The Angels are hitting on all cylinders on offense and their starter Ervin Santana is coming off of back to back great starts. The injury riddled Blue Jays are starting reliever Carlos Villanueva, so take the Angels in Canada Friday.
Perhaps the hottest team in baseball will be on display Friday night when Ervin Santana and the scorching-hot Los Angeles Angels (43-33 overall, 21-16 away) take on Carlos Villanueva and the Toronto Blue Jays (38-38 overall, 19-16 home) north of the border as the teams play the second game of a four-game series from Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON Canada at 7:07 ET.MLB Pick
The money line at 5 Dimes has Los Angeles as a moderate road favorite for this contest at current odds of -117.
The Angels were in last place for much of the early season while the Texas Rangers were threatening to run away with the American League West, but they have caught fire going 25-8 in their last 33 games to move up to second place and pull within 4½ games of the Rangers.
Furthermore, the Halos are an unbelievable 14-1 in their last 15 road games after taking the series opener 9-7 here last night, and they have simply bludgeoned the opposition while winning seven of their last eight games, averaging a whopping 7.63 runs per game while batting a fantastic .355 as at team during that stretch.
Albert Pujols looks like his old self again, Mike Trout leads the American League in hitting at .345 and Mark Trumbo is coming into his own, and the fact that all are doing so simultaneously has made the Angels’ offense unstoppable lately.
In fact, as discussed in SBR Forum, the 20-year-old Trout might be the best player in the Major Leagues for the next 15 years as he has all five of the required tools and he is not fazed by being in the spotlight. All of this is not to say that the pitching has not done its part, as just like his team, Santana is starting to look like himself again after a slow start.
Yes Santana is still 4-8 with a 4.92 ERA, although he does have a good enough 1.27 WHIP, but the real story is that he has been brilliant in his last two outings, first tossing a Complete Game one-hit shutout vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks and then allowing two earned runs on just four hits in eight innings with 10 strikeouts vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers last Saturday, finally displaying the form that allowed him to post a 3.38 ERA and pitch a no-hitter last year.
The Blue Jays have now dropped to .500 and to last place in the American League East Division, as they are 8½ games behind the first place New York Yankees and now two full games behind the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox, who are tied for third place above them.
Toronto has so many injuries to its starting staff that it is giving reliever Carlos Villanueva his first start of the season tonight. Villanueva has a 3.34 ERA in 33.1 innings, but his 1.41 WHIP is high for any pitcher and especially high for a reliever.
Granted, Villanueva has started before, in fact making 13 starts for the Blue Jays last season. The results were not good though as he had a 5.13 ERA in those outings, and he is just 11-15 with a 4.94 ERA as a starter overall over his career. Making his first start of the year vs. the hottest lineup in baseball seems like a tall order in this spot.
With that in mind, look for the Angels to stay hot by winning for the 15th time in their last 16 road games on Friday.
: Angels -117