MLB Picks - Angels vs. Diamondbacks Prediction
Los Angeles Angels at Arizona Diamondbacks
First pitch: 4:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Alex Cobb (4-2, 4.24 ERA) vs. Caleb Smith (2-2, 3.14 ERA)
Can some love please be shown for the two starting pitchers in this matchup? Apparently they’re not getting much credit for their respective resurgences in 2021.
Smith was actually inexplicably ousted from the rotation quite quickly in early April. In fact, he only lasted one start (which wasn’t even an awful outing!) before being demoted to the bullpen, where he still managed to contribute good work. He logged at least one inning during each of his ensuing 18 relief appearances and allowed no runs in two-thirds of them.
Since his rightful return to the rotation at the onset of June, Smith is looking like the pitcher that was often dominant for the Miami Marlins. In two starts — both against first-place clubs — Smith shined, yielding three runs across 10 total innings while striking out 10. People forget that if Smith didn’t get hurt late in his excellent first half of 2019, he probably would’ve been the Fish’s rep in the All-Star Game.
Now reinstalled again on the pitching staff, I don’t see Smith letting up anytime soon. He’s trending in the right direction, and with the opportunity to start again like he’s used, Smith won’t relinquish his drive.
Then there’s another starter in this affair that’s making a comeback of sorts, the 11-year veteran Cobb. Don’t be shocked at all by that 4.24 ERA next to his name.
Due to being with the lowly Baltimore Orioles last season, Cobb’s respectable 4.30 ERA in the shortened 60-game campaign went largely unnoticed. But it indicates there’s indeed still some mileage left to behold in the 33-year-old’s arm.
Reunited with manager Joe Maddon and in his first year as a Halo, Cobb is seemingly turning back the clock, churning out nice performances left and right. In fact, he’s given up more than three runs only once in eight assignments.
The most glaring note in this renaissance from Cobb has been the notable uptick in punch-outs. He’s currently registering 10.93 K/9 (!), by far the highest strikeout rate he’s ever had. His previous high was 8.41 K/9 — and that was eight years ago!
Even more impressive, though, is the terrific 2.55 FIP posted by Cobb, illustrating he’s pitched even better than his current overall numbers. That’s huge.
Being a daytime game following a night affair, we can also expect both offenses to maybe be without some regulars in the batting order. The Angels are already without Mike Trout (calf) and likely won’t have Shohei Ohtani either due to rest. Let’s take advantage of the linesmakers’ lack of respect for the two solid hurlers.
MLB Picks - Angels vs. Diamondbacks
Pick: UNDER 9 @ -110
Giants-Nationals Under 6 (Game 1)
Rangers-Dodgers Under 8
2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “38-28-3,” +6.26 units
Yesterday’s Result: Padres-Mets Under 6 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit