In the first of a three-game series between the Texas Rangers (41-39) and the Los Angeles Angels (41-39) at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-3, 2.59 ERA) and Garrett Richards (8-5, 3.54 ERA) take the mound. The game gets underway at 8:05 p.m. ET on Friday, Jul. 3 and will air on FSN-W and FSN-SW.
In his most recent outing, Gonzalez pitched 6.0 innings, giving up three runs, striking out three and walking four in a 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays. Prince Fielder (.345, 39 Rs, 12 HRs, 49 RBIs) played well again yesterday, going 2 for 3. In his pitching opportunities against the Rangers, Richards is 7-1 with a 3.34 ERA, 54 strikeouts and 18 walks. Mike Trout (.303, 57 Rs, 21 HRs, 44 RBIs, 9 SBs) went 1 for 3 Wednesday with one run, one home run, and one RBI.
Texas, a +124 underdog, will look to capitalize at home against Los Angeles. The matchup currently has a nine-run Over/Under (O/U). When playing as the underdog, the Rangers have a 35-34 record and overall money line at +1,474. They have not performed well against their division, earning an SU record of 11-20 and a 10-17 record when they were the underdog. Division games have been tough for the Rangers. Texas has only averaged 3.7 runs per game compared to its 4.3 season average. Whenever an AL West opponent shows up on the calendar, the Rangers seem to struggle with pitching. They allow an average of 4.3 runs per game, but allow 4.8 against teams from their own division.
Across the field, the Angels have a record of 25-20 when they are favored and are -53 overall with the money line. Against divisional opponents, they are 22-16 SU and have played well as the favorite with a 15-9 record. The Angels will be looking to pick it up in this one after recent offensive struggles. In their 10 most recent games, Los Angeles's run production has dropped to 2.6 runs per game, compared to 4.3 for the duration of the season. Opposing pitchers have routinely struggled to strike out the Los Angeles batters, who rank fourth in the AL with 7.1 strikeouts per road game.
The Angels have mostly come out on top against the Rangers in their previous six games this season, earning a 4-2 record. This game will feature Richards (RHP) on the mound against the Rangers, who have a 26-23 record when they take on a right-handed starter. The right-handed Gonzalez will take the mound against the Angels, who have a 30-32 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - LAA, O/U - Over
The Rangers are struggling at 11-20 in their division, while the Angels are 22-16.
Texas has won 42% (15-21) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Los Angeles has won 62% (21-13) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Rangers are coming off of a weak pitching game where they recorded four strikeouts. The Angels have a record of 5-7 when opponents' pitchers have that many strikeouts or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Rangers are 8-31. The Angels have a 9-26 record when opponents outhit them.
Texas and Los Angeles both rank in the top 10 of the league in home runs. Texas sits at eighth with 87 home runs this season and Los Angeles ranks ninth with 81.
Ranking 14th, Los Angeles is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 7.96 per game. Texas ranks in the top 10 at eighth with 8.52.
Ranking 22nd, Los Angeles is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.685). Texas ranks in the bottom half at 16th with an OPS of .718.
When the Angels allow at least one home run, they are 19-31, well-matched with the Rangers who are 20-31 when allowing at least one homer.