MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Angels vs. Indians: How to Bet Little League Classic (Sunday, August 22)

MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Angels vs. Indians: How to Bet Little League Classic (Sunday, August 22) article feature image

Julio Aguilar/Getty Images. Pictured: Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Cal Quantrill.

  • Cal Quantrill and the Indians host Shohei Ohtani and the Angels on Sunday Night Baseball.
  • Both teams are 8.5 games back in the AL Wild Card and need to get hot over the last month to make the playoffs.
  • BJ Cunningham details how he's betting Sunday's game below.

Angels vs. Indians Odds

Angels Odds+115
Indians Odds-135
Time7:10 p.m. ET
Odds as of Sunday morning via DraftKings.

Outside of Shohei Ohtani being the best baseball player on planet earth, the Angels have really struggled this season. They are currently 8.5 games back in the wold card, so the playoffs look out of their reach at this point in the season. 

Cleveland has taken a step back this season and also finds itself 8.5 game out of the wild card and are likely going to miss the playoffs. They have dealt with a ton of adversity this season from some of their star players getting hurt for a majority of the season or Terry Francona taking a leave of absence to focus on his health.

Either way you spin it, it has been a disappointing season for the Indians.

Offensive Matchup

Los Angeles Angels

The Angels offense actually hasn't been that bad this season. They've completely been carried by Shohei Ohtani, but as a team they have a .318 wOBA and 101 wRC+, which is around the MLB average.

Ohtani himself has put up some jaw dropping numbers, as he leads the league in xwOBA, xSlugging, home runs, barrel percentage, hard hit percentage, and average exit velocity. However, the rest of the Angels have not helped him out at all, as Max Stassi and Jared Walsh are the only other two guys with a wOBA above the MLB average.

Specifically in this matchup against Cal Quantrill, the Angels are below average against right handed pitching (.310 wOBA, 97 wRC+) and don't hit sinkers well (-6.4 run value), but they are one of the best teams in baseball against sliders (+7.8 run value). Quantrill utilizes either a sinker or slider on 64.8% of his pitches, so the Angels may have a decent matchup tonight.

Cleveland Indians

Cleveland's offense this season has been for lack of a better word, terrible. They are bottom ten in almost every metric you look at and only are hitting .235 as a team. Jose Ramirez and Franmil Reyes have been their only bright spots, combining for 51 home runs and are the only two qualified players who have a wOBA over .320.

The Indians are below average versus left handed pitching (.310 wOBA, 91 wRC+) and have a combined -13.2 run value against Jose Suarez's top three pitches of fastball, changeup, and curveball.

Starting Pitching Matchup

Jose Suarez vs. Cal Quantrill

2021 Stats (via Fangraphs)

Angels Starting Pitcher

Jose Suarez, LHP

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Jose Suarez started out the season in the bullpen but has made the switch to the starting rotation. The 23 year old lefty has put up some decent numbers in 60 and 1/3rds innings, posting a 4.07 xERA and 4.13 xFIP. However, his last five starts have been horrible, allowing 21 runs, on 26 hits, in his last 25 innings.

Most of Suarez's pitch arsenal has been effective this season, especially his changeup and curveball, which are allowing an expected batting average under .230. However, his fastball has let him down because opposing hitters have over a .400 xwOBA against it, which is a problem since he goes to it over 40% of the time.

Despite their struggles offensively, Cleveland has a +2.8 run value against Suarez's top three pitches over the past month.

Indians Starting Pitcher

Cal Quantrill, RHP

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Cal Quantrill has made the move to the starting rotation, and his numbers have been very average this season, posting a 4.45 xERA. He's not at big strikeout out pitcher, as his K/9 rate is only at 7.01 for the season.

He mainly utilizes a sinker/slider combination, and his slider has been effective, allowing a .265 wOBA, but his sinker has not been effective, allowing a .315 wOBA. 

It will be an interesting matchup against an Angels lineup that is average versus right handed pitching, hits sliders well, but struggles against sinkers.

Bullpen/Defensive Matchup

The bullpen matchup will be pretty even tonight because although Cleveland's metrics for the season are better than Los Angeles', they've been really struggling over the past 30 days, posting a 4.50 ERA and 4.36 xFIP, while the Angels have posted a 3.88 ERA and 3.95 xFIP over that same time span.

Angels-Indians Pick

Given how well Jose Suarez has been pitching this season, I think he should be able to have some success against a very poor Cleveland lineup. Additionally, the bullpen matchup is a lot closer than the season long metrics suggest given the poor form of Cleveland's pen.

Since I have the Angels projected at -101, I think there is some value on them at +115 (DraftKings) or better.

Pick: Angels ML (+115)

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