MLB betting (August 22): AL wild card contenders kick-off crucial series

Updated: August 21, 2017

The Angels have been battling AL wild card contenders for the past fortnight. That trend continues tonight as Los Angeles welcome the Texas Rangers to Anaheim tonight in the opener of a four-game series – also the first of 10 games between the two teams down the stretch. The Halos are tied with Minnesota for the second Wild Card spot, while Texas lie 2.5 games further back; overall record: 245-13-221, +34.17 units


MLB best of the day: Texas Rangers (61-62, 26-33 away) @ Los Angeles Angels (64-60, 33-26 home)
Where: Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, CA
When: Tuesday, August 22, 12.07pm (AET)
Starters: Cole Hamels (TEX, 8-1, 3.48 ERA), Tyler Skaggs (LAA, 1-3, 3.63 ERA)
Prices: Texas $2.30, Los Angeles $1.71, O/U 8.5

Confirmed bet: Texas WIN (one unit @ $2.30)

TIW says: There’s a chance that the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels will clash in the AL playoffs. They’re both deep in the ridiculously close wild card race, which features nine teams within seven games of each other. Neither have anything more than a mathematical chance of chasing down the Houston Astros in the AL West, so the wild card path is their only route to the postseason. The Rangers might be without two key performers when they open this important series against the Angels tonight. Third baseman Joey Gallo and right-hander Matt Bush are both in the concussion protocol.

They did not travel to Anaheim with their teammates. Gallo and Bush collided while chasing a pop-up in the eighth inning of yesterday’s 3-2 home loss to the Chicago White Sox. Gallo sustained a non-displaced nasal fracture and a swollen upper lip, while Bush bruised his right knee. Both players were due to be re-evaluated before game-time and, if cleared, could head to California for this match-up. Gallo has 35 homers, tied for second in the American League. The 23-year-old is batting .205 with 65 RBI in 113 games this season. Bush, 31, has a 3-4 record with 10 saves and a 3.04 ERA in 49 appearances.


Texas have won five of their past seven while the Angels have taken nine of their past 11. The Rangers will go with Cole Hamels in this series opener. He earned the victory over Detroit last Wednesday despite allowing four runs on eight hits with five walks in six innings. The 33-year-old has won his past four and owns a 6-1 mark with a 2.93 ERA in nine starts since the start of July. Hamels (pictured above) has faced the Angels just seven times, going 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA including one complete game. The left-hander has opposed the Angels twice this season, going 1-0 with an 0.61 ERA.

Mike Trout is just 2-for-13 career against Hamels with five strikeouts. Andrelton Simmons is an ugly 3-for-28 when facing Hamels. Tyler Skaggs will start for Los Angeles – in this three starts since returning August 5, Skaggs is 0-2 with a 2.93 ERA, including 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the Mariners on August 10. Skaggs is 2-1 with a 5.46 ERA in six career starts against the Rangers, and that includes two starts in April this year before his injury. Skaggs took a no-decision in both games, giving up six runs in 10 innings, although the Angels won each time.


Other confirmed bets

Los Angeles Dodgers @ Pittsburgh Pirates -8 (one unit @ $1.93)
Milwaukee Brewers WIN @ San Francisco Giants (one unit @ $1.85)
Boston Red Sox @ Cleveland Indians -9 (one unit @ $1.88)


Today’s other games

Minnesota Twins @ Chicago White Sox (1)
Oakland Athletics @ Baltimore Orioles
Arizona Diamondbacks @ New York Mets
Seattle Mariners @ Atlanta Braves
Minnesota Twins @ Chicago White Sox (2)


Thursday’s results: 5-0-2, +4.63 units

Philadelphia Phillies @ San Diego Padres -1.5 (two units @ $2.40) WIN (0-3)
Detroit Tigers @ Texas Rangers -1.5 (one unit @ $2.08) WIN (6-12)
Chicago White Sox @ Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (one unit @ $1.75) LOSE (4-5)
Arizona Diamondbacks @ Houston Astros -9 (one unit @ $2.12) LOSE (9-5)
Baltimore Orioles @ Seattle Mariners +9.5 (one unit @ $1.80) WIN (6-7)
St. Louis Cardinals @ Boston Red Sox -9.5 (one unit @ $1.85) WIN (4-5)
San Francisco Giants @ Miami Marlins -1.5 (one unit @ $2.10) WIN (1-8)



• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to Unibet (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Bets void if listed pitchers do not start. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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