The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim should continue their strong run when they host the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday. After a dismal April in which the Angels went 8-15, they’ve turned around their fortunes with a great May (18-11) and a strong start to June (8-4 through their first 12). Despite an injury to their star pitcher Jered Weaver, the club’s offence has carried them. Albert Pujols, who began the season extremely slow (.217 with no homers in April), is hot again. He hit eight home runs in May and is batting .364 to begin June. Add the emergence of super prospect Mike Trout (.341 batting average, six home runs and 16 stolen bases) and you’ve got a side who are currently difficult to beat.
D-Backs starter Trevor Cahill is certainly up to the task – he’s 4-3 with a 2.34 ERA lifetime against the Los Angeles. But Angels starter Dan Haren, who used to pitch for Arizona and as a result knows many of the hitters in the lineup, is equally keen to succeed. In the end, the Los Angeles lineup is in a groove, which should put them over the top at 1.55 against Arizona at 2.45.
Consider betting on a low scoring affair when the Chicago White Sox visit the Los Angeles Dodgers. Dodger Stadium has not been friendly to offences in 2012: it ranks twenty-fifth out of thirty ballparks in run scoring. That said, it’s not as if the two starters need too much help. The White Sox’s Chris Sale is 5-0 with a 0.98 ERA in his past five starts, and has 43 strikeouts in his most recent 36 2/3 innings pitched.
The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw is coming off a win against the Seattle Mariners in which he struck out 12 batters. Overall, the left-hander is 5-3 with a 2.65 ERA. Both of these clubs are contenders in their respective divisions so picking a winner may not be the best way to go. Instead choose under 5.5 runs at 1.95 rather than the over at 1.85.