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    MLB Betting – Pitching Problems Harmful For Playoff Push – QuadJacks Sports Handicapping Aug. 21, 2012

    Posted by FairwayJay August 21, 2012

    LA Angels falling from playoff contention with poor pitching

     
    Savvy sports bettors know that supporting teams with strong defenses is a consistent way to earn positive and profitable results. In baseball, that means identifying teams that have strong pitching, both in the starting rotation and relief. While offense continues to get headlines and make nightly highlight reels, defense reigns supreme.

    Another example is proof positive as the L.A. Angels are going the wrong way due to poor pitching results in August. I noted in a previous blog how improved pitching was responsible for the Tampa Bay Rays‘ recent run. Despite hitting just .237 with an OPS of .695 (both # 12 in the AL), the Rays have risen to the top of the AL wild card standings and within range of the NY Yankees (4.0 games behind) for the AL East title.

    But the L.A. Angels are struggling and falling further behind after being swept in L.A. by the aforementioned Rays last weekend. The Angels’ problem is pitching, as L.A. has an MLB-worst 6.76 ERA in August and opponents are hitting .290 during the month against LAA pitching. The ebb and flow of MLB can be significant, as many were touting the Angels’ rise following a two-month stretch through the end of July in which LA pitching posted a 3.82 ERA and .253 BAA as the team surged into contention going 39-22.

    The Angels’ offense has been producing even through August, as L.A. has scored 5.2 runs per game while hitting .282 in the month of August alone. Yet the Angels are 5-13 in August while losing over 14-units in the betting market. For the season, the Angels are among the top-4 AL teams in batting average, hits, HR’s, runs scored and even stolen bases. They have some big sluggers and producers in Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo. Four times in August the offense scored 8 or more runs and lost.

    During an early-August 10-game road trip, L.A. relievers were roasted, allowing 32 runs in 27 innings with four blown saves. The Angels followed that road trip by going 3-7 on their recently completed home stand. The combination of awful starting pitching and poor relief is the defining reason as the Angels have fallen 6.0 games behind the Rays for the top wild card spot, while also trailing wild card contenders Baltimore, Oakland and Detroit. The Angels talent and proven roster is stronger than the Orioles and A’s and the Angles have a leading Cy Young candidate in Jered Weaver, but the pitching will need to make a big turnaround for L.A. to push for the playoffs and earn a post-season spot.

    The Angels have a manageable schedule down the stretch with 18 of their final 40 games against losing teams and 19 home games. But until the pitching shows more promise, the better betting option is to continue playing LAA games over the total as their recent 10-2 over/under run suggests.

    About FairwayJay

    Fairway Jay is a recognized leader and one of the sports industries insightful point spread prognosticators. Fairway Jay understands the dynamics involved in sports handicapping and betting over and above the myriad of stats to sort through to have success. You can sign up for weekly game analysis at www.fairwayjay.us & Follow on Twitter: @FairwayJay

    View all post by FairwayJay Visit author's website

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