Rangers at Angels MLB Pick September 10
Football season is here, which means fewer and fewer people may be paying attention to the baseball regular season as it winds down. Some teams are still fighting like crazy to keep their hopes alive, while others are ready to pack their bags and get ready for the offseason. There are quite a few games with playoff implications on Monday night, but the game going down in Orange County isn’t one of them. The Texas Rangers, fresh off a 3-game sweep at the hands of the Oakland Athletics, will be visiting the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who just wrapped up a successful 7-3 road trip through Houston, Texas and Chicago.
Jaime Barria will take the mound for the Angels against veteran left-hander Mike Minor for the Rangers.
Barria has had his fair share of ups and downs thus far during his maiden voyage in the big leagues. The rookie does have a respectable 3.30 ERA on the year, but his underlying numbers suggest there’s been a good bit of fortune in that low ERA. His SIERA of 4.55 is quite a bit more pedestrian, as is his 4.66 xFIP.
Barria doesn’t miss many bats. The big right-hander carries a middling 18.7 percent strikeout rate into his outing tonight. Walks fortunately haven’t been an issue for him, and his fly ball tendencies tend to fare pretty well in his home ballpark, which is one of the more pitcher-friendly environments in all of baseball.
Barria has yielded a hard contact rate of 36.7 percent, which isn’t awful, but it’s not all that impressive, either. The youngster has also been taken deep 15 times in his 22 outings to this point. The Texas lineup he’ll be facing tonight isn’t some elite offense, but the Rangers do boast a good bit of power. Barria has actually shown some serious reverse splits, which should help him considering most of the potent hitters in the Texas lineup are left-handed. Barria has been blasted to the tune of a .368 wOBA by right-handed hitters this season, but he’s stifled lefties to a .256 wOBA. Having that edge over the likes of Joey Gallo, Rougned Odor, Shin-Soo Choo and Nomar Mazara bodes well for him tonight.
As for Minor, he has basically been the Rangers’ de facto ace. Texas’ starting rotation hasn’t been all that impressive this season, so that’s not necessarily a ringing endorsement of Minor’s overall performance. The left-hander has been solid, as evidenced by his 4.21 SIERA. Arlington isn’t an easy place to pitch your home games, so a 4.21 SIERA isn’t bad, all things considered.
He posted a 28.7 percent strikeout rate as a reliever this season, but his K numbers have predictably declined now that he’s been converted back into a starter with the Rangers. Minor’s K-rate this season is sitting at 20.8 percent, which is about league average. He has a low walk rate, which is good, but he’s a fly ball pitcher allowing hard hits at a 38.7 percent clip.
Minor has allowed 23 homers in 25 starts this season, which comes with the territory for a fly ball pitcher. His home park isn’t nearly as favorable as Barria’s as far as pitching is concerned, so Minor is getting a substantial park upgrade tonight going into the Big A.
The Angels’ lineup has weakened as the season has gone on, but Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Shohei Ohtani are still around.
The Angels got some bad news last week when it was learned that two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani will require Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow. While the injury is expected to keep him off of the pitching mound for all of the 2019 season, he’s still going to be able to swing the bat and serve as the Angels’ DH after his initial recovery. If his recent form is any indication, his injured elbow is having no negative impacts on his ability to hit the baseball. Since the calendar flipped to September, all Ohtani has done is slash .474/.565/.1.263 with 4 home runs, 10 runs batted in, a double and 2 stolen bases.
Trout had been scuffling lately, but he broke out in a big way on Saturday night against James Shields and the White Sox. Trout erupted for 5 hits in 5 at-bats, including a couple of home runs. He’s battled injuries this season, but when healthy it’s easy to see why he’s the best overall hitter in baseball. He absolutely murders left-handed pitching, and the fact that Minor is a lefty with a wide platoon split plays right into Trout’s hands.
I like this spot for the Angels in general. These are a couple of mediocre teams, but the Ranger pitching staff is in shambles and Barria’s reverse splits should help him tonight agains the lefty-heavy Texas lineup. Give me the Angels on the runline here, and I also like the over on 8 1/2 runs here tonight.
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