Thursday night in Anaheim, the Boston Red Sox will be going for the sweep when they play the Los Angeles Angels. What began as a series between the two best teams in the American League has been rather one-sided, with the Red Sox outscoring the Angels 19-1 over two games. The Boston Red Sox are -110 over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday.
After Thursday’s win, the Red Sox sit at 15-2, the best record in the majors. Boston is actually the first team to begin a season 15-2 since the 2003 Giants. Even with Dustin Pedroia starting the season on the DL and recently being joined by Xander Bogaerts, the Red Sox have been close to unstoppable on the season.
Meanwhile, the Angels were nearly as good early in the season. Prior to their series with the Red Sox, the Halos had won seven in a row. Their 13 wins is still tied with the Mets for the second-most in the big leagues, and despite the two losses to Boston, they hold a 1.5-game lead over the Astros atop the AL West. Nevertheless, they don’t want to get swept by the Red Sox at home in what was supposed to be an intriguing series between the best teams in the American League.
In baseball, they say you’re only as hot as your starting pitcher the next, but if that’s the case, the Red Sox should feel good about lefty Eduardo Rodriguez starting on Thursday. After starting the season on the DL, Rodriguez had a rough first start on the season, but he looked outstanding last time out, giving up one run over six innings while striking out eight against the Orioles.
Rodriguez will face a Los Angeles lineup that has cooled off recently. While the Angels figure to have a right-hand heavy lineup against Rodriguez, hitters on the Los Angeles roster are a combined 6 for 34 against Rodriguez in their career. The x-factor, of course, is Shohei Ohtani, who has hit everything early in the year and is expected to be in the DH spot despite leaving Tuesday’s start after two innings because of a blister.
Who’s the Stopper?
The Angels are hoping that Nick Tropeano can serve as their stopper and put an end to their losing before it gets to three straight games. Ohtani struggled on Tuesday because of his blister while Tyler Skaggs got lit up Wednesday night for six runs in 4.1 innings. Now it’s up to Tropeano to shut down a Boston lineup that few have been able to contain this year.
Tropeano, of course, will be making just his second start of the season and his second big league start since missing all of 2017 because of Tommy John surgery. Fortunately for the Angels, Tropeano was sharp in his first start, tossing 6.2 scoreless innings. However, keep in mind that start came against the Royals, who are a far cry from Boston’s lineup. Despite missing Pedroia and Bogaerts, the Red Sox lineup is pretty close to firing on all cylinders, as evidenced by 19 runs the past two nights.
Bust Out the Brooms
It’s tough to envision the Angels getting swept at home, but right now it’s tough to see anyone being able to stop the Red Sox. Tropeano remains a bit of a mystery so soon after his return, whereas Rodriguez looked great his last time out. Bet on the Red Sox -110 to complete the sweep of the Angels. Bet on the Boston Red Sox -110 over the Angels on Thursday.