Los Angeles Angels (Jered Weaver) vs. Texas Rangers (CJ Wilson) Preview and Pick – Betting Line

Los Angeles Angels (18-22) Jered Weaver, at Texas Rangers (21-18)
Rangers Ballpark, Arlington, Texas, 8:05 PM EST, Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

by Badger of Predictem.com

Betting Line: Angels +115/Rangers -125
Total: 8.5

The battle for early bragging rights in the American League West
continues Tuesday night with the finale of a short two-game series
between the Los Angeles Angels and the Texas Rangers in Rangers
Ballpark in Arlington.

A pair of staff aces will headline the battle when the Angels hand the ball to right-hander Jered Weaver, while the Rangers will counter with their emerging lefty C.J. Wilson.

The Rangers continue to hold a two-game lead in the AL West over
Oakland, but they increased their lead over the Angels to 3.5 games
with a 4-3 victory over them in last nights series opener. Former
Angel Darren Oliver came back to haunt his former team last night, as
the new Ranger reliever threw two scoreless innings late in the game
to preserve the Rangers lead before giving way to Neftali Feliz in
the 9th inning for Felizs ninth save of the season.

Oddsmakers opened the game with the Rangers as -130 favorites on the
overnight line, but most offshore sportsbooks have dropped the number
to -125 after early wagering at the window. The Angels are listed as
+115 underdogs on the dimeline.

The over/under total opened at 8 overnight and is still listed there at some of the sportsbooks on the Web, but a majority of them have
moved it up the hook to 8.5. One of the best sportsbooks for betting
baseball because of their reduced juice, 5Dimes, is the only house showing a 9 as their total, but it comes with heavy juice on
the under (-130ish).

Tonights pitching matchup should be a good one because Weaver is the
undisputed ace of the Angels staff, and Wilson is blossoming into one
of the Rangers best young starters after beginning his career out in
the bullpen.

Weaver is 4-2 on the season, and the Angels are 5-3 in his eight
starts, but hes alternated winning and losing every time out and
hasnt gotten a whole lot of support from his offense lately (1-2 in
last three starts). As a whole though Weaver is solid and has great
stuff and good splits (2.47 ERA, .263 OBP, 1.06 WHIP).

Hes also put up very similar numbers over his career against the AL
West rival Rangers, going 4-3 in 14 starts with very similar splits
(3.39 ERA, .291 OBP, 1.173 WHIP, .660 OPS) as the numbers hes put on
the board so far in 2010. Mike Young has the best numbers against the
righty over the years, collecting 11 hits in 41 at-bats, but all of
them are singles. Josh Hamilton, who sat out last night because of
his huge slump right now, is 5-for-15 with three doubles and a .945
OPS, and Ian Kinsler has one homerun off of Weaver, but for the most
part Weaver has kept them in check and kept them in the yard.

Wilson on the other hand has been outstanding recently, with the
Rangers going 3-0 in his last three outings despite the lefty only
getting the credit for one win on his ledger. His numbers in those
last three starts (1.17 ERA, 0.96 WHIP) are better than his numbers
for the year (1.48 ERA, 1.09 WHIP), which are certainly ace-worthy
for anybody.

Since Wilson began his big league career out in the pen, he has faced the Angels 11 times (32.2 IP) but has only made one start against
them. With the limited sample his splits against the Angels are mixed
and hard to read (1.408 WHIP, .345 OBP, .722 OPS), so take them for
what theyre worth. Its also hard to predict what will happen
tonight because nobody in the Angels everyday lineup has more than 9
at-bats against him. Torii Hunter (2-for-4, HR) and Howie Kendrick (3-
for-7, 2 2B) have had the most success, but again it is in limited

The Rangers went 11-9 against the Angels last year, including a 6-3
mark at home in Rangers Ballpark. The under, which cashed last night,
also cashed in five of those nine games in Texas last year.

The under is also 6-1 in Weavers last seven starts in Texas (8-2-1
in last 10), but the Angels have not been very successful despite his
good pitching because they have only won two of those six starts.

Badgers Pick: Both pitchers are strong and should be able to keep
the offense in check tonight, so Im playing the under of 8.5 tonight.