The Texas Rangers will come out of this four-game series still clinging to first place in the American League West, but just how big of a lead they will have is very much in question. Los Angeles crept to within four games by winning a 15-8 slugfest on Monday, and the visitors send ace Jered Weaver to the mound on Tuesday. The Los Angeles Angels improved to 6-4 against Texas on the season, evening their record in Arlington at 2-2.
Both clubs have gotten solid starting pitching, ranking near the top of the American League in ERA, WHIP and several other categories, but the spotlight has been on a pair of superstar outfielders. Josh Hamilton got off to a torrid start for Texas and is still tied for the major league lead in RBIs (84) while ranking second in home runs (29). Los Angeles rookie Mike Trout is batting an AL-best .351 while establishing himself as a front-runner for Most Valuable Player honors.
Angels Rangers Betting
When: 8:05 PM ET, Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Where: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, Fox Sports West (Los Angeles), Fox Sports Houston (Texas)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels RH Jered Weaver (13-1, 2.26 ERA) vs. Rangers LH Derek Holland (7-5, 4.74)
Weaver has been largely untouchable since coming off the disabled list in late June, winning all seven of his starts while allowing just nine runs in 46 2/3 innings (four runs in 39 2/3 innings – excluding a July 15 start in New York). His only defeat came in Texas, where he was pounded for eight runs in just 3 1/3 innings on May 13. Weaver defeated Holland and the Rangers on July 20 after yielding one earned run over seven innings.
With the exception of his outstanding effort in Seattle on July 13 (7 2/3 scoreless innings), Holland has had a rough time the last couple of months. He has given up at least five runs on three occasions since May 19, surrendering a total of 30 runs in 47 1/3 innings in eight starts over that span. He was tagged for six runs in 6 2/3 innings during his July 20 defeat against Weaver in Los Angeles.
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1. Weaver is 10-7 with a 3.67 ERA in his 27 career starts against the Rangers. He has been hit hard by Texas SS Elvis Andrus, who is 22-for-51 (.431) with two home runs and five RBIs.
2. Los Angeles hitters are a combined 56-for-184 (.304) against Holland. Trout is 3-for-6 with a home run against him this season, while 1B Albert Pujols is 2-for-3.
3. The Angels have won seven road games in a row when facing left-handed starters.