Thursday night baseball and we will see the Los Angeles Angels take on the Texas Rangers in game 4 of their 4 game series from Ranger Stadium. The game is scheduled for an 8:05 (ET) pm start time and it will be televised live Locally. Currently the odds have Texas favored at -117, while Los Angeles is dogs of +107. The total for the game sits at 10 runs.
Free Analysis: There will be plenty of pressure on Ryan Dempster to make his first start with Texas a winning one as the Rangers try to salvage a split of their four-game series with the visiting Los Angeles Angels on Thursday. Dempster, who had the second-lowest ERA in the National League (2.25) while pitching for the Chicago Cubs, was traded to Texas on Tuesday. He will jump headfirst into an American League West pennant race which figures to go down to the wire. The Rangers are four games ahead of the Angels following their improbable 11-10 victory in 10 innings on Wednesday. The Rangers rallied from a 7-1 deficit, scoring four in the fifth, one in the eighth and one in the ninth on an Ian Kinsler homer to send the game to extra innings. The Angels scored three runs in the 10th on Chris Iannetta's solo shot and Albert Pujols' two-run homer - his second of the contest for his second straight multihomer game - but Texas rallied again. Nelson Cruz opened the bottom of the 10th with a homer and Mitch Moreland's RBI single brought the Rangers within one. Two batters later, Elvis Andrus had a game-ending two-run single to send Texas to an 11-10 victory. Dempster went 5-5 in 16 starts for the Cubs with all of his wins coming over a five-start stretch June 5-July 14 in which he threw 33 scoreless innings.Two of those victories came over AL clubs - Minnesota and Boston - and the right-hander is 4-3 with a 2.67 ERA in eight games against Junior Circuit teams since 2010. While the Angels are the only major league team he has never faced, he is plenty familiar with Pujols, a Dempster nemesis in his days with St. Louis. In 55 career at-bats against Dempster, Pujols is batting .327 with seven homers, four doubles and only two strikeouts while also walking 11 times. Dempster will be opposed by ex-Ranger'sstarter CJ Wilson tonight, who is aiming to move past a disappointing July personally. After going 5-0 with a 1.30 ERA over a seven-start stretch May 22-June 26, Wilson was 0-3 with a 4.23 ERA in six July starts. History suggests the left-hander could fare a bit better this month, as he was 7-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 11 August starts the last two years. Los Angels rookie phenom Mike Trout set an American League rookie record with 10 homers in July and tied the major league rookie mark for RBIs in July with 32 (Hal Trosky, 1934 Cleveland Indians). His RBI total was the most by a rookie in any month since Minnie Minoso drove in 32 for the Chicago White Sox in May 1951. Trout, who leads the AL with a .348 average, also scored 80 runs in his first 81 games. The last rookie to reach 80 runs in 81 or fewer games was the New York Yankees’ Joe DiMaggio in 1936 (76 games).
Free Pick:The Rangers went 9-14 (.391) in July, their lowest winning percentage for a month since going 11-18 (.379) in August 2008, but they finished the month on a high note with last night's big come from behind win and that may lead to a better month for them in August. I do like the Rangers to gain the split here behind newly acquired Ryan Dempster, who has to be excited after leaving a last place team to play for a team that has been in the WS the last 2 years. Ryan is 4-3 with a 2.67 ERA in his last 8 games vs the AL and other than facing Pujols, many of the Angel hitters have never seen him and that gives him an advantage here. CJ Wison has struggled of late with an 0-3 mark and a 4.54 ERA in his last 5 starts and you don't want to be a struggling pitcher when you're about to face this team in this park. CJ is also 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 3 starts this year vs his old team. Look for Texas to ride the momentum of last night's win to gain a split in this series.
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MLB Free Picks: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers BettingWhat baseball bettors need to know about Angels at Rangers on Thursday (8/2/12) - with Pregame.com's Bryan Leonard and host Marco D'Angelo.