MLB Odds, Picks for Tuesday, May 9 | Astros vs Angels Prediction
Via Meg Oliphant/Getty Images. Pictured: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 27, 2023 in Anaheim, California.
- Shohei Ohtani will take the mound on Tuesday night as the Angels look for their second consecutive win over the Astros in this series.
- Houston will counter with ace Framber Valdez, but can the Astros bats be trusted without Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley?
- Charlie Disturco breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Astros vs. Angels Odds
Amid a three-game skid, the Houston Astros look to bounce back from a series-opening loss to the Los Angeles Angels behind their ace Framber Valdez on Tuesday night. The Astros are tied for fourth in the American League West while the Angels are 2.5 games ahead of them in second. LA counters with an ace of its own in Shohei Ohtani.
Here’s how to bet this divisional showdown as the Angels look to cut down on the Texas Rangers‘ current division lead.
Framber Valdez has been a steady hand in the minimal success Houston has had to begin the season. The Astros rotation is extremely thin after injuries to Luis Garcia and Jose Urquidy — Lance McCullers also began the year on the injured list — putting all the more pressure on the left-hander to perform.
Through seven starts, Valdez has thrown 6+ innings all but once, and he’s never given up more than three runs in an outing. While his success (2.60 ERA) is notable, his expected metrics suggest negative regression is on the horizon.
The southpaw’s xERA is over 1.5 runs higher (4.20) than his actual ERA, and his xBA and xSLG are both at career-lows. However, his xFIP is at 2.85, though. Valdez’s Barrel Rate has also neared double digits after being sub-6 the two years prior.
Pitch-wise, there’s nothing that sticks out. He still throws a sinker about half the time — his velocity has jumped 1.3 mph — and his curveball has been extremely effective once again (.165 xBA). He’s using his changeup more than his cutter this season but not by much.
As for the offense, Houston has struggled without Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley. The Astros are 23rd in wRC+ and down at 27th in wOBA after being one of the more feared lineups last season. Jose Abreu has gotten off to a slow start in his first year in Houston.
Despite the offensive struggles and the Astros testing their starting pitching depth with multiple injuries, Houston’s future shouldn’t be in doubt. The offense will turn around — especially when Altuve and Brantley return — and most importantly, their bullpen remains a spark in 2023.
Houston is fifth in xFIP (3.80) and K/9 (10.49). The Astros are just outside the top 10 in BB/9 and have a variety of elite back-end arms. Like last season, this is one of the most reliable bullpens where leading by 1-2 runs is rarely ever a worry.
The greatest player in baseball once again takes center stage on Tuesday night as Shohei Ohtani looks to rebound from back-to-back games where he allowed 4+ runs. He gave up a pair of home runs in both of those games.
The frontrunner for MVP, Ohtani ranks in the top 6% of all pitchers in xBA (.155), Strikeout Rate (38.6), xSLG (.271) and Whiff Rate. While he hasn’t generated as many chases — which has led to an uptick in BB% — Ohtani has been one of the best pitchers in baseball. His xERA sits just below 3.00 while his FIP/xFIP are in the mid-3s.
Ohtani’s biggest change from last season has been an increased usage in his sweeper. He now throws the pitch about 50% of the time — up from 37.4% last year — often pairing that with a 4-seamer. He normally has six pitches in his arsenal and can reach the high 90s with his heater.
The Angels bullpen has been about average (15th in xFIP), but they are all the way down at 27th in LOB%. I would expect that number to positively regress, though aside from Carlos Estevez, there haven’t been many reliable arms in the backend. Jose Quijada — who was the main setup man — will miss the rest of the season with Tommy John surgery.
This is one of the most interesting teams in baseball. They have all the potential to make a run in October, so long as Mike Trout and Ohtani can remain healthy. The rest of the Angels bats have complemented the duo nicely, and the offense ranks seventh in wRC+ and wOBA.
They have also mashed left-handed pitching, ranking among the top five in both of those categories, as well as BB/K.
Astros vs. Angels Betting Pick
Ohtani’s struggles over the last two games have been with limiting the long ball. But when you take a closer look at those performances, there’s no need to worry. He struck out 21 batters in those 11 innings and gave up just eight hits. His stuff remains dominant, and I expect a full bounce back from the right-hander on Tuesday night.
The same cannot be said for Valdez because he has struggled limiting hard hits and has seen his xERA jump above 4. The Angels have been hitting left-handed pitching extremely well, which is a concern for Valdez because he has seen his xBA and barrel% jump in the early parts of 2023.
Rather than trusting the Angels bullpen in this one, I’m targeting LA over the first five innings. I expect Ohtani to remain at the top of his game, and at (-150), it’s a discount against an arm I’m looking to fade in Valdez. Ohtani has shown a propensity to escape jams and overpower opponents with his deep arsenal and dominant sweeper/fastball combo, and that should remain true on Tuesday night.
Pick: Angels F5 Moneyline -150
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