Baltimore Orioles at LA Angels – 8/7/17 MLB Preview and Pick

BetAnySports Moneyline: LA Angels -124 /  Baltimore +114

BetAnySports Total Line: 9

Well, it is a barnburner of a race for the American league’s two wild-card spots, and two of the teams that are right in the thick of things are going to try to gain some ground in that race, starting Monday. The Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Angels meet up at Angel Stadium in Anaheim at 10:05 PM ET, and if you are a BetAnySports  customer, you can avail yourself of reduced juice before the game, giving you better MLB betting odds to work with, and then you can stay very much in the action with Live Betting Ultra, which lets you wager in real time.

Of these two teams, the Orioles are the ones who could still conceivably contend for division title. But time is getting short, and they are 7.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the American League East. They are 55-56, and the Angels are a half-game behind them at 55-57. So they are 2.5 and three games, respectively, behind the Kansas City Royals, who would be the second AL wild-card squad if the season ended today.

The Angels saw their bullpen blow a 10-5 lead against the Oakland A’s on Sunday, and their home record fell to 31-25. Baltimore has had its difficulties on the road, with a 20-33 mark, but they have their best starting pitcher on the mound on Monday. Dylan Bundy, the one-time phenom, will try to build on a big performance in his last outing. He is 10-8 with a 4.24 ERA. His opposition is JC Ramirez, a reliever-turned-starter who has been a godsend to the Angels, who have suffered from injuries and inefficiencies in their rotation. Ramirez is currently 10-9 with a 4.03 earned run average.

In the MLB betting odds posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Angels are the home favorite:

Los Angeles Angels (Ramirez) -124

Baltimore Orioles (Bundy) +114

Angels -1.5 Runs +160

Orioles +1.5 Runs -185

Under 9 Runs -120

Over 9 Runs +100

Bundy, who was the Gatorade High School Player of the Year as a senior with a microscopic 0.25 ERA, was like a thunderbolt coming into the minor leagues in 2012, after he had been the fourth overall pick in the draft the year before. For Delmarva in the South Atlantic League, he had a 0.00 ERA over 30 innings, striking out 40 and walking only two. Eventually he was able to elevate himself to the majors that season, getting a cup of coffee as he was already on the 40-man roster.

But injuries took their toll, and among other things, he underwent Tommy John surgery in June 2013. So he has basically been scrambling around trying to find himself. Last year he was 10-6 with a 4.02 ERA in what was his first full major league season. This year his strikeouts are down, from 8.5 per nine innings to 6.9, but he is nonetheless hanging in there. Potentially Bundy is considered one of the more talented pitchers in the major leagues, and he showed that in his last start, as he pitched eight innings of three-hit ball against the Kansas City Royals.

BetAnySports patrons have to feel for the Angels, who have not gotten much consistency out of their starting staff or their bullpen. Much of the time they have to go out there and simply outscore people, and that was difficult when Mike Trout was on the disabled list. But now he’s off, as a nine-game hitting streak, and a .462 on-base percentage. If the Angels can hang in there, in contend for wild-card spot, Trout could very well win another MVP award

Ramirez has given up only three earned runs in his last 20-2/3 innings, but manager Mike Scioscia would like to see him cut down on his walks. He was very erratic two starts ago against Cleveland, giving up six bases on balls before leaving with two outs in the seventh inning. But last time out, against a Philadelphia Phillies team that had been on an uptick, he pitched eight shutout innings and walked only two.

The Orioles are still missing JJ Hardy and Mark Trumbo (17 homers) in their lineup, and Zach Britton, who had one of the top seasons ever for closer in 2016 (0.54 ERA), has been merely human since coming off the disabled list, with his ERA climbing to 2.95. We’re going to back the Angels at what looks like a reasonable price, considering Baltimore’s record on the road and Bundy’s relative inconsistency.

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