Matchup: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Baltimore Orioles
Date/Time: July 30, 7:05 p.m., ET
Probable Starters: LAA: Garrett Richards (11-3, 2.62) v. BAL: Kevin Gausman (4-3, 3.67)
Moneyline: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim -122
Total: 8.5 -+105/-125
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are in a great position to be the top Wild Card in the American League in two months time, but they still have their sights set on dethroning the Oakland A’s in the AL West. The Baltimore Orioles, meanwhile, are hoping to put some distance between them and the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East. Wednesday’s game between the Angels and Orioles is the ESPN Wednesday Night Baseball Game of the Week and the middle game of a very important three-game series for both teams. The Orioles won by a score of 7-6 in 12 innings thanks to Manny Machado’s walk-off home run on Tuesday night and the Orioles maintained their 2.5-game lead in the AL East.
AL All-Star snub Garrett Richards had the opportunity to exact some revenge against All-Star Max Scherzer and the Tigers in his last start, but he struggled over six innings with four runs allowed on seven hits. That outing snapped a string of nine straight quality starts for Richards, who allowed five runs in his May 30 start against Oakland and failed to get through the first inning. Prior to that start against the Tigers, Richards had a 7-0 record and a 1.25 ERA in the nine starts in between. The Angels were 8-1 in his nine starts over that span.
The Orioles will counter with Kevin Gausman. The former top prospect has bounced back and forth between the Majors and Triple-A this season. As a Major Leaguer, he’s 4-3 with a 3.67 ERA in nine starts and as a minor leaguer he’s 1-3 with a 3.32 ERA in 11 starts. He’s been mostly a regular in the Baltimore rotation since early June and has a 3.43 ERA over 21 innings in the month of July. One concern for the Orioles is that Gausman is only averaging 5.1 innings per start, though he does have a rain-shortened complete game. Gausman has been a “feast or famine” pitcher with zero or one earned run allowed in six of his nine starts, but five earned runs allowed in each of the other three.
Richards will be starting against the Orioles for the second time in his career, but it will be his sixth total appearance. The start, which occurred back in 2012, was not a good one, as he allowed seven runs on 10 hits in 4.1 innings. He has also allowed two runs in 4.2 innings of relief. The Angels are 15-6 in Richards’s 21 starts for a profit of 7.93 units, making him the eighth-most profitable pitcher this season.
Gausman will be facing the Angels for the first time in his career. Camden Yards has not been kind to Gausman this year with a 4.33 ERA at home over 27 innings compared to a 2.86 ERA in 22 road innings. The Orioles are 6-3 in Gausman’s nine starts for a profit of 4.05 units.
Free MLB Pick: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Angels have the American League’s second-best record against left-handed starters at 21-14. The Angels, who had been plagued by bullpen inconsistency, have found a working formula in the late innings. Over the previous 21 games prior to Tuesday night, the Angels pen had a MLB-best ERA of 1.78. If this is a close game, the Angels have been getting good relief pitching and Richards has been their best and most consistent starting pitcher this season.
Adam Burke is a freelance writer and amateur handicapper with a knack for finding value through matchup analysis and a deep understanding of the sports betting market. His main area of expertise is baseball, with a background in sabermetrics and advanced statistics. He is the host of The Gridiron Gambling Report and our college football and college basketball BangTheBook.com podcasts on the BlogTalkRadio Network.