Two teams headed in vastly different directions meet for a four-game series in Anaheim starting Monday. The Boston Red Sox have won four straight including a sweep of Oakland to start off their West Coast swing. The Los Angeles Angels return home on an 11-game losing streak after blowing a lead and losing by walk-off in Philadelphia on Sunday.
Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels
Monday, 06 June 2022 – 09:38 PM EDT at Angel Stadium
The Boston Red Sox continue to turn around their poor first month of the season as a hot March has continued into June. The Sox enter Anaheim on a four-game winning streak, including a three-game weekend sweep of Oakland to start their 10-game West Coast swing.
Boston reached .500 for the first time since it was 7-7 in April, and the Red Sox currently have a grip on the last Wild Card berth, with a half-game lead over the Angels and Cleveland Guardians.
The Angels, meanwhile, have seen their hot first month go up in smoke. Los Angeles returns home on an 11-game losing streak after blowing a lead and losing by walk-off in Philadelphia on Sunday. The Angels fell below .500 for the first time since they were 3-4 with Sunday’s loss.
Using up Their Buffer
On May 11, the Red Sox were nine games below .500 and in last place in the American League East, 11 and a half games out of first.
The Sox are actually a half game farther back at the moment, although they’ve climbed a spot in the AL East standings. But Boston has gone 16-7 since that day to move into contention for a postseason spot in what was shaping up to be a lost season.
“We’ve been playing good baseball the last three weeks, just grinding and using everybody,” manager Alex Cora said. “We've still got holes, but on a daily basis we feel very good about ourselves.”
The season is a marathon, though, not a sprint, and Boston will need to pace itself. Cora said he’d work in days off for all of his veteran players to help give them a little rest. J.D. Martinez was given Sunday off, and other regulars will be held out for a day during the Angels series.
Boston is also getting good reports on several injured pitchers, including Chris Sale, Hansel Robles, and James Paxton, although none will be ready to help in the immediate future.
Boston will start right-hander Michael Wacha to open the Angels series. He’s 3-1 with a 2.43 ERA and has allowed two earned runs or fewer and four or fewer hits in seven of his eight starts on the year.
Long Losing Streak
The Angels have lost 11 straight games, but none of them could have hurt as much as Sunday. Los Angeles led Philadelphia 6-2 in the eighth and pulled ahead again, 7-6 in the ninth before allowing a walk-off three-run homer by Bryson Stott. Bryce Harper tied the game in the eighth with a grand slam. The loss gave the Angels their longest losing streak since 2016.
“It’s baseball,” Trout said. “There’s going to be some good times and there’s going to be some bad times. Right now it’s just a bad time.”
The heartbreaker had additional salt in the wound, as the Angels finally were able to score runs and wasted the opportunity. Los Angeles had scored a total of three runs in its previous four games.
Trout has been part of the offensive shutdown, he’s hitless in his last 26 at bats, the longest slump of his career.
“Things will start falling,” Trout said. “Had some good at-bats today, just try to take it into tomorrow. We’re in it, obviously, on a losing streak. But we’re not going to just come in here and put our heads down. We’re going to keep grinding. Everybody is in here fighting.”
The Angels will start Noah Syndergaard for the matchup on Monday. He’s 4-3 with a 4.02 ERA. He was shelled by the Yankees in his last start, giving up five runs in 2.1 innings. That came two starts after he lasted just 0.2 innings, giving up six runs against Texas.
The Angels are due for a win, but getting the Red Sox as an underdog seems like a gift from the oddsmakers at top-rated sportsbooks. Look for Boston to keep Syndergaard’s struggles going in a high-scoring affair.
MLB Pick: Over 8.5 Runs (-125) at BetOnline
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