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MLB Series Betting – Detroit at L.A. Angels

MLB Series Betting – Detroit at L.A. Angels


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MLB Series Betting – Detroit at L.A. Angels

A delightful battle will ensue just minutes from Disneyland this weekend


2007-07-27

A delightful battle will ensue just minutes from Disneyland this weekend, with two of the three American League division leaders going head to head for three games. Neither team is playing at its best right now, meaning the team that continues to struggle this weekend may find itself without a division lead by Monday.

Detroit is off a laborious five game series in which they lost three games to two, as inept bullpen gave up two leads late to Chicago who twice won in last at bat after trailing. The Tigers with Jim Leyland at the helm will not make excuses, nevertheless facts are facts playing five games in four days and flying halfway across the country is not a great situation. One comforting aspect is even after blowing a pair of winnable games, Detroit has be best road record in baseball betting at 34-20 (+14.45 units) heading West. The Tigers despite playing exceptionally well on the road still have six more games to go on this 11-game road trip. By the completion of this extended sojourn, they will have played 18 of 21 games on the road since the All-Star break.

Los Angeles had Thursday off to reevaluate current position, having lost seven of last 10 games. The home series loss to Oakland makes it six series losses in the last eight for the Angels. The problems have become rather serious both in hitting and pitching. Ervin Santana has been shocking awful, especially on the road and was sent to Triple-A to work on location and confidence. Bartolo Colon is shelved with elbow troubles and might be done again for Los Angeles. The Angels offense still looks impressive ranked 7th overall at 4.9 runs per game, but has been stagnant recently going 14 games between home runs. The Halos still have among the best records in the majors at 32-16 playing at the Big A in Anaheim.

Detroit will hand the ball to Nate Robertson (6-7, 4.63 ERA) in the opener who has been as inconsistent as ever, routinely mixing good and bad performances start after start. Robertson is at his best when the breaking stuff is getting over, allowing him to spot the fastball and blend the change. When anyone of these three pitches is not finding the strike zone, this is when Robertson is hit hard. The left-hander is 10-23 against the money line after a Detroit loss over the last two seasons. (Tigers Record)
His mound opponent will be Jered Weaver (6-5, 3.30) who has pitched better than his record indicates. In his five losses the Angels have scored a less than grand total of 10 runs. In Weaver’s last two trips up the hill he has pitched seven innings each time, allowed two runs twice (once both were unearned) and came away with no-decisions as the bullpen turned wins into losses. His strengths are a broad assortment of pitches, moves up and down the strike zone with command and is a fierce competitor in spite of appearance. The Angels are 20-6 against the ML vs. an AL starting pitcher whose ERA is 4.70 to 5.20 over the last two seasons, fitting Robertson’s M.O. Robertson is 0-3 (Tigers 1-5) with “gadzooks” ERA of 8.13 against L.A. The Angles -140 home favorites role appears well justified.

Game 1 Edge: Angels

You certainly can’t blame manager Jim Leyland for wanting to have somebody, anybody step up in the late innings to help shutdown opponents. The Detroit bullpen has a 4.67 ERA, with 17 losses and 16 blown saves in 49 attempts. Leyland is big on accountability and never asks a player to do something they are not capable of. When he plays hunches or percentages, he believes and expects those chosen to perform. The bullpen will likely be called upon today with 22-year sensation Andrew Miller (5-3, 3.78) the starter. The Tigers are hoping he emerges as another dependable pitcher in the Justin Verlander mode. Miller uses his 6’6 frame well and is unafraid to saw off batters on either side of the dish. He still walks too many hitters as young pitchers are wont to do and has only pitched seven innings once in nine starts. Los Angeles will start Joe Saunders (4-0, 2.89) who has this unusual penchant, he just wins. Since being called up last season the 26-year old lefty is 11-3 for the Halos. With the changes in the make-up of starters, Los Angeles might finally have a left-hander to balance the staff, like Jarrod Washburn used to. Saunders mixes cutters, sinkers and running fastballs effectively. This will be on the Fox afternoon schedule and L.A. is 20-15 in day games and the Tigers 21-13. Despite Saunders being good luck charm for Angels, Detroit roasts lefty’s with 22-8 record, the highest winning percentage in baseball betting.

Game 2 Edge: Tigers

The series finale is the ESPN Sunday night game and the worldwide leader fell into a great pitching match-up. Jeremy Bonderman (10-2, 3.69) will meet the equally talented Kelvim Escobar (11-4, 2.91). Bonderman did not have his best stuff his last time out in loss to Chicago, but that has been a rare occurrence. Since May, the Tigers are 11-2 when the right-hander takes the ball. Escobar has been the most consistent starter for Mike Scioscia’s team, posting a winning record each month, as the Angels have come up winners 14 of his 19 starts. Escobar is durable also, throwing at least seven innings 68.2 percent of the time in 2007. At home Vlade Guerrero and the boys are 8-3 with Escobar on the mound.

Game 3 Edge: Angels

This series is bound to have a little electricity since both teams are certainly capable of meeting again in October. History is on the side of the Angels, as they have not lost a season series to the Tigers since 1997. (Currently trailing 3-2) They are 45-15 at home against Detroit over the last 11 seasons and they are showing signs of starting to hit again coming into the series. Not an overwhelming vote for the L.A. team that resides in Anaheim, just good enough to be the Magic Kingdom against the Tigers.

Sportsbook.com series odds: Detroit +120, L.A. Angels –150 - StatFox Edge Pick: Angels

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