The struggling Los Angeles Angels, who have lost 13 of their past 18 games to fall out of the race in the American League West and 4.5 games out of the second wild-card spot, were both great to bettors and the book in MLB wagering last week.
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The players' two top wins were on Angels home victories Tuesday and Wednesday against Cleveland - the Halos haven't won a game since. Tuesday's game was pitcher Zack Greinke's first win as an Angel since coming over from Milwaukee before the trade deadline. Greinke still didn't pitch great but was staked to a 4-0 first-inning lead in the 9-6 victory. L.A. closed as a -189 favorite on the moneyline and took more than 91 percent of the lean. At minus-1.5 runs (+110), the Angels took almost 97 percent of the action. Greinke actually was one of the book's top player props wins of the week as he stayed under 5.5 strikeouts, finishing with five.
On Wednesday, the Angels hammered the former Fausto Carmona, 8-4, in his season debut after being suspended for falsifying his identity in his native Dominican Republic - his real name is Roberto Hernandez. Los Angeles went off as a -166 favorite and took about 87 percent of the lean, while at minus-1.5 runs (+120) L.A. took more than 90 percent.
Tampa Bay followed Cleveland into Anaheim for a four-game weekend set and pulled off a stunning sweep by outscoring the Angels a whopping 37-14. The book's biggest win of the week was on Friday's 12-3 Tampa Bay victory. Behind Cy Young leader Jered Weaver, the Angels closed as -160 favorites and got almost 88 percent of the action. At minus-1.5 runs, L.A. took almost every wager placed, nearly 99.6 percent of the lean.
Weaver allowed a career-worst nine runs on eight hits in just three innings vs. Tampa Bay and now is only 2-2 with a 4.97 ERA in his past four starts. He could be losing his grip on the AL Cy Young to the likes of Tampa Bay's David Price, Detroit's Justin Verlander or Seattle's Felix Hernandez, who threw the third perfect game in MLB this season last week. King Felix returns to the mound Tuesday night vs. Cleveland (M's opened at -200) as he looks to join Cincinnati's Johnny Vander Meer as the only players in MLB history to throw back-to-back no-hitters. Vander Meer did it in June 1938. No player has thrown multiple perfect games in his career.
Early-Week Live Betting Preview
There are two games each Tuesday and Wednesday night that will have live play-by-play betting at the book. The struggling Angels look to right the ship in their series opener in Boston on Tuesday.
L.A. is now the 13/2 fifth-favorite to win the AL pennant at the book, getting leapfrogged by Tampa Bay (6/1) after that sweep. The vastly disappointing Red Sox are down to 33/1. Now that Boston is essentially out of contention even for a wild-card spot, outfielder Carl Crawford has decided to have season-ending Tommy John surgery on Thursday. Crawford was diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow in April but had attempted to play through the injury. He hit.282 with three home runs, 19 RBIs and five steals in 31 games. Crawford probably won't be ready for spring training. Boston also remains without All-Star designated hitter David Ortiz, who has been out since July 16 with a strained right Achilles' tendon. The Red Sox are 13-19 in the 32 games that Ortiz has missed on the DL and their designated hitters haven't gone yard once in those 32. Ortiz is hoping to return by this weekend, but that seems unlikely.
Meanwhile, the Giants-Dodgers games Tuesday and Wednesday will have live betting as the teams battle for the NL West title. L.A. swept three in San Francisco when they last met July 27-29. The Giants, incidentally, were the biggest winner on a series price last week for Bovada bettors when they took two of three at -145 in San Diego over the weekend. That was San Francisco's first series since the shocking 50-game suspension to leading hitter Melky Cabrera.
The other Wednesday game featuring live betting is Braves at Nationals in a big NL East series. Atlanta and Washington have just three games against one another after Wednesday's series finale, those coming Sept. 14-16 in Atlanta. The Nats likely will have shut down ace Stephen Strasburg by then. Washington remains the favorite for the NL pennant at 5/2, with Atlanta, which leads the NL wild-card standings, at 6/1.
Check back Thursday for a weekend live betting preview at the book.
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