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Angels vs. Athletics Betting Odds & Pick: Target the Total In West Coast Matchup (Tuesday, July 20)

Angels vs. Athletics Betting Odds & Pick: Target the Total In West Coast Matchup (Tuesday, July 20) article feature image

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Olson.

  • The Oakland Athletics take on the Los Angeles Angels in a West Coast battle on Tuesday afternoon.
  • Both teams send a midseason call-up to the mound and boast some powerful pieces on offenses, putting value on the total, according to Jeff Hicks.
  • Check out Hicks' full betting preview, complete with odds, a pick, and a prediction below.

Angels vs. Athletics Odds

Angels Odds +140
Athletics Odds -160
Over/Under 8.5
Time 3:37 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Tuesday afternoon and via DraftKings.

A rare Tuesday day game after a night game on the West Coast leads off the day’s MLB action.

Two midseason call-ups will toe the rubber as they both look to continue their success. The Los Angeles Angels continue to plod along in the American League West as injuries and inconsistent pitching plagues the team with the two best players in baseball. The Oakland Athletics are once again in the thick of the division race with a handful of “Create-A-Player” talents.

Both teams will look to win on a quick turnaround. Does that mean there’s action to be had?

Can Angels Overcome Injuries?

Jose Suarez had an auspicious run in the minors prior to call-ups in 2019 and 2020. He flopped in 83 innings before Round 3 this season.

But the third time is apparently the charm.

The 23-year-old logged nine relief appearances (one of five innings) before being inserted into the rotation and has pitched well. His strikeout rate is similar to his numbers in Triple-A, a more indicative result than his video game-esque rates in the lower minors.

Suarez has also done an excellent job cutting down on hard-hit contact and barrels, posting numbers below his career averages.

Walks remain an issue, and that’s an aspect of Suarez’s game the A’s can exploit. Oakland ranks sixth in walk rate at home entering Monday and fourth at home against right-handed pitching. The Angels also own the second-worst defense according to Defensive WAR. Suarez’s walks could come back to haunt him with the Swiss cheese defense behind him.

The Angels have been one of the better road offenses against righties but still only have 95 wRC+ to show for it.

Injuries to Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Justin Upton, among others, have also zapped a lot of power from the lineup. The Angels have the lowest road hard-hit percentage against right-handers but have supplemented the power outage with high line drive and medium hard-hit percentages.

A top-10 road BABIP against righties also masks their offensive flaws. It’s a shame the Angels are poor at taking walks (5.8% on the road against RHP) because the Athletics are starting a pitcher similar to Suarez.

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Athletics Need to Make Harder Contact

James Kaprielian is an in-season call-up like Suarez and owns similar strikeout and walk rates.

Like Suarez, Kaprielian has a low BABIP against and is stranding nearly 90% of baserunners. The difference between the two is Oakland has weathered the season and maintained its health better.

The 27-year-old is living dangerously on balls in play. Of balls hit into play, 46.3% have been classified as hit hard. It also does not help that Kaprielian has yet to develop a secondary or tertiary pitch to get hitters off his fastball. Of balls thrown in the zone, 81.8% are met with contact.

Oakland is one of 13 teams with a wRC+ over 100 at home against right-handed pitchers. If the offense had better contact — particularly hard contact — it would be one of the best in baseball.

The A’s rank 23rd in hard-hit rate at home against righties and home run-to-flyball ratio. That’s too low for an offense that produces the second-fewest groundballs to flyballs.

Part of the offense’s issue is its .266 BABIP. However, a home series in the cavernous Oakland Coliseum could give that BABIP a boost.

Angels-Athletics Pick

Both teams could take advantage of poor pitching performances, and a day game after a night game could lead to sloppy baseball. As I mentioned above, both starters can be had and both offenses have strong suits.

I don’t like the Angels as road underdogs, and the Athletics have too much juice on the moneyline. The Coliseum is a great place to take in a game (not even kidding), and the outfield is a lot to take in. Imagine having to cover ground out there.

Pick: Over 9 +100 (Play to -105) | Over 9.5 (Play to -115)

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