- After losing 3-2 on Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Angels are favored to win their rubber match with Kansas City on Wednesday (2:10 pm ET)
- The Royals used small ball on offense and strong pitching to beat a depleted Angels lineup
- Read below for a breakdown and a pick on the game
The Los Angeles Angels brought the offense in their first game against Kansas City on Monday, but will need an assist from Griffin Canning on the mound on Wednesday (2:10 pm ET).
The Angels thrashed the Royals in their first meeting this season, 10-3, but got off to a slow start on Tuesday, en route to a 3-2 loss. Los Angeles is favored in the series finale with Canning, who won his first start in 2021 against Toronto on April 8. The Royals expect to start Brad Keller, who was pulled in the second inning of his Opening Day start, and wasn’t much better his next time out.
The Angels are 6-4 overall in the last ten games between the two sides, and Keller was the starting pitcher for two of those losses going back to 2018. Canning won his only start during that stretch in May 2019.
Los Angeles Angels vs Kansas City Royals Odds
|Team||Runline||Moneyline||Total at FanDuel|
|Los Angeles Angels||-1.5 (+122)||-136||O 9 (-118)|
|Kansas City Royals||+1.5 (-146)||+118||U 9 (-104)|
Odds as of April 13th.
Angels in the Infirmary
To nobody’s surprise, Angels superstar Mike Trout is off to another strong start in 2021. However, after he hit a two-run shot on Monday night, he couldn’t spark the offense on Tuesday night, and went 1-for-5 from the plate.
— MLB (@MLB) April 13, 2021
The Angels have suffered a bit this season with the bottom of their lineup. Catcher Max Stassi had been providing a lift there, but he won’t be available on Wednesday after he injured his thumb on Monday. Juan Lagares was placed on the injured list and fellow outfielder Justin Upton was also unavailable on Tuesday.
Los Angeles managed to outhit Kansas City last night but the Royals held the lead for the entire game. In the top of the ninth with one out and runners on first and second, Trout struck out for a third time in the game and Greg Holland preserved the save for KC.
Angels Career Stats vs Keller
Royals Playing Pressure Game
With many of the regulars out on Tuesday night, Kansas City was effective in trying to manufacture runs by simply putting the ball in play. When LA’s defense shifted or backed off, Royals batters were told to take a slap or drop a bunt into space and try to beat the throw.
angels defense strikes again tonight
currently locked at 4, top of the 9th
— Nathan McComb (@NathanMcComb_) April 5, 2021
That worked early on, but isn’t a formula for getting up big on a team like the Angels that can generate power in a snap. On form, Kansas City is on the wrong side of Wednesday’s pitching matchup, but they were the top base-stealing team in the majors heading into last night’s game over their last three.
Conversely, the Angels have been one of the most error-prone defensive sides this season, have turned the second-fewest double plays, and have been below-average catching runners stealing. Without Stassi, the Royals should continue to force the Angels into mistakes.
Royals Career Stats vs Canning
Angels Rebound on Wednesday
Half of the Angels games this season have been decided by two runs or fewer, and with so many injured players, there doesn’t seem to be a convincing recipe for a bunch of runs to be scored on Wednesday.
Even though it’s hard to put much confidence in Keller — or believe that he is pitching with any — after a horrid first two appearances this season, this could be a bit of a ‘get-right’ game for him. Canning recovered in his debut this season after an ugly first inning to throw 4.1 scoreless innings before Toronto third baseman Cavan Biggio ended his day with a home run in the sixth.
Considering Keller’s struggles, it’s a reasonable expectation for Trout, youngster Shohei Ohtani or Albert Pujols to manufacture a couple of runs on their own. How many depends on whether Keller can start to pull things together in his third start.
The Pick: Los Angeles Angels Moneyline (-136)