A pair of breakout stars collide on the mound Wednesday night in Baltimore when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim take on the Orioles. These two just played a series out West last week and the Angels saw the O’s take two of three on their home diamond. The Halos look to return the favor with three games to do just that at Camden Yards.
Kevin Gausman hosts Garrett Richards in a terrific matchup between two up and coming young right-handers. Richards has been around a little longer and was considered a bit of snub for his first American League All-Star Team this year after a stellar first half. Gausman is playing in his first majority season after throwing just under 50 innings in 2013. The Angels are the small -125 favorites with the slightly more experienced Richards on the hill.
The 26-year-old Richards enters the game with an 11-3 record and an ERA of just 2.62 backed up with a WHIP a hair over 1.00. Richards uses pretty much two pitches: a blistering fastball and a hard slider to retire batters and he will have to be on his game against a particularly good Orioles offense. Richards didn’t get the chance to face Baltimore in the two teams’ last series, but he came away with just an okay start in his most recent outing against the Tigers when he allowed four runs in six innings. That shouldn’t cause much worry. Richards has been great all season and there’s no reason to think he won’t show up with another great outing in an important road game against a potential playoff opponent.
Meanwhile Kevin Gausman makes his 10th start of the season looking to continue improving and acclimating to MLB life. Gausman, the 23-year-old out of Louisiana State University, has posted a 3.67 ERA this year with a 1.41 WHIP. But he has been getting better and better of late. Gausman has allowed just one earned run in three of his last four starts. He’ll have to get over a weak home split, though. He allows almost two more runs per nine innings at Camden Yards versus every other stadium. But he has not faced the Angels yet in his career, which means he probably has the upper hand in this matchup. Not a single Angel has seen Gausman and the adjustment period could be longer than expected against an arm with so much talent. With Richards on the other side, I like the under in a great matchup between two playoff hopefuls.
Free Pick: Under 8.5 (-115)
YTD: 25-20-2 +1.88