that reason, they have the edge.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Angels are 35-13 when the total has been set at 8 or 8.5 runs this season!
  • Angels are 11-3 in their last 14 games against Detroit.
  • Angels are an impressive 17-9 against Central division clubs this season!



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