On Tuesday, Angels first baseman Albert Pujols homered for the 599th time in his career. On Wednesday, Pujols collected another milestone as he picked up his 2,874th hit. That moved him past the legendary Babe Ruth into 44th on the all-time hits list. He’ll be looking to add another milestone to his ledger on Thursday when Adalberto Mejia and the Minnesota Twins come to town.
The Twins really come into this one limping. After losing a 15-inning heartbreaker against the Tampa Bay Rays last Sunday, the Twins were promptly spanked in a three-game midweek series by the Houston Astros. Minnesota pitching surrendered a whopping 40 runs in just three games against the Astros, and their pitching staff looks generally worn down and exhausted.
That said, this is a fine get-right spot for them. Angel Stadium is more favorable for pitchers than Target Field is, and the Angels’ offense can’t hold a candle to the Astros’, especially with Mike Trout sidelined for at least the next month. Outside of an aging and not-as-effective Pujols, there really isn’t much to fear about this lineup right now. They have managed to win two of three games without Trout, but those came against the lowly Braves.
Mejia has actually pitched pretty well so far to start the season. He’s only pitched beyond the fifth inning one time, but the big left-hander hasn’t surrendered more than three runs in any of his five starts to this point. His walks have driven up his pitch counts, but Mejia has shown solid strikeout upside and shouldn’t have much issue rolling through this watered-down Anaheim lineup tonight. Vegas has the Angels’ team total set at 4.38 for this game, which is way too high. Realistically, we think it should be in the 3.6 range.
On the flip side, the Angels will be throwing Alex Meyer to the mound. While he hasn’t been great across his first five starts (5.79 ERA), he’s another guy that flashed excellent strikeout numbers in the minors. They haven’t exactly translated to the big league level quite yet, but there are some Ks sitting in this Twins lineup tonight. As a whole, Minnesota strikes out more than 22% of the time against right-handed pitching. Meyer has been far more effective against righty bats than lefty bats. Unfortunately for the Twins, no left-handed bat outside of Max Kepler is really scaring anybody from this lineup.
We don’t think either of these offenses is in a good spot tonight. These are a couple of promising young starting pitchers. As long as Minnesota’s bullpen can keep from screwing things up and melting down again, we like this game to go under the Vegas total of 8.5 runs. It’s going to be a fairly chilly night in Anaheim, which is yet another thing that should negatively impact the hitting conditions.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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