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MLB Odds, Expert Picks & Preview: Angels vs. Rangers Betting Prediction (Thursday, September 22)

MLB Odds, Expert Picks & Preview: Angels vs. Rangers Betting Prediction (Thursday, September 22) article feature image
Credit:

Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images. Pictured: Michael Lorenzen

  • The Angels and Rangers are set for a Thursday matinee.
  • Michael Lorenzen takes the ball for the Angels and the Rangers counter with Martín Pérez.
  • D.J. James previews the matchup below and offers up his best bet.

Angels vs. Rangers Odds

Angels Odds +120
Rangers Odds -140
Over/Under 8.5 (-100/-115)
Time 2:05 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

In a battle of two below-average teams from the American League West, the Texas Rangers host the Los Angeles Angels with Martín Pérez pitching against Michael Lorenzen.

Pérez has been a godsend to the Rangers’ rotation. He has a 2.84 ERA against a 3.51 xERA. This does mean he has been pretty lucky, but his main skill is limiting barrels (93rd percentile) and hard-hit balls (77th percentile).

Lorenzen has not been very effective this season, but has also been unlucky. He has a 4.74 ERA against a 4.24 xERA and ranks in the top-half of MLB in Hard-Hit Rate and Average Exit Velocity. He is not better than Pérez, but isn’t far off from being a serviceable arm in the Angels’ rotation.

Now, the bullpens are not even. The Rangers are far better in relief, but the Angels hit lefties far better than righties. Look for Los Angeles to pull this game out.

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Los Angeles Angels: Lorenzen Should Silence Rangers

Lorenzen has a solid arsenal. He mixes in a sinker, cutter and four-seamer with a slider and changeup. He also had a sub-4.00 xERA in the past two seasons, so this season is definitely a step back. Despite that, he is a dependable arm most of the time. Upon coming back from injury, Lorenzen has a 3.38 ERA in two starts, which is much more in line with expectations.

The Rangers have three every day hitters — Nathaniel Lowe, Marcus Semien and Corey Seager — who have a xwOBA over .320 against righties in the past month.  Charlie Culberson’s xwOBA is also over .320, but he has only seen 15 pitches. Lorenzen just needs to get through the top of the Texas batting order and then it is smooth sailing.

The Angels do have a terrible bullpen with a 4.78 xFIP and a walk rate around 13% in that same timeframe. Aaron Loup and Ryan Tepera have sub-4.00 xFIPs, but the rest of the relief corps is relatively weak. Lorenzen can go five or six, so the Angels need the middle relief to perform well before they can hand it over to Loup and Tepera.

Texas Rangers: Angels Match Up Well Against Pérez

Pérez has seen an uptick in ERA in the second half, albeit not a huge one. He has a 3.12 ERA since the All-Star Break against a 2.68 ERA beforehand. He does not strike out many hitters and ranks in the bottom half of the league in walk rate.

The Angels shockingly boast a 121 wRC+ off of southpaws over the past month. They have a miniscule walk rate, but with Pérez on the hill, they just need to hit the ball. David Fletcher and Jared Walsh are on the Injured List, but Los Angeles has eight bats with a xwOBA over .325 off of lefties over the past month. This is plenty of offense to get the job done against Pérez.

The Rangers have six arms below a 4.00 xFIP. Josh Sborz is on the IL, as is Joe Barlow. The Rangers also have five lefties in the bullpen, which will provide multiple opportunities for the Angels to score later in the game.

Angels-Rangers Pick

Los Angeles is the better of the two offenses and Michael Lorenzen looks much better than he did prior to his stint on the IL. Pérez does not match up well with the Angels. If the Angels can handle the middle innings, they should win this game. Take Los Angeles at +120 and play it to -115.

Pick: Los Angeles Angels +120 | play to -115

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