C.J. Wilson and the Angels Look to Continue Domination over New York

May 6, 2014

Since 2005, the Angels are 27-13 in their last forty games against the Yankees at Angel Stadium, and I expect that domination to continue behind surging southpaw C.J. Wilson.  Wilson is 4-2 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.10 WHIP this season, including going 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA and 1.06 WHIP over his last three starts.  The 33-year-old hurler, who has thrown at least 200 innings in each of the past four seasons, has 41 strikeouts in 39 2/3-innings of work in 2014.  Wilson is also coming off his best outing of the season wherein he fired eight one-run innings against the Indians on Wednesday (8/1 K/BB rate).

“Mechanically, I got into a little bit more of a groove as the game went on,” Wilson said.  “The first couple of batters I felt good, but the ball was just kind of sailing on me a little bit.  And then as I got more into the flow of the game, I was able to keep the ball in the strike zone more often.”  Wilson owns a career 3.04 ERA against the Yankees and has given up two runs in his last fourteen innings (two starts) against New York.  Meanwhile, the Yankees’ offense continues to struggle as they are batting just .262 with a .318 on base percentage this season (4.1 runs per game), including hitting .259 with a .313 on base percentage at night (4.0 runs per game) and .242 with a .290 on base percentage over the last ten days (3.4 runs per game).

Wilson has always performed well at Angel Stadium where he was 6-4 with a 2.55 ERA and 1.13 WHIP last year (4.13 ERA an d 1.53 WHIP on the road).  I also like the fact that Wilson is supported by a solid Los Angeles bullpen that is finally living up to its potential.  In fact, Los Angeles relievers enter tonight’s game with a 2.25 ERA and 1.25 WHIP over the last seven games.  From a technical standpoint, Wilson is a profitable 42-16 (+18.5 units) as a home favorite of -125 to -175.  Wilson’s counterpart, Hiroki Kuroda, has gone 0-2 with 15 runs – 12 earned -allowed over his past three outings.  While Kuroda owned a 3.40 ERA over six seasons heading into 2014, the wheels have fallen off his bandwagon this year.

Specifically, Kuroda is 2-3 with a 5.14 ERA and 1.37 WHIP, including a 5.64 RA and 1.38 WHIP at night and a 6.61 ERA and 1.65 WHIP over his last three starts.  “I think my split was inconsistent,” Kuroda said through an interpreter. “There were some good pitches, but the ones that got hit were bad pitches. … I think right now, because the results are not there, there’s a part of me that may be thinking too much.”  In his lone start against the Angels this season, Kuroda allowed eight runs (six earned) on ten hits and two home runs in 4 2/3-innings pitched.  Over his last three outings against Los Angeles, Kuroda has yielded a combined 11 earned runs on 21 hits in 20 innings of work.  With Kuroda standing at a money-burning 9-17 (-10.4 units) at night over the last two seasons, take the Angels and invest with confidence.