Halos Welcome Tigers For First of Four

Can Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels get the better of the Detroit Tigers.

Can Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels get the better of the Detroit Tigers.

The best home team in baseball meets the best road team in baseball Thursday night as the Los Angeles Angels host the Detroit Tigers in the first of four games in Anaheim, Calif.

First pitch at Angel Stadium is scheduled for 10:05 p.m. ET.

20140723_AL_WestAfter losing two straight to the Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles (60-40, 35-18 home) salvaged a victory and avoided a sweep on Wednesday night, earning a 3-2 victory that saw the side maintain its major league-best home record.

The result also saw the Halos remain within two games of the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics.

20140723_AL_CentralAfter beginning the second half of the season by being swept at home by the Cleveland Indians, Detroit (56-42, 30-17 road) took two of three on the road against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

On Wednesday night, the Motown team thumped the D’Backs 11-5 and will look to continue the offensive onslaught when is makes the trip west to Anaheim.

With what looks to be a pitching duel on the schedule, offense might be hard to come by on Thursday night.

Max Scherzer (11-3, 3.34 ERA) takes the mound for the visiting Tigers.

After failing to record a win in his opening four games, a trait that was by no means his own fault, Scherzer has emerged as one of the American League’s best pitchers once more, winning 11 of his last 16 starts.

On Friday though he suffered something of a patchy start, allowing six hits and two runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Cleveland Indians while uncharacteristically walking four batters. The Tigers were still in a position to win after the right-hander left the game, they just didn’t get the job done. Reports after the game suggest that Schezer was almost a late scratch after suffering neck spasms. The Tigers will need the 29-year-old to stay healthy going forward.

Scherzer hasn’t given up more than two runs in five straight starts, and has only done so in seven of 20 games this season.

On April 19, Scherzer picked up his first win of the season, limiting the Angels to three hits and one run as he struck out nine in seven innings. He’ll look for a similar performance on Thursday.

  • Scherzer is 3-1 with a 2.16 ERA in five career starts against the Angels.
  • Scherzer is 0-0 with a 2.25 ERA in one career start at Angel Stadium.

The Angels will counter by sending Garrett Richards (11-2, 2.47 ERA) to the hill.

Like Scherzer, Richards is having a year to remember. Prior to recording a no decision last Friday, the 26-year-old right-hander had won five straight and seven of his last eight starts.

In his last nine starts, Richards is 7-0 with a 1.25 ERA. He’s only yielded nine runs during that stretch. That makes him a powerful weapon on an Angels’ staff that has leaked runs at times this season. In 20 starts this season, the righty has allowed just 36 runs.

The Angels will need Richards to put in another impressive performance if they’re to get by the Tigers on Thursday.

  • Richards is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in seven career games (two starts) against the Tigers.
  • Richards is 11-5 with a 3.81 ERA in 51 career games (24 starts) at Angel Stadium.
Max Scherzer will look to shackle the Angels' batters.

Max Scherzer will look to shackle the Angels’ batters.

Detroit Tigers at Los Angeles Angels odds for 07/23/2014

Los Angeles (-127) opened as the favorite over Detroit (+117) on the moneyline.

The Tigers are 13-4 over their last 17 games, but are just 2-10 in their last 12 against the Angels. That includes a 0-5 stint at Angel Stadium.

Some other trends to consider:

  • Detroit is 34-25 in night games
  • Los Angeles is 44-30 in night games
  • Detroit is 16-11 vs. AL West opponents
  • Los Angeles is 16-8 vs. AL East opponents
  • Detroit is 35-32 vs. right-handed pitching
  • Los Angeles is 40-26 vs. right-handed pitching
  • Detroit is 11-8 in the month of July
  • Los Angeles is 15-5 in the month of July

The total opened at 7.

The total has gone under in seven of Detroit’s last 10 and five of Los Angeles’ last six. The under has also paid out in three of the last four head-to-head meetings.

With two premium pitchers on the mound, this is looking like a game to back the under.

*****

The four-game series continues over the weekend with the following start times: Friday, 10:05 p.m. ET; Saturday, 9:05 p.m. ET; Sunday, 3:35 p.m. ET.

*****

For a full list of today’s Major League Baseball odds, click here.

For MLB Futures odds, courtesy of Bovada, click here.

For team prop bets, click here.

For player prop bets, click here.

  • 100%