Los Angeles is finally living up to its potential as the Angels have won 11 of their last thirteen home games over which time the pitching staff has garnered an impressive 2.14 ERA. Tonight’s matchup strongly favors the Angels as Josh Hamilton and Collin Cowgill are a combined 13-for-30 (.433) with three home runs against Oakland southpaw Tommy Milone. Moreover, Mike Trout is batting .386 with 17 RBIs in his last sixteen contests and has a 1.364 OPS in his last five games against the Athletics.
Los Angeles veteran Jered Weaver continues to succeed despite a precipitous drop in his fastball velocity. Weaver’s line drive rates over the last four seasons – 16%, 19%, 21% and 22% – suggest that he is being hit harder by the opposition. Despite the underlying metrics that show Weaver with a 4.35 xFIP and 4.18 SIERA (16% line drive rate in 2014), the 31-year-old is 7-4 with a 3.31 ERA and 1.15 WHIP this season. More importantly, Weaver is 4-2 with a 2.79 ERA and 1.03 WHIP at home and 6-2 with a 2.71 ERA and 1.11 WHIP at night. We also like the fact that Weaver is 11-8 with a career 2.40 ERA and 1.07 WHIP versus the Athletics, including allowing just one run in his last 13 2/3-innings at home against Oakland.
Weaver’s counterpart, 27-year-old Tommy Milone, is 3-3 with a 3.68 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 2014, although he is 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.44 WHIP on the road. Milone is a consummate soft-tosser who owns a pedestrian strikeout rate (5.9 K/9), together with a subpar fly ball rate (42%). Milone’s underlying metrics also suggest that he is nowhere as good as his peripheral ERA suggests. Specifically, Milone has a 4.65 xFIP and a 4.56 SIERA. Let’s also note that Milone owns a career 4.21 ERA and 1.42 WHIP versus the Angels, including posting a 4.42 ERA in his last three starts at Angel Stadium. The Angels are also second in the Majors in slugging percentage (.430) against left-handed pitchers.
From a technical standpoint, Weaver is 80-34 (+24.6 units) as a home favorite, 32-8 (+17.0 units) at home versus division opponents, 67-29 (+22.5 units) in home night games, 78-40 (+25.4 units) following a win and 18-5 (+12.5 units) at home in competitively-priced games (+125 to -125). The experts at Pro Edge Sports also like the following trends favoring Los Angeles:
- The Angels are 39-13 in Weaver’s L/52 home starts;
- The Angels are 52-18 in Weaver’s L/70 starts as a favorite;
- The Angels are 36-15 in Weaver’s L/51 home starts vs. teams with a winning record;
- The Angels are 11-1 in their L/12 games after the opponent scored 2 runs or less;
- The Angels are 10-3 in their L/13 games versus left-handed starters;
- Oakland is 0-6 in its L/6 games as an underdog;
- Oakland is 1-4 in Milone’s L/5 starts vs. American League West foes
Pro Edge Sports Pick: Los Angeles Angels (-127)
Pro Edge Sports Bonus Pick: Houston Astros (-121)