Fresh off a huge sweep of the Seattle Mariners over the weekend, the AL West-leading Texas Rangers (87-68) now hit the road to start a three-game set against the Los Angeles Angels (70-86). First pitch from Angel Stadium is slated for 9:38 p.m. ET. Jon Gray (8-8, 4.22 ERA) will get the ball for the visitors, while the Halos counter with lefty Patrick Sandoval (7-13, 4.19).
Texas hasn’t clinched a playoff spot just yet, but it would have to take a massive collapse and some pretty wild other things to happen for them to miss out — the Rangers now lead the AL West (and the race for the third Wild Card spot as well) by 2.5 games over the Astros and 3.0 over the Mariners. As you might have heard by now, the Angels — despite having two of the best players in the world — will not be playing postseason baseball this season.
The road team’s got the moneyline edge at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Rangers at -185 and L.A. at +154. The run total is set at 9.
Rangers-Angels picks: Monday, September 25
Out: SP Max Scherzer (shoulder)
Out: OF Mike Trout (wrist), SP Chase Silseth (concussion), 1B C.J. Cron (back), SP Tyler Anderson (knee), INF Kyren Paris (thumb), OF Mickey Moniak (back), DH/SP Shohei Ohtani (oblique/elbow), RP Aaron Loup (shoulder)
Jon Gray vs. Patrick Sandoval
Gray has been solid so far for Texas in 2023, posting an 8-8 record and an ERA of just 4.22. But over his last seven starts he has struggled a bit: In that span he’s posted an 0-3 record and given up 22 earned runs in just 30 innings. (His ERA is 6.46 in that stretch.) In each of his last three starts, he has failed to make it out of the fourth inning.
Sandoval has posted a 7-13 mark this year for L.A. and has an ERA of 4.19 for the season. Just like Gray, he hasn’t had a great time over his last seven starts, either. In that span, he’s got an ERA of 5.34 and a 1-5 record. He’s made it through the fifth inning in his last three starts though, something Gray hasn’t been able to do. In his last 32 innings tossed, he’s allowed 19 earned runs and 34 total runs, so it’s safe to say the guys behind him aren’t helping out too much.
With these two pitchers on the mound and the staggering difference between the earned run and total run average given up by L.A. when Sandoval is starting, the over seems like the safe bet here — especially given Texas’ offensive outburst this past weekend.
Pick: Over 9
Gray has been less than stellar for the Rangers in his recent outings, but the good news for Texas is that the team they’re playing has been pretty awful all season. The Angels have won just two of their last 10 games and only nine of their last 30. The Rangers are rounding into form at just the right time, so they should make easy work of Los Angeles here.
Pick: Rangers -185