Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels Pick

April 4, 9:05 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Angels -150/Rangers +140

The Texas Rangers are off to a better start to this new MLB season than expected, while the Los Angeles Angels, well, not so much. But it's Los Angeles that's favored for the opener of a four-game AL West divisional series Thursday in Anaheim. Who do we like here for our free MLB pick?

MLB Betting Odds

Thursday's MLB betting odds opened Los Angeles and Harvey at around -150 over Texas and Volquez, with an over/under of eight runs. Both figures were holding steady in early betting action.

The Angels could also be found getting around +150 giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.

Rangers vs. Angels Set-Up

Texas (4-2) opened this season by taking two of three games from the Cubs, then took two of three from rival Houston, winning Wednesday's series rubber match 4-0. The Rangers beat Gerrit Cole Wednesday as +190 underdogs on the MLB betting line, after beating Justin Verlander at +200 Tuesday.

Los Angeles (1-5) opened this season by losing three of four games in Oakland, then just dropped two games in Seattle, losing Tuesday 2-1. The Angels then had Wednesday off.

Los Angeles has scored a total of just 13 runs this season, and six of those came in one game.

Last year the Angeles took the season series from the Rangers 13 games to six.

Thursday's Starting Arms

Harvey (0-0, 3.00), in his first start for his new team, held Oakland to two runs and four hits through six innings of a 6-2 Los Angeles victory at Oakland last Friday. Harvey needed 89 pitches to get 18 outs, which isn't too bad.

Last year, pitching for the Mets and Reds, Harvey finished just 7/28 on quality starts. New York went 2-2 with Harvey, Cincinnati 11-13. And the unders played 16-12 with Harvey.

This will be Harvey's first-ever start against Texas, which could give him an edge, at least for the first couple of times through the lineup.

Volquez (0-0, 9.00), in his first start for his eighth MLB team and his first appearance since Tommy John surgery, gave up four runs on six hits and four walks through just four innings of a game the Rangers eventually won 8-6 last Saturday. He needed 80 pitches to get 12 outs, which is not very good.

Volquez missed all of last season on rehab. He "earned" a spot in the Texas rotation by allowing 10 runs through 13 1/3 innings of work during Spring Training.

This will be Volquez's first start against the Angels since 2016 when he was with Kansas City.

Thursday's Batting Splits

The Rangers are batting just .195/.311/.398 against right-handed pitching this season.

Los Angeles is batting just .199/.257/.272 against RHP this season.

The Bullpens

The Texas bullpen has allowed 14 earned runs on 29 hits and 14 walks through 26 innings of work this season.

The Angeles bullpen has allowed just three ER on 14 hits and eight walks through 18 1/3 innings this season.

Totals Report

  • The overs are 4-2 in Rangers games this season.
  • The unders are 6-0 in Angels games this season.
  • The unders finished 13-6 in Rangers-Angels games last season.
  • In unders played 44-35-2 in games played at Angel Stadium last season, which averaged 8.8 total runs per.

Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels Prediction 04/04/2019

Most signs point toward Los Angeles here, and the line on this game reflects that. But Texas is off to the much better start, and hot-vs.-cold always means something when handicapping baseball. So we're going with the value here and the Rangers.

Free Pick: 
Take the Texas Rangers +140