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Angels vs. Astros Odds, Picks, Predictions: Fade Odorizzi and Ohtani (April 20)

Angels vs. Astros Odds, Picks, Predictions: Fade Odorizzi and Ohtani (April 20) article feature image
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Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Yordan Alvarez

  • The Astros are slight home underdogs against the Angels on Wednesday.
  • After Shohei Ohtani impressed in his first start against the Astros, will he continue his success against them in Houston?
  • Charlie DiSturco breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Angels vs. Astros Odds

Angels Odds -125
Astros Odds +105
Over/Under 8.5 (-125/+105)
Time 6:40 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

For the second time this season, the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels will duke it out for the series win on Wednesday night.

Despite their early-season offensive struggles, it was Houston who won the battle between these AL West rivals the first go around as they took three of four games in the opening series. They turn to right-hander Jake Odorizzi in the series finale while the Angels hand the ball to 2021 MVP Shohei Ohtani.

Will Odorizzi and Ohtani both be able to bounce back from blowout losses in their last starts, or will the bats step up in Houston?

Which Ohtani Will Show Up Wednesday for the Angels?

Shohei Ohtani’s two starts this season have been complete opposites. After a dominant nine-strikeout performance on Opening Day against the Astros, he was tagged for six runs over 3.2 innings against the Texas Rangers his last time out. 

The 2021 MVP was dominant on the mound last season, holding opponents to a .207 xBA and posting a 3.32 xERA and 3.55 xFIP in 23 starts. He has a five-pitch arsenal with his split-finger (.087 xBA, 77 strikeouts) and slider (.193 xBA, 40 strikeouts) being his put-away pitches.

But while he was dominant in 2021, there were some inconsistencies. He has had occasional issues with control that have dug him into a hole multiple times. While Ohtani can get out of those jams, his pitch count takes a hit as a result and leads to a longer bullpen game for the Angels.

It’s also important to note the status of star outfielder Mike Trout. He was hit in the hand on Sunday and forced out of the game. While an MRI came back negative, he has yet to return to the lineup. 

Trout (186 wRC+) being out of the lineup puts a lot more pressure on the likes of Ohtani, Anthony Rendon and Jared Walsh to perform. While the Angels rank inside the top five in wRC+, wOBA and slugging, it’s come with early-season struggles from Ohtani and Rendon.

Ohtani has struck out in 33 percent of his at-bats this season — with only 11 hits — and has just 95 wRC+ thus far. For reference, 100 wRC+ is considered average. Rendon trails not too far behind at 89.

Once those two click — and they surely will soon enough — and Trout returns, this Angels lineup has the potential to compete with the best in baseball on a nightly basis. 

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Will Odorizzi Step Up for the Astros?

Jake Odorizzi has been a consistent fade for me over the last season, and this has carried into 2022. The 32-year-old did have a decent start against the Angels — two runs on six hits over four innings — but he graded out poorly per Eno Sarris. 

The Angels were thrown out at home in the first inning, and Odorizzi gave up a ton of hard contact but limited damage in the 13-6 win. His next outing wouldn’t be as lucky. Odorizzi escaped multiple jams yet still gave up four runs on eight hits and three walks over 4.1 innings against the slumping Seattle Mariners.

The biggest problem for Odorizzi has been his inability to strike hitters out. They’re putting the ball in play and forcing him to rely on his fastball, which he’s thrown 68 percent of the time this season. Opponents have a .352 xBA against the righty, with a .472 xSLG over his first two starts. 

The Astros offense has been quite inconsistent in the early portion of the year. They rank in the bottom 10 in runs per game yet have mini explosions — like Odorizzi’s last start, where they scored 13 — showing their capabilities when everything clicks.

Yordan Alvarez is back after an illness, and while he’s been fantastic (226 wRC+), players like Jose Altuve (61 wRC+) and Yuli Gurriel (6 wRC+) have lagged behind.

But these are hitters with positive track records who will turn it around. In the interim, rookie Jeremy Pena and Chas McCormick have stepped up and look like viable hitters in the back end of the Astros lineup, which was a concern entering the season.

Angels-Astros Pick

This is the third time Odorizzi takes the mound for the Astros, and it’ll be the third time I’m fading him. While I think Ohtani and the Angels are slightly overvalued on the opening line — which is expected for one of the public’s darlings — I am targeting a total rather than a side in this matchup.

Odorizzi was fortunate to escape his season debut with just two runs over four innings, and despite the Angels’ stars, Ohtani and Rendon, slumping early on, I think this is the perfect get right spot for the two. Even without Trout, this offense should see Odorizzi well and do some damage against the right-hander.

And while Ohtani did have success on opening day and severely limited the Astros, facing them again two weeks later opens the door for familiarity and a slight edge for the offense.

This is a great matchup for the Angels hitters, and I think the Astros can keep up against Ohtani as well the second time around, so I like the over in this matchup.

All aboard the Fade Odorizzi Train. Next stop: Over.

Pick: Over 8.5 (to -120)

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