On Sunday Night Baseball – the Los Angeles Dodgers are on the road at the Los Angeles Angels.
The Freeway Series, and battle for crosstown bragging rights, continues on Sunday as the Los Angeles Dodgers (48-40) travel to Angel Stadium to take on the Los Angeles Angels (45-45). Almost at the All-Star break, the Dodgers are knocking at the door of the first place Diamondbacks in the NL West as they are only 0.5 games out. The Angels, on the other hand, continue to plummet as they now sit 14.5 out in the divisional race. Regardless, the two teams have split the first two games of this series and both will look to win it outright Sunday evening. The Dodgers will send Alex Wood (5-5, 3.84 ERA) to the mound to take on the Angels’ Andrew Heaney (4-6, 3.94 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 8:08 pm ET.
The moneyline for Sunday’s game is set at the Los Angeles Dodgers -123 and the Los Angeles Angels +113. The over/under on runs scored is set at 8.5.
The Dodgers have been playing some good ball, winning five of their last six, and Alex Wood has won four in a row. On the season, Wood is 5-5 with a 3.84 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and opponents are hitting .256 against him. While he has had some rough patches at times this season, he has strung together four wins in a row, including a 17-1 route over the Pirates in his last outing. In that game, Wood went 6 innings, allowing one earned run and striking out 3. He has allowed a team leading 11 home runs in 93.2 innings pitched, but has also struck out 84 versus only 16 walks.
Offensively, the Dodgers have found a hidden gem in Max Muncy. On the season, Muncy has 20 home runs, but he has been especially hot in the last 30 days.
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In that time, he is batting .295/.471/.744 with a ridiculous 1.215 OPS. He also has 11 home runs, 15 runs batted in, scored 21 runs and has walked 26 times in that span. For the season as a whole, though, Matt Kemp has to be their biggest surprise. On the season, he is hitting .317/.355/.550 with a .905 OPS. Kemp has 15 home runs, 57 runs batted in and 39 runs scored. While many predicted the Dodgers might waive him after they acquired him in the offseason, the Dodgers brass has to be ecstatic they decided to hold onto him.
In baseball, one single player cannot carry an entire team for a season and the Angels are finding this out the hard way. Mike Trout has been unreal this year. On the season, Trout is hitting .312/.455/.630 with a 1.085 OPS. He has 25 home runs, 50 runs batted in, scored 68 runs and has more walks (78) than strikeouts (77). The problem is that the rest of the team just isn’t that good. Their pitching staff has been inconsistent, especially since Shohei Ohtani has been sidelined and their offense has sputtered outside of Trout. It seems like another one of his prime years will be wasted this season.
To win the series, the Angels will be sending to the mound Andrew Heaney. On the season, Heaney is 4-6, with a 3.94 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and opponents are hitting .237 against him. In 89 innings pitched, he has 86 strikeouts versus 26 walks. Like Alex Wood, he also leads his team in home runs given up (11). In his last start, Heaney went 7 innings, giving up 3 earned runs, but took the loss against the Mariners. The start before that, he gave up 6 earned runs to the Boston Red Sox in only 3.1 innings pitched. Needless to say, he is looking to turn it around Sunday night.
At this point the two teams just seem to be going opposite directions. The Dodgers have won five of their last six, the Angels have lost four of their last six. Alex Wood of the Dodgers has won four in a row; Andrew Heaney of the Angels has lost two in a row. The Dodgers offense has been starting to click (they have scored 36 runs in their last five games), the Angels have struggled (scored 13 in their last five). All signs point to the Dodgers being the favorite and that is what I am going to have to go with. Take the Dodgers -123.