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Oddsmakers set to downgrade Angels without Trout

By Matt Youmans  (VSiN senior editor) 

May 30, 2017 02:44 AM
Mike Trout leads the Angels in batting average (.337), home runs (16), RBIs (36) and on-base percentage (.461). He will miss six to eight weeks after opting for surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb.
© USA Today Sports Images

How much is one player worth to the betting line? As for Mike Trout, the best player in baseball, the answer is about to be revealed.


If Trout ranks No. 1 in the game, Bryce Harper is probably No. 2. It was an eventful Memorial Day for the top two players in the majors, with both headed for some time off.


Trout is out for six to eight weeks, opting for surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. Unfortunately for the Los Angeles Angels, Trout has propped up an otherwise weak offense that surely will sag without him.


The Washington Nationals have a much stronger cast supporting Harper, who faces a lengthy suspension after a memorable base-brawl in San Francisco.


“How much is Trout worth? I think it’s 10 cents, maybe more,” VSiN oddsmaker Vinny Magliulo said.


The Angels were minus-135 favorites over Atlanta on Monday morning. (For those who might not fully understand baseball betting lines, that means $1.35 to win $1. A reduction of 10 cents would make the line minus-125.) Trout was injured Sunday while sliding headfirst into second base on a steal attempt, and he was not expected to play Monday. At the South Point sports book, the line on the Angels dipped as low as minus-106 before closing at minus-123.


The Braves cashed in a 6-3 victory. The Angels, who dropped to 26-28, will be lucky to be remotely close to .500 when Trout returns. His injury is bad news for anyone who bet the Angels over their season win total.


Trout has won two American League MVP awards, never finishing lower than second in the voting in his five full years in the majors. He will land on the disabled list for the first time in his career.


Trout leads the Angels in batting average (.337), home runs (16), RBIs (36) and on-base percentage (.461). He also has 10 steals — his affinity for stealing bases will prove costly — and patrols center field with a run-saving glove. The rest of the team was batting .226 going into Monday’s game.


There have been two great reasons to watch the Angels on a daily basis. One is Trout and his all-around excellence. The other is Andrelton Simmons, a wizard at shortstop.


“The Angels will have a tougher time without Trout than the Nationals will have without Harper,” Magliulo said. “Harper is going to have to sit, and there will be adjustments for those games.”


Harper’s suspension is likely to be in the neighborhood of seven games. He charged the mound on San Francisco Giants reliever Hunter Strickland to trigger an epic bench-clearing brawl late in the Nationals’ 3-0 win.


After Strickland hit Harper in the hip with a 98 mph fastball, punches to faces were thrown and wild hair was flying. Giants pitcher Jeff Samardzija sprinted from the dugout and crashed into teammate Michael Morse in a high-speed collision.


Harper, similar to Trout, is putting up MVP-caliber numbers. Harper is batting .331 with 15 homers, 41 RBIs and a .443 on-base percentage. The Nationals (31-19) are sitting on a big lead in the NL East, and their lineup is loaded. Washington can continue winning without Harper, who might be worth 5 cents to the line.


Are the Angels in bigger trouble without Trout? As Harper would say, that’s a clown question, bro.


MLB notes

The Chicago Cubs slipped to 25-25 with a loss to the lowly Padres in San Diego. There figured to be some sort of hangover after the Cubs’ enormous World Series celebration, but the situation is getting alarming. The Cubs opened 24-6 last year, when they won 103 regular-season games. The Cubs’ win total for this year was 95½ at the South Point. …


Padres rookie Hunter Renfroe hit a grand slam in the 5-2 victory over the Cubs. It was the 10th homer for Renfroe, a first-round pick in 2013. San Diego has one All-Star (Wil Myers) and a few good-looking prospects. But is Ryan Schimpf promising? Schimpf has 13 homers and a .167 batting average. ...


Harper (Las Vegas High) and Joey Gallo (Bishop Gorman) were prep stars in Vegas. (And so was the Cubs’ Kris Bryant, a Bonanza High product.) Gallo is putting up interesting numbers for the Texas Rangers. Gallo has 34 hits, including 16 home runs, but is hitting .205. …


Aaron Judge of the Yankees hit his majors-leading 17th home run Monday. Still, the Yankees have cooled off following their 21-9 start. New York is 8-10 in its past 18 games. ...


The Los Angeles Dodgers called up first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger on April 25. Good move. Bellinger ripped his team-leading 11th home run Monday. Bellinger has played in 32 games. The Dodgers are 22-8 in their past 30 games.

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