Date/Time: August 12th, 7:05 PM ET
Probable Starters: Richards (Los Angeles) vs. Kuroda (New York)
Moneyline: Yankees -145
There was a time that the Los Angeles Angels and the New York Yankees were considered two of the favorites on the odds to win the American League. Now, both are just considered overpaid monstrosities that need to be blown up. The two will meet in the first of four games on Monday night in a telecast that will be seen live on ESPN.
The Halos have OF Mike Trout… and that’s about it. Trout is doing his thing for the second straight season, as he is literally carrying this lineup to everything that is good about it. The rest of the team? Forget about it. 1B Albert Pujols is hurt and is batting just .258, OF Josh Hamilton is batting just .221 with an OPS of .683, and the pitching staff is one of the worst in the American League. Manager Mike Scioscia has to be a dead man walking at this point. He’s going to be calling upon RHP Garrett Richards for the eighth time as a starting pitcher on Monday night. Richards is 3-4 with a 4.20 ERA, but his time is split between the bullpen, where he has 30 appearances, and as a starter, which he has been used seven times. Richards has allowed just five runs over 18 innings in his last three starts, but of course, thanks to the ineptness of the LA offense, the team has managed just a 1-2 record in those games.
RHP Mariano Rivera has made some personal history, and it’s not the type of history that he wants to make. The surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer has now blown three consecutive saves for the first time ever, and he is going to really want to get back out there to put one in the save column for the Bronx Bombers in a hurry. That said, the team did put together what could be a season-saving series win against the Detroit Tigers this weekend, and this series clearly is an opportunity to win some games and get back in the thick of the fight. RHP Hiroki Kuroda is going to be dealing on Monday, and he has guided the team to a 13-10 record in his 23 starts this year. Kuroda is 17-4-2 for ‘under’ bettors more importantly, and his splits are excellent. The righty is 10-7 with a 2.45 ERA, and if he had a bit more help, he would be a Cy Young candidate this year with numbers like that.
It almost seems insulting that the Yankees are not even -150 favorites in this game on the MLB odds. We really like what we are seeing out of them after that series against Detroit, and as we said earlier, this could be moving week. A four-game sweep would go a long way towards getting back in the fight with the Baltimore Orioles and the likes for that last playoff spot, and we think that New York is at least going to get back in the discussion.
Los Angeles Angels @ New York Yankees Pick: New York Yankees -145
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.