Angels look for series win over Braves as postseason push continues

The Los Angeles Angels are going for it.

Last week, the Angels made it known that MVP favorite Shohei Ohtani would not be traded and instead went into buyer’s mode ahead of Tuesday’s MLB trade deadline.

Over the weekend, the Angels bolstered their lineup by acquiring C.J. Cron and Randal Grichuk from the Colorado Rockies and both were in the lineup on Monday night as they topped the MLB-leading Atlanta Braves, 4-1. In the win, Grichuk launched a solo homer in the fourth while Cron added an RBI single.

The Angels, who also made moves for starting pitcher Lucas Giolito and reliever Reynaldo Lopez, have won four of their last six games and are 11-5 since the All-Star break. At 56-51, the Angels are 4.5 games back of first place in the AL West and three games back of a Wild Card spot. And with Mike Trout likely returning from a hand injury later this month, the Angels are looking to make a run to the postseason for the first time since 2014.

The Angels can continue to gain confidence with a few more strong showings in Atlanta, including Tuesday night.

The Angels, who are 5-2 on their current road trip, have lefty Patrick Sandoval on the mound opposite hard-throwing Braves righty Spencer Strider. Sandoval has been pitching well as of late, allowing a combined four earned runs in 17.1 innings over his last three starts.

The Braves, who were coming off a sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers before Monday night’s loss, are big favorites for Tuesday’s meeting. At BetMGM, the Braves are -250 on the moneyline with the Angels listed at +200.

Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani tips his helmet to a fan as he stands on third base in the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Monday, July 31, 2023, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani tips his helmet to a fan as he stands on third base in the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Monday, July 31, 2023, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

What else is going on in MLB?

Trade deadline day can always be a bit tricky for bettors. There are no afternoon games on the schedule for Tuesday, so there won’t be any players mysteriously pulled from the field in the middle of a game after being traded. But there could be sudden lineup changes or player availability as players are moved.

With that said, there are plenty of impactful series being played as we enter the month of August and the push for the postseason.

That includes an AL East series between the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays. At 65-41, the Orioles are the surprise first-place team in the East. They are currently 1.5 games up on the Tampa Bay Rays, but the Blue Jays are firmly in the wild card hunt and trying to gain ground in the divisional standings (6.5 games back). The Orioles took Game 1 of the series on Monday night and are slight underdogs (-105 at BetMGM) for Tuesday. The Jays are -115.

Elsewhere in the American League, the Houston Astros will host the Cleveland Guardians. Both teams are just out of first place in their respective divisions — Houston is a half-game back in the AL West, Cleveland is a game back in the AL Central. The Astros are -190 favorites for Tuesday’s meeting. The Guardians are +155.

In the NL West, the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks are chasing the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants are 2.5 games out of first while the D’Backs are 3.5 back following an extra-innings win over the Giants on Monday night. For Tuesday night in San Francisco, the Giants are -105 on the moneyline while the D’Backs are -115.

And in the NL Central, the Chicago Cubs are -165 favorites at home over the division-leading Cincinnati Reds, who are +140.

Women’s World Cup continues

The United States advanced to the Round of 16 despite an uninspired 0-0 draw with the Netherlands.

Group play continues early Wednesday morning stateside with four games on the schedule — Argentina vs. Sweden (-165), South Africa vs. Italy (-150), Panama vs. France (-5000) and Jamaica vs. Brazil (-450).

What’s the best bet?

I’ll take the over 7.5 runs in the Phillies vs. Marlins game. I figure the total is low because the Marlins have Sandy Alcantara on the mound, but the Phillies have had success vs. the Miami ace in recent years.

Additionally, Phillies’ lefty Ranger Suarez has been leaving a lot of balls over the middle of the plate in recent outings. The Phillies have been leaving a lot of runners on base lately as well.

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