MLB Betting Notes: Angels, Blue Jays Look to Right the Ship

MLB Betting Notes: Angels, Blue Jays Look to Right the Ship article feature image

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Mike Trout

The Angels and Blue Jays are a combined 5-15 over their past 20 games. Both of these teams got off to decent starts but are now falling down the ladder in two tough divisions.

The odds are very tight across the market for this series opener, so let’s see if we can’t find something to sway you one way or the other.

Los Angeles Angels (-105) at Toronto Blue Jays (-105) | O/U: 9
Garrett Richards (4-2, 3.47 ERA) vs. J.A. Happ (5-3, 4.15 ERA)
7:07 p.m. ET

What’s Happening? Happ has a home run problem. The 35-year-old southpaw is giving up 1.56 homers per 9 innings pitched this year, and 19.1% of all fly balls hit off him have left the yard. Other than that, though, things look pretty rosy for the journeyman. Happ is striking out 11.42 batters per 9 while only walking 2.25 per 9. Both of those metrics are much better than his career rate. Happ also boasts a 50% ground-ball rate, and his 2.99 xFIP suggests that he has been sneaky good this year.

The Angels have mashed 62 taters (fourth-most in the majors), but they’ve fared better against righties this year.

No Bounce Back: The Jays have lost four in a row, including a 9-2 loss at home to Oakland on Sunday. My instinct was that Toronto would be undervalued in this situation, but I was wrong. Since 2005, underdogs on a losing streak of four or more games that lost their previous game by seven or more runs went 139-267 (34%) in their next game. That has cost $100 bettors $7,839 during that span. — John Ewing

On the Road: The Angels have started the season 14-4 on the road (+8.9 units), making them the third-most profitable road team in baseball. This is the Angels’ most profitable start on the road to a season since 2005. — Evan Abrams

Something’s Gotta Give: Richards has been hammered throughout his career against the Jays. He is 2-3 in seven games (five starts) with a 5.74 ERA — his highest ERA vs. any MLB opponent. Curtis Granderson is 4-for-6 with three home runs against the Angels right-hander. Fortunately for Richards, Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak are a combined 4-for-37 (.108).

Similarly, Happ has been bombed by the Halos throughout his career. In seven previous starts, Happ is just 1-6 vs. the Angels with a 6.17 ERA — his worst vs. any team. Take a look at some of these splits:

Point: Will anyone be able to resist Mike Trout on DraftKings, where he’s just $5,200? I’m going to say no … 100% ownership across the board.

Just kidding, but he will be highly owned. His MVP race foe, Mookie Betts, is $6,000 for comparison’s sake, and historically, Trout has a 2% higher ownership against lefties than righties, but the opposing pitcher’s handedness hasn’t really mattered for him. He’s a plus/minus of +1.1 against both righties and lefties since 2014 to go along with matching 47% consistency ratings. I told you he was very consistent. — Mark Gallant

Counterpoint: Trout is cheap, but perhaps it is warranted. His recent batted-ball metrics are terrible. He’s hitting the ball 36 feet less over the past 15 days than he has over the past calendar year, as well as an exit velocity 5 mph slower. There have been more than 7,250 hitters on DK since 2015 to be priced at $5,000 or more, but just 101 with a distance differential of -35 or worse. Fifty of those hitters have also had an exit velocity differential of at least -5. These hitters have posted a +/- of -0.95 with a 36% consistency, while $5,000+ hitters as a whole have a +/- of +0.13, a 40.6% consistency. — Mark Gallant

Consensus Picks:

Stuckey: Over 9
Leboff: Angels -105
Mark: Over 8.5

How would you rate this article?