St Louis (16-16) at LA Angels (13-18)
When: Tuesday, May 10th 2016
Where: Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, CA
Time: 10:05 ET | TV: FSN Midwest, FSN West
The injury-plagued Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim host the St. Louis Cardinals to begin a three-game interleague set on Tuesday night. The Angels, who are already without closer Huston Street and ace Garrett Richards, learned that SS Aldrelton Simmons could miss some time as well with a thumb injury. Los Angeles (13-18), which has lost seven of its last nine, is also without left-handers C.J. Wilson (shoulder) and Andrew Heaney (forearm) – leaving Tuesday starter Hector Santiago and Jered Weaver as the only pitchers remaining in the rotation manager Mike Scioscia put together in spring training. Angels 1B/DH Albert Pujols (.190, six home runs, 18 RBIs) continues to struggle as he went 1-for-13 in his last four games after going 7-for-20 with a home run and three RBIs during a five-game hitting streak. Lead-off hitter Yunel Escobar (.301) is 12-for-31 in his last eight games. St. Louis (16-16) completed a 4-6 homestand with a 10-5 loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday and is beginning to lose ground to the white-hot Chicago Cubs in the National League Central. The Cardinals enter this week nine games back of the Cubs and two back of the final Wild Card spot. Cardinals rookie SS Aledmys Diaz (.396) is 7-for-16 during a four-game hitting streak while RF Stephen Piscotty (team-high 21 RBIs) is 13-for-29 with six RBIs over his last seven contests, raising his average 39 points to .323.
Pitchers: Cardinals – Mike Leake (0-3, 6.03 ERA) | Angels – Hector Santiago (2-1, 3.58)
The Cardinals will go with Mike Leake on the mound tonight, who is still searching for his first victory in a St. Louis uniform after signing a five-year contract worth at least $75 million during the offseason. Leake continues to hurt himself with big innings as he’s allowed three or more runs in an inning four times. He recorded his third no-decision of the season after allowing four runs in five innings of St. Louis’ 5-4 victory over Philadelphia on Wednesday. Leake has never faced Los Angeles and likely won’t have to deal with Simmons, who was 7-for-16 with a home run against him while with Atlanta.
Santiago has been a solid arm in the rotation the last two years and must step up his game even more with the injuries to the rest of the staff. Santiago received a no-decision after allowing three runs and eight hits in 5.1 innings of the Angels’ 7-3 victory in Milwaukee on Wednesday. The New Jersey native was solid in consecutive wins over the White Sox and Mariners before allowing four runs and eight hits in 5.2 innings of a 4-2 loss at Texas on April 29th. Santiago, who has pitched at least 5.1 innings in each of his six starts this season, has never faced St. Louis.
This is a bit of a no-brainer for me tonight. Leake has been terrible and this could be a big opportunity for the Angels to get their offense back on track. The Angels are 3-0 in game one of a series when coming off a loss. Look for Santiago to go six strong and the bullpen (1.13 ERA last ten) to do the rest. I do like the runline, but I won’t be greedy.
Pick: Angels -120