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Orioles-Angels Battle Could Be “Wild”

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Updated: .August 7, 2017

By Charles Jay

The Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Angels have been plagued by pretty much the same thing all season, which is the lack of production out of the starting pitching staff. So maybe it is fitting that as they begin a series on Monday, the best starter for each team will take the mound, and neither one of them has an ERA under 4.00. This game will start at 10:05 PM ET at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, and customers of America’s Bookie can keep wagering after the first pitch is thrown as they take advantage of a couple of “Live Betting” options in the sportsbook interface.

The Orioles won on Sunday to bring their record to 55-56, which means they are marginal contenders in the AL East but mostly a challenger for a wild card spot. There are, of course, two wild card teams, and at the moment the New York Yankees are the top team in that queue, with the Kansas City Royals second. Baltimore is 2.5 games behind KC, while the Angels (55-57) are three games back.

JC Ramirez (10-9, 4.03 ERA), who has been something of a revelation since he was inserted into the Angels’ rotation, will be the L.A./Anaheim starter. Going for the Orioles will be Dylan Bundy (10-8, 4.24 ERA).

In the baseball betting odds posted on this contest, the Angels are laying a price at home:

Los Angeles Angels (Ramirez) -130
Baltimore Orioles (Bundy) +110

Angels -1.5 Runs +160
Orioles +1.5 Runs -180

Under 9 Runs -120
Over 9 Runs +100

Some people remember when Bundy was all the rage , as they heard about what he was doing in the “Sally” (South Atlantic) League. He broke into Single-A ball with 30 scoreless innings in which he had given up only five hits and two walks, with opponents batting just .053 against him. He made his big league debut that very season, but ultimately got derailed with Tommy John surgery and shoulder issues. He became a member of the Baltimore rotation last year and was more than serviceable (10-6, 4.02 ERA), and has shown some progress in a few areas this year, although he is striking out fewer batters (down 1.6 per nine innings from last year). There was a lot of encouragement form him last time out, as he went eight innings without giving up an earned run against Kansas City, allowing just three hits.

Ramirez was a career middle reliever, and not necessarily a successful one, until he was put into a starting role in mid-April. He has handled the transition very well, and is the most reliable starter the Angels have. He is fresh eight innings of shutout ball against Philadelphia, although there is some concern about his FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) of 4.61 being very high. He needs to cut down on walks, but the Nicaraguan native could get some offense out of this L.A. crew, which has scored 60 runs in its last nine games.

A great bullpen could save a poor starting staff, and that has not happened here. The Angels’ pen blew a five-run lead yesterday against Oakland. And Zach Britton has not approached what he did last year for the O’s. That would admittedly be hard to do, since he had a 0.54 ERA and was fourth in the Cy Young voting. He has blown up a few times since coming off the disabled list, allowing six runs in his last 10-1/3 innings of work, so he is no longer “magic” for them. With Mike Trout (1.160 OPS) as a catalyst, we like the chances of these Angels to score some runs, so we are moving with the home team, as the Charles Jay / America’s Bookie Challenge continues on Monday night.

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