MLB Odds, Picks for Angels vs. Guardians: Does the Underdog Have Strong Value? (September 13)

MLB Odds, Picks for Angels vs. Guardians: Does the Underdog Have Strong Value? (September 13) article feature image

Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Shohei Ohtani

  • The Guardians host the Angels on Tuesday in a matchup between two young pitchers.
  • The Angels will start José Suarez while the Guardians will counter with Cody Morris, who is making his third career appearance in the majors.
  • D.J. James breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Angels vs. Guardians Odds

Angels Odds+130
Guardians Odds-150
Over/Under8 (-105/-115)
Time6:10 p.m. ET
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Los Angeles Angels look like they have found a future potential ace for their starting rotation in 24-year-old José Suarez. He currently owns a 3.68 xERA, 3.77 ERA, and 1.26 WHIP. All of these numbers are solid and show he has performed almost exactly as his peripherals predict. He also ranks in the 62nd percentile in Hard-Hit Rate, which gives him a leg up on the competition.

He will face prospect Cody Morris and the Cleveland Guardians on Tuesday. The Guardians rank dead last in Hard-Hit Rate and seemingly have blooped their way to the front of a feeble American League Central. Morris has only two appearances with a 3.00 ERA in six innings pitched. His xERA in those two appearances was 6.02 with a Walk Rate above 10%.

The Guardians bullpen is definitely better than the Angels', but the Angels have a couple arms who can throw behind Suarez, and he will surely go deeper in this game than Morris. Suarez has gone at least five innings strong in every start since July 26.

Since neither team excels at hitting, take the Angels with the better starting pitcher on the moneyline. The only concern is middle relief to get to the back-end of the bullpen.

Suarez Gives the Angels an Early Edge

Suarez should be in a favorable position against the Cleveland lineup. For one, he will match the Guardians' slowly hit balls with an above average Chase Rate (74th percentile) and 92 MPH fastball. This means he will hold any hard-hit balls off the bats of the middle of the Cleveland order (José Ramírez or Josh Naylor) to lesser contact.

Against lefties in the last month of baseball, only Andrés Giménez, Oscar González, and José Ramírez have eclipsed a .325+ xwOBA for the Guardians. This means the latter part of the Cleveland batting order will struggle with Suarez throwing to them.

Much of the Cleveland success this season has fallen on the backs of the starting rotation and a lockdown bullpen. The lineup is not the strong suit as Naylor and Steven Kwan have not done well against southpaws (sub-.260 xwOBA).

However, Los Angeles does have a 4.84 xFIP out of the bullpen since August 13, which ranks 29th in baseball. Ryan Tepera and Jimmy Herget are the only arms under a 4.00 xFIP, so Suarez does need to pitch as deep as possible to win outright. He has thrown at least six innings in three of his last five starts, so it is doable.

Can the Guardians Give Their Elite Bullpen a Lead?

Morris has not shown much on the mound at the MLB level. He did throw 15 and 1/3 innings in AAA with 30 strikeouts off his plus-fastball, which ranks in the 91st percentile in Spin Rate. He should manufacture some chases against a relatively poor Angels lineup.

The Angels do have a bit more power, most notably with Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, who have a .355+ xwOBA along with Matt Thaiss. Taylor Ward and Mike Ford are above the .325 mark, so this at least makes up the majority of the lineup. This provides the Angels with a small advantage over the slap-hitting Guardians.

Cleveland has an elite bullpen with six members under a 4.00 xFIP. Emmanuel Clase is one of the best closers in the game, so Los Angeles will have to score off of Morris or perhaps middle relievers to find opportunities for baserunners.

Angels-Guardians Pick

Los Angeles does have the better and more proven pitcher on the hill as Morris still has not displayed much control on an MLB mound. The Angels don't walk much, but they have a few batters who can work walks. Suarez needs to get deep into this game to negate the effects of the Los Angeles bullpen. If he can do so, expect the Angels to win a tight one. Take them from +130 to +100.

Pick: Los Angeles Angels +130 | play to +100

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