MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Angels vs. Dodgers: Can Los Angeles Get to Sandoval in Freeway Series? (Friday, August 6)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images. Pictured: Mookie Betts after a recent home run.
- The Angels and Dodgers open the Freeway Series on Friday night at Chavez Ravine.
- The Angels will send Patrick Sandoval to the mound against the Dodgers' David Price.
- Kenny Ducey breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.
Angels vs. Dodgers Odds
|8.5 (-110 / -110)
|10:10 p.m. ET
|Odds as of Friday morning and via BetMGM.
Just when the Dodgers seemed to be establishing themselves at the plate, a left-handed pitcher appeared. The nemesis of L.A. for the better part of two seasons, the Dodgers will put their hot run at the dish to the test on Friday when they face the surprising Patrick Sandoval in an all-L.A. clash.
Not only do the Angels have one of their strongest arms going, they have also picked it up offensively and come into this series with renewed playoff hopes. Are the Halos actually undervalued here against their mighty crosstown rivals? Let's have a look at the matchup.
Angels Looking Up
That's right, I mentioned the playoffs in the same breath as the Angels. It's unlikely L.A. will be able to catch the Astros in the West with the way they're playing, but it's not all that crazy to imagine a scenario where this team could close the six-game gap in the wild-card race. A whopping three teams from the AL East sit in front of them, but so do two division rivals in the A's and Mariners. With plenty of games against those two teams, all hope shouldn't be lost.
The task at hand is manageable, and these Angels have looked hungry of late. Power has been scarce with a .134 ISO over the last two weeks, but a 77.1% contact rate (12th) and 21.7% strikeout rate (eighth) suggest there are plenty of good at-bats happening here.
It's been a tough stretch in the quality contact department, but Jack Mayfield and Adam Eaton have provided some longballs in the last couple of games. Jo Adell is also back up from Triple-A, and looking much more like a big-league ballplayer. There's definitely some talent here, and even with Anthony Rendon being lost for the season, Mike Trout should eventually return before the season is over.
It's a stretch, but this game will certainly mean something to the Angels, who have begun to find it ever so slightly over the last couple of days. They should also get another great pitching performance, this time from Sandoval, who has been exceptional in his third big-league season. He's posted a 3.31 xERA thanks to a solid 27.4% strikeout rate and just a 34.5% hard-hit rate. A walk rate north of 10% makes this a tough test, but the Dodgers' relative ineptitude against lefties should help.
Dodgers' Offense Picking Up
Like the Angels, the Dodgers also have to worry about the playoff race, as shocking as it is for a 65-44 team coming off a championship season. L.A. is looking very likely to make it, but it would prefer to make up the four games on the Giants in the NL West as opposed to be subjected to a one-game playoff for a spot in the NLDS.
You wouldn't know that the Dodgers were on the hunt with the way they've played over the last month. There have been bad pitching performances, strikeouts galore, injuries and disappointments. Clayton Kershaw and Gavin Lux (even though his performance was so-so) are still on the shelf, and Cody Bellinger has seemingly forgotten how to hit a baseball. In addition, the big offensive nights have just been few and far between.
That's all turned over the last five games or so, with L.A. riding in with three wins over that span. It's true that two of them did come against the Diamondbacks, and it was just shut out at home against the Astros two games ago, but there are some good signs here.
For starters, Trea Turner should be joining the team any day, which should give it a kick in the rear. Then, there's the resurgence of Mookie Betts, who has a 1.438 OPS over the last week, which is a welcomed surprise. Betts had been unassuming at the plate as of late.
At least some of the offense is working, and that could be enough with David Price back on the bump. He's been mostly effective since heading back into the rotation, and hasn't had much of a problem with gopher balls all year long with the exception of one start against the Rockies.
The Dodgers seem to be somewhat back offensively, but it's hard to ignore the gaping holes in their offense and their entirely average 99 wRC+ against lefties. Sandoval has been one of the quietest success stories of 2021 and should be out to prove something here.
I believe enough in the Angels' ability to make contact against a pitcher who's given up hits left and right in all of his starts, and am willing to call the Dodgers' good nights against the Diamondbacks a result of bad pitching.
Give me the Angels here, who are trending up and probably have the better pitcher on the mound.
Pick: Angels ML (+170)