A lot can change in a week.
At this time last week, the Los Angeles Angels appeared to be making a push to the playoffs. The Angels haven’t reached the postseason since 2014 but were closing ground in both the American League West and the wild-card standings.
Since then, the Angels have been in free fall. They lost their seventh straight game Monday night, and it was in meltdown fashion. Holding a 3-2 lead over the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the ninth, the Angels allowed six runs and lost 8-3.
The Giants took the lead when what should have been a bloop single to left got past Randal Grichuk. When Grichuk stumbled and couldn’t make a play on the ball, it turned what likely would have been a bases-loaded, one-out situation into a two-run double that gave the Giants a 4-3 lead.
That opened the flood gates as four more runs poured in before the Angels had their turn at the dish. Fittingly, the Angels went down in order in the bottom of the ninth with three straight strikeouts.
With the seven-game losing streak, the Angels have dropped to 56-58 on the year. They are now 11.5 games back in the division as the Texas Rangers’ seven-game winning streak has mirrored the Angels’ losing skid. And in the wild card, the Angels are eight games back, with four teams standing between them and the final playoff spot.
Simply put, the Angels — who invested heavily at the trade deadline to try to maximize their chance of a playoff run with Shohei Ohtani — are running out of time.
Or perhaps they can get off the mat and begin to turn things around. Game 2 of their series with the Giants is Tuesday night and trade deadline acquisition Lucas Giolito is on the mound. His first two starts in an Angels uniform have not gone well. He’s allowed 12 earned runs in just nine innings, giving up 14 hits and five home runs in the process.
Nonetheless, the Angels are slight favorites for Tuesday night’s meeting. The Angels are -115 at BetMGM while the Giants are -105.
The Giants are also fighting for a postseason berth. At 62-51, they are four games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West but also currently occupy the first wild-card spot.
What else is going on in MLB?
It’s a busy day in baseball as teams continue to jockey for positioning in the standings.
In the AL, the Baltimore Orioles open a three-game series with the Houston Astros and are +110 underdogs at home. The Minnesota Twins have won five straight and are gaining some ground atop the AL Central standings. They’re -115 on the road vs. the Detroit Tigers (-105).
Another AL team on a winning streak is the Seattle Mariners. The M’s are riding a five-game winning streak as they begin a quick two-game home set at home vs. the San Diego Padres. The Mariners are -115; the Padres are -105.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Arizona Diamondbacks are in the midst of a six-game losing streak and are fading fast in the NL West. The D-Backs are +135 home underdogs vs. the Dodgers (-160).
Women’s World Cup quarterfinals ahead
The Round of 16 of the Women’s World Cup concluded early Tuesday with Colombia topping Jamaica 1-0 and France handling Morocco 4-0.
The quarterfinals begin Thursday with Spain facing the Netherlands. Japan and Sweden square off Friday before the Australia vs. France and England vs. Colombia matchups Saturday.
For Thursday, Spain is a -110 favorite.
What's the best bet?
I'm going to roll with the Mariners at -115 over the Padres. The M's are riding hot and the Padres just continue to under-perform.
I thought the Mariners would be a much bigger favorite, so I'll gladly take them at -115.