By Charles Jay
It certainly is going to be fun watching all the contending teams battle it out down the stretch for wild-card spots in the American League. Two of those teams meet up in Anaheim on Monday night, as the Baltimore Orioles visit the Los Angeles Angels, with game time scheduled for 10:05 PM ET. If you are a BetDNA customer, you can utilize the best live betting software on the planet to make real-time wagers, and don't forget that the best parlay odds in baseball are available right there at the site.
These teams could be tighter right now; Baltimore is 55-56, while the Angels are 55-57. So they are hot on the trail of the Kansas City Royals, currently the second wild-card team in the AL. Baltimore is 2.5 games back, and the Orioles also have an outside chance to win the AL East, as they are 7.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox. They have done this without a reliable starting rotation is actually kind of amazing, but it was almost the same situation last season. Of course, the difference between last season and this season is that the Orioles had a genuine Superman coming out of the bullpen. Zach Britton shut people down, giving up just 5.1 hits per nine innings and chalking up a 0.54 ERA on his way to 47 saves. This year Britton spent two months out of action with a forearm injury, and he has not been the same. Over his last 10 1/3 innings pitched, he's allowed six earned runs. If he is not moving toward his peak, we don't give much for Baltimore's chances.
In the MLB betting odds posted on this game by the folks at BetDNA.com, home of the best live betting software on the planet, the Angels are -125 favorites, with a total of nine runs.
You almost couldn't make Dylan Bundy's story up; he won National Player of the Year honors in high school, from both Gatorade and Baseball America, as well as other organizations, and why not, with a 0.25 ERA as a senior in high school. Then he went into the South Atlantic League and pitched 30 innings without giving up in earned run. In fact, only seven men reached base against him. There seem to be no stopping him, but most veteran baseball observers know that's not an absolute, and Tommy John surgery in June 2013 set him back. Last season he finally got to be a regular member of the rotation, winning 10 games with an ERA of 4.02. He has already won ten games this season, and he is coming off one of the more encouraging efforts of his career, as he went eight innings against the Royals, giving up just three hits and no earned runs.
The guy who has probably done more with his opportunity is JC Ramirez, who has made a very difficult transition from relief pitcher to starter. He had 111 career appearances out of the bullpen, as more or less an innocuous middle relief laborer. Truth be told, this move probably saved his career, and he leads the team in wins. He is also the best pitcher in the rotation as far as ERA is concerned, and he's got eight scoreless innings of his own in his last start. But he gets wild sometimes, giving up six walks against Cleveland in the start prior to that. Does he have better stuff than Bundy? No he doesn't.
But the Angels have been playing better offensively lately, and of course it's no wonder because Mike Trout has started to hit for a little more power of late. Trout had been in a bit of a lull as far as extra-base knocks were concerned, but he's now hit in nine straight games, with three homers in his last five outings. The numbers are nothing less than tremendous – .345 batting average, .462 on base, and 1.166 OPS. Could a third MVP be in the offing? He is a difference-maker here for sure, but we think there are a few small edges, including the fact that Baltimore has a lousy 20-33 road mark. It's the Angels for us on Monday night.
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