Angels vs Blue Jays MLB Odds, Pick & Preview: Back Shohei Ohtani as an Underdog in this Elite Pitching Matchup (Saturday, August 27)
Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Shohei Ohtani
- The Blue Jays are strong home favorites this afternoon against the Angels.
- It's an elite pitching matchup with Shohei Ohtani taking the mound for Los Angeles against Toronto's Alek Manoah.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Angels vs. Blue Jays Odds
|Blue Jays Odds||-150|
|Time||3:07 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Los Angeles Angels are at a crossroads with their owner exploring selling the team. The usual suspects are still performing this season with miniscule production from the bottom of the lineup. It seems they only have a chance with Shohei Ohtani on the bump. Well, he will pitch on Saturday against Alek Manoah and the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Angels have barely hit right-handed pitching. They own a team 76 wRC+ in August. However, the Blue Jays have hovered around average at 99 wRC+, so neither of these teams are too strong with aces on the hill.
Digging into it a bit more, the Blue Jays have seen a similar drop-off in lineup production as the Angels, so a sprinkle on Ohtani and Los Angeles to win this game outright holds value.
Angels Need Ohtani to Go Deep
Ohtani is the best player in the MLB. No one has been able to replicate this prototype of both sides of the ball since the likes of Babe Ruth. Ohtani owns a 2.83 ERA against a 2.90 xERA. None of his success this season has been lucky. In fact, he lowered his average exit velocity to 87.5 mph. It has decreased every season since 2020. He also ranks in the 64th percentile in hard hit rate, while throwing 97 mph fastballs on average.
The Blue Jays have seemingly only had a few bats on fire against righties lately. They have no notable injuries to their lineup, so they should be a full go. Still, only Matt Chapman, Vlad Guerrero, Jr. and George Springer have .350+ xwOBAs. This does not bode well against Ohtani, since he is as consistent on the mound as they come. Alejandro Kirk has put together some strong plate appearances, but the rest of the lineup dwindles from there for now.
Luckily for the Angels, Ohtani can go five-plus innings in a start. This negates the strain on an otherwise poor bullpen. The Angels have a team 4.53 xFIP, ranking 28th in baseball this month. Jimmy Herget is the only reliever under the 4.00 mark, so Ohtani going deeper into this game will assist Angels-backers immensely.
Is Manoah the Ace Toronto Needs?
Manoah is a great pitcher as well, but he has been lucky this season. His ERA is 2.63 against a 3.60 xERA, which is still solid but not the ace the Blue Jays need. He does hold teams to a 30.9% hard hit rate, ranking in the 91st percentile. His average exit velocity is even slightly better than Ohtani’s at 87.4 mph.
Los Angeles does have its injury issues, though. Matt Duffy, Jared Walsh, Anthony Rendon and Mickey Moniak are on the IL. Taylor Ward, David Fletcher, Mike Trout and Ohtani are the Angels above a .325 xwOBA off of righties in August. This is comparable to the Blue Jays lineup, shockingly. Yes, Toronto will likely turn it around and bolt into the playoffs with its bats, but at the moment, most Blue Jays’ hitters are slumping.
The Blue Jays also struggle with the bullpen. Their collective xFIP is a touch below 4.00. They do have a few arms below a 4.00, so if Manoah exits, they have the edge in relief. If anyone other than David Phelps, Adam Cimber, Anthony Bass or Jordan Romano throws, the Angels have a shot at scoring late.
Angels-Blue Jays Pick
Take the Angels on the moneyline in this game with Ohtani pitching. The only concern to backing them would be the bullpen, but it is worth the risk. The Blue Jays just do not look like themselves now, and there is a reason to fade them.
They are essentially producing similarly to Los Angeles offensively with few players getting on base. Play this to +120.
Pick: Los Angeles Angels +140 | play to +120