An important American League West battle gets underway Friday, August 7, 2020, when the Los Angeles Angels (5-8) visit the Texas Rangers (3-8) to begin a three-game series. Los Angeles currently sits in third place in the AL West, four games back of first place Oakland, while Texas is at the bottom of the division and five games back of Oakland. This game will air live on FS1 at 9:05 p.m. EST.
The Los Angeles Angels just finished a three-game series win at the Seattle Mariners thanks to a pitching gem on Thursday. The series got underway Tuesday and saw Mike Trout homer, in his first at bat since coming back from paternity leave, and Andrew Heaney put together a beautiful 5.2 inning outing as the Angles went on to win 5-3. On Wednesday, a late Angels comeback came up just short as they could not overcome an early deficit and fell 7-6. The final game of the series was highlighted by a Shohei Otani home run and a Dylan Bundy complete game gem. Los Angeles would go on to win the game 6-1 and tied up the season series 3-3 with the Seattle Mariners.
Texas comes into this one on the heels of getting swept by the Oakland Athletics. The Rangers lost in heartbreaking fashion in game one as Stephen Piscotty hit the Athletics second walkoff grand slam of the season to Oakland to a 5-1 win. Oakland came back from a late deficit again in game two and came away with a 6-4 win. It was the same score line on Thursday as Oakland got the series sweep with a 6-4 victory.
Below is my pick for the Major League Baseball showdown between the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers. All odds are from BetRivers.
Los Angeles Angels (+138) at Texas Rangers (-162)
Pitching Matchup: Griffin Canning (0-1, 3.38 ERA, 12K) vs Jordan Lyles (0-1, 6.00 ERA, 3K)
Griffin Canning gets set for his third start of the season and will look to build off his last outing. Last time out, Canning held the Houston Astros to six hits and one earned run six innings of work. Canning held the Astros batters to a .250 batting average and posted a 1.31 WHIP. The 24-year-old did not have a sharp first start of the season as he took the loss in a 4.2 inning, four hit, three earned run outing against the Oakland Athletics. The talent is there for Canning, so it will be no surprise if he posts a similar performance as his last outing.
Jordan Lyles will look to rebound from a tough last start as the veteran prepares for his third appearance of 2020. Lyles started his season with a two-inning relief appearance where he held the Diamondbacks hitless, struck out two, and walked one. The righty then took the mound for his first start of 2020 against the San Francisco Giants and struggled with his command. Lyles lasted just four innings, allowed three hits, four earned runs, and walked five Giants. The 29-year-old was magnificent last season and it is only a matter of time until Lyles snaps into form.
History: The Los Angeles Angels lead the all-time series 479-453, but Texas has won the season series in three of the last four seasons.
Game Prediction: Give me the Los Angeles Angels in this series opener.
2020 MLB Picks Record: 19-10