The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are back to their winning ways as Cody Allen thwarted the Chicago Cubs’ comeback attempt in the 9th inning to seal a 6-5 win on Saturday at Wrigley Field.
The Angels, who saw their six-game winning streak snapped on Friday, opened Game 2 of their inter-league series with the Cubs on a 3-0 start behind key hits from David Fletcher and Zach Cozart.
The visiting team’s lead even ballooned to 6-2 in the 8th inning but Chicago mounted a spirited comeback with Mark Zagunis scoring a two-run single in the bottom of the 8th and Jason Heyward coming through with a sacrifice fly in the 9th to keep them within striking distance.
The Cubs had a great opportunity to steal the win with runners on the second and third base. However, the Angels closer closed the deal by fanning third baseman Daniel Descalso for the final out.
The series finale will feature Angels’ Trevor Cahill (1-1, 3.50 ERA) going up against Cubs’ Tyler Chatwood (0-0, 6.00 ERA). The Los Angeles Angels are -1.5 points favorite over the Chicago Cubs.
Los Angeles Angels Team Preview
Saturday’s close win gave the Angels (8-7) their seventh victory in eight games, putting them just four games below American League West pace-setter Seattle Mariners (13-4).
Los Angeles is finally winning games after a shaky start, and a big reason for their recent resurgence is a much-improved output from their pitching rotation. During their six-game winning run, the Angels allowed opponents to score more than two runs only once. That occurred in the second game of their series with the Milwaukee Brewers that saw 19 runs scored.
Mike Trout, who recorded five home runs in the Rangers series, decided to stay Anaheim to recover from a groin injury.
Chicago Cubs Team Preview
After winning against the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 and the Angeles 5-1 for their first back-to-back wins of the season, the Cubs suffered another close defeat and dropped to 5-9 in the season.
As everybody knows, pitching has been the biggest issue for the Cubs right now. They are allowing an average of 5.43 runs per game with their bullpen conceding the most run than any other teams in the majors.
It won’t be surprising if the Cubs pull off a trade in the next couple of weeks to augment their pitching rotation. They have Cole Hamels and Jon Lester as their most productive pitchers in the lineup. Then again, both are in the twilight of their careers at 35. If Chicago wants to save their season, they need to package either of two for a high-impact young arm.
Los Angeles Angels vs. Chicago Cubs Betting Pick
The Angels might have an edge against the Cubs on the mound since they are bringing out Cahill, who used to play for Chicago in 2016.
Cahill looks very comfortable pitching against National League Central teams. In his latest start, the 31-year-old righty struck out eight batters and allowed two runs over six innings in the Angels’ 5-2 win over the Brewers on April 8. It was Cahill’s first victory of the season after losses in Seattle and Oakland.
Tyler Chatwood will make his first start of the season after coming off the bullpen in the past few weeks. After a disastrous season debut against Texas (three runs allowed in 1.2 innings), the 29-year-old vet has been solid in his last three assignments with only four hits allowed.
Both pitchers seem strong bet in the game, but my money will be on Cahill because of his familiarity with the Cubs sluggers. I expect him to hold the Cubs under one run in six innings with Cozart again finishing the job late.
Bet the Los Angeles Angels -1.5 points favorite over the Chicago Cubs.