MLB Picks 6/15 – LA Angels @ Texas Rangers
by Thomas Quaynor
The Los Angeles Angels (38-32) are on the road facing The Texas Rangers (42-25) in the finale of a 4-game series tonight on FS1. Los Angeles won the first two games and Texas picked up a 6-3 victory last night, ending a 3-game losing streak. Tonight’s pitching matchup will showcase two of the MLB’s best in Shohei Ohtani (5-2, 3.32 ERA) for Los Angeles and Nathan Eovaldi (9-2, 2.49 ERA) for Texas.
Tonight’s game will feature two of baseball’s top rookies in Los Angeles Angels 22-year-old shortstop Zach Neto (the 13th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft) and Texas Rangers power-hitting third baseman Josh Jung, the 8th overall pick in the 2019 draft. Neto spent just over nine months in the minor leagues before getting promoted to the big leagues, he’s the first 2022 draftee to make an MLB roster.
Moneyline: Los Angeles +114, Texas -134
Run Line: Los Angeles +1.5 (-182), Texas -1.5 (+150)
Run Total: over 8 (-115) under 8 (-105)
Despite possessing two of baseball’s elite players for the past 5 seasons in Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, the Angels have yet to have a winning season with them. The Angels finished 73-89 last season and have not had a winning season since 2015. Key offseason additions to the batting lineup along with the continued excellence of Trout and Ohtani have led to a turnaround for the Angels as they are in a good position to make their first postseason appearance since 2014.
The incomparable Shohei Ohtani takes the mound for Los Angeles tonight, he’s having another dominant season as a pitcher and hitter. The two-time All-Star and 2021 AL MVP leads the American League in homers with 21, he’s batting .299 and has 52 RBI. He’s one of the favorites to win his second AL MVP this year. As a pitcher, Ohtani is 5-2 with a 3.32 ERA. Ohtani is set to be a free agent after the 2023 season and it’s expected that he’ll depart for a record-setting contract with a big-name franchise such as the Dodgers, Yankees, Mets or Padres. A deep postseason run this season may convince him to re-sign with the Angels.
Ten-time All-Star and 3-time American League MVP Mike Trout is putting together another fantastic season hitting .252 with 14 homers and 37 RBI. Trout has only made the postseason once (2014) in his illustrious 12-year MLB career. This may be his best opportunity at postseason glory especially if Ohtani departs for free agency after the season.
The offseason free agent signings of right-fielder Hunter Renfroe (.239, 12 HR 33 RBI) and second baseman Brandon Drury (.256, 10 HR 31 RBI), along with the addition of 22-year-old rookie Zach Neto (.259, 6 HR 59 RBI) have played a big role in this season’s turnaround. All three players have provided some much-needed help and protection for Ohtani and Trout in the lineup. Opposing pitchers can no longer pitch around the Angels star duo and expect easy outs from the rest of the lineup.
After six consecutive losing seasons, the Texas Rangers have come out of nowhere and emerged as one of the better teams in MLB this season. They are tied for the second-best record in baseball at 42-25 and lead MLB in batting average, runs scored and run differential. Texas leads the defending World Series champion Houston Astros by 3.5 games in the American League West. The last time Texas won the division was 2016, it was also their last postseason appearance.
Leading the offensive surge for Texas is right-fielder Adolis Garcia who is hitting .255 with 15 homers and 54 RBI. Second baseman Marcus Semien (.286, 10 HR 53 RBI), catcher Jonah Heim (.280, 7 HR 46 RBI) and rookie Josh Jung (.283, 13 HR 40 RBI) are also having excellent seasons for Texas. Jung is the frontrunner to win American League Rookie of the Year.
Veteran right-hander Nathan Eovaldi gets the start tonight for Texas, he’s having a career year in his 13th MLB season sporting a 9-2 record and a 2.49 ERA. His last loss was April 12 against Kansas City. He is a strong candidate to win the 2023 Cy Young award.
Texas is the best team in the American League and have one of the best pitchers in baseball starting tonight..take Texas on the moneyline!
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