Angels vs Red Sox Prediction | MLB Odds & Betting Pick for Monday, April 17
Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Shohei Ohtani (17) of the Los Angeles Angels.
Angels vs Red Sox Odds
-120 / -102
|Red Sox Odds|
-120 / -102
Patriots’ Day is a legal holiday, formally recognized in six states, but anyone from New England knows it is especially important in Boston. The holiday commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the Battle of Menotomy, which both took place in Massachusetts, and marked the first military engagements of the Revolutionary War.
In Massachusetts, Patriots’ Day is celebrated with the closing of schools and most businesses. Since 1897, the Boston Marathon has been run on Patriots’ Day every year except during the pandemic, which is why the holiday is also referred to as “Marathon Monday.”
Another element of the celebration that began in 1959 is the Boston Red Sox playing an afternoon game at Fenway Park. The matinee game is special because it allows the Boston Marathon participants to run through Kenmore Square in the middle of the Red Sox game.
Patriots’ Day is a big deal in Boston and very important to the city. It is something New Englanders look forward to all year, and the vibes in the city are always high for Marathon Monday. But is the excitement in the city enough to overcome one of the best players in baseball on the mound?
Continue reading for my preview of Angels vs. Red Sox on Patriots’ Day, plus my betting pick for the series finale.
It’s pretty hard to argue about who the best player in baseball is. Perhaps the only argument left is whether Shohei Ohtani is better as a batter or as a pitcher. If the season ended today, he would probably win both MVP and the Cy Young Award.
Through his first three starts, Ohtani has been spectacular. He has pitched 19 innings and allowed just one run. Opponents have only six hits and have struck out 24 times. His 0.47 ERA is the best in the league among any pitcher who has thrown at least 12 innings.
Ohtani’s lethal “sweeper” has been nearly unhittable again — he’s allowed just two hits on it all season despite throwing the pitch 50% of the time. At just 83.4 mph, it is nearly impossible to time when mixed with his 97 mph fastball. The one blemish for Ohtani this season has been his command. He’s already issued 12 walks and his 16% walk rate is more than double from last season.
At the plate, Ohtani finally seems to be getting some help. Mike Trout is healthy and offseason acquisitions Gio Urshela and Hunter Renfroe have been effective to start the season. Top prospect Logan O’Hoppe has also clubbed four home runs.
Brayan Bello, 23, will make his season debut opposite Ohtani after beginning the season on the injured list with right forearm tightness. He made one Triple-A start and allowed just one run over six innings.
After posting a 2.34 ERA in 18 games between Double-A and Triple-A last season, Bello earned his first MLB callup and made his big league debut on July 6. After 13 appearances and 11 starts, he finished with just a 4.71 ERA, but showed flashes of potential.
Bello utilizes a pretty even four-pitch mix, with a fastball and sinker that average 97 mph, and a slider and changeup as his offspeed options. The two offspeed pitches were effective, especially his changeup, but his sinker and fastball got hit.
Despite losing two of their best bats during the offseason, the Red Sox offense has been surprisingly productive. They rank second in the league in scoring and have been especially hot at Fenway Park, averaging 5.7 runs per game at home.
Angels vs. Red Sox Betting Pick
The Halos have received good contributions on offense from Trout, Ohtani, Rendon, Urshela, Renfroe and O’Hoppe. The problem is they’re all right-handed batters.
The Angels offense has been exceptional against lefties early this season. They rank first in wRC+ and second in wOBA. However, they rank just 20th in wRC+ and wOBA against right-handed pitching.
Boston wisely started three straight right-handed pitchers and won the first three games of the series. Now, they turn to another righty in Bello as it goes for the series sweep.
Bello has had mixed results early in his career at the MLB level, but he had a 2.59 ERA over his last six starts to end 2022. He is one of the highest-rated pitching prospects the Red Sox have had in a while and the expectations are high.
If you have ever been in Boston on Patriots’ Day, you know the feeling in the air is just different. Everybody is off school and work and out and about for the Marathon. Bars in the city open early and people start drinking all morning.
It is just an electric atmosphere. Add in that this is the 10th Anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, and it is a big day to celebrate the city of Boston.
“This is our f*ckin city and nobody’s going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong!”
10 years ago, David Ortiz made the legendary speech that Boston will never forget…
— Jake “Iggy” Ignaszewski (@JakeIggy) April 15, 2023
The Red Sox have been able to turn the excitement of the day into success on the field. Over the years, they have gone 71-54 in their Patriots’ Day matinees. For the Angels, this game will feel like an 8:10 a.m. PT first pitch.
When you combine the home-field advantage the Red Sox should have with the Angels’ struggles against right-handed pitching, plus the Angels typically being a bit overvalued with the public betting on Ohtani, I like the value we are getting on Boston to complete the sweep.
Pick: Red Sox ML (+136 | Play to +130)
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