The Rangers had the day off on Thursday, but that didn't mean it was a quiet day in the AL West. The Los Angeles Angels stole all the headlines with news that they weren't trading Shohei Ohtani, then with (another) historic performance from Ohtani, then with (since relieved) worries around an Ohtani injury and a start to their work as buyers at the deadline. Quite a whirlwind.
So with all that going on and Texas back in action, we're naturally focused on the AL West for our best betting picks on Friday.
Dallas Best Bets: July 28, 2023
Tyler Maher: Padres Moneyline vs. Rangers
After an off-day to catch their breath following that crazy Astros series, the Rangers are back at it on Friday in San Diego. The star-studded Padres just can’t seem to get their act together, as they’re still five games below .500.
We shouldn’t take them lightly, though, as they’re still a dangerous team. That’s especially true with Joe Musgrove on the mound, who checks in at 9-3 with a 3.25 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in 16 starts this year.
Texas starter Dane Dunning has nearly identical numbers, though, going 8-3 with a 3.18 ERA across 102 innings.
The issue is that Dunning’s 4.18 FIP is a full run higher than his ERA, and he already seems to be coming back to earth. Over his last three starts, he has an ugly 6.32 ERA and 6.79 FIP with a .918 opponent OPS.
It’s hard to feel great about our chances on the road tonight, even if we are the better team. I think Musgrove outduels Dunning pitches San Diego to victory.
Jason Schandl: Angels Runline vs. Blue Jays
Suddenly making a bit of a surge in the AL Wild Card race (we’re not really considering them a threat to win the AL West, right?), the Angels have apparently decided that they’re buyers now. While I’m not buying that they’ll actually make a playoff run, I do think they can keep it close against the Blue Jays in this spot.
I’m not going to pick them to win with Toronto rolling out Kevin Gausman, but Lucas Giolito is making his debut for Los Angeles and that should make for a low-scoring game. Giolito sports a 3.79 ERA on the year, which points to last year’s struggles as an anomaly (he posted marks of 3.53 or lower in three straight seasons before his 2022 dud).
The Under has hit in 54.6% of the Blue Jays’ games this season and a pitcher's duel makes it hard for either team to build up a big lead.
The Angels likely lose this one, but they also likely only do so by one run.
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