Sunday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Athletics vs. Angels: Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Underdogs Against Oakland (Sept. 19)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images. Pictured: Shohei Ohtani
- The Athletics are favored against the Angels in the series finale Sunday in Los Angeles.
- Shohei Ohtani, the AL MVP favorite, takes the mound for the Angels opposite Frankie Montas.
- Continue reading for a full betting breakdown and prediction for this game.
Athletics vs. Angels Odds
|Over/Under||8 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||4:07 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Oakland hasn’t given up on its chance at a playoff berth. The Athletics have now won four straight and trail the Blue Jays by two games in the AL wild-card race. The wild-card winner likely won’t be determined until the final week or perhaps even the last day of the season.
The bad news for the Athletics is they have the third-most demanding schedule remaining, with 13 of their 14 games coming against the Astros or Mariners.
As for the Angels, they’re simply playing out the string at the moment after a disappointing season in which star center fielder Mike Trout played just 36 games due to a calf injury.
Motivation could be an issue for them even with Shohei Ohtani set to pitch in the series finale. Frankie Montas oppose him for the Athletics.
Both pitchers have been stingy to the opposition this season, so it wouldn’t surprise me if we see a pitcher’s duel on Sunday. Let’s dig into the numbers to see if either side offers any value in this matchup.
Contending Athletics Turn To Montas
Montas comes into this game at 12-9 with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. His 3.39 FIP does suggest some positive regression for the right-hander. He’s been able to limit his walks to 2.64 per nine innings and posted a 9.97 K/9 ratio.
The Dominican native is far from an elite ground ball pitcher considering his 1.16 GB/FB ratio. Yet, his 1.02 HR/9 ratio is pretty decent in comparison. I suspected that those numbers might be due to him pitching at RingCentral Coliseum, and I was right. He has a 0.78 HR/9 at home vs. 1.33 on the road.
ESPN’s MLB Park Factors ranks RingCentral 25th with a 0.872 home run rate, which favors pitchers. But while some of his advanced numbers are less flattering on the road, he’s pitched to a 6-3 win-loss record on the highway vs. 6-6 at home. The Athletics also have a better record on the road (41-33) than at home (40-34) — albeit by one game.
This makes sense because Oakland’s hitters are just as likely to benefit from more hitter-friendly parks on the road as well. For example, Oakland is in the bottom half of the league with 181 total home runs. But on the road, it is tied for ninth with 100.
Sunday’s game will be the final meeting between these two teams this year. It’s been a one-sided affair as the Athletics hold a 14-4 edge in the season series. Seven of those 14 victories occurred on the road, so this is a ballpark the Athletics don’t at all mind visiting.
Shohei Ohtani Takes The Mound For The Angels
I’ve got all the respect in the world for what Ohtani’s been able to accomplish this season. But at times, there’s more drama than an episode of General Hospital.
Three days ago, there were reports that he might be done for the season with soreness in his pitching arm. And now, he’s the listed pitcher for this series finale. Let’s be clear, Ohtani calls his shots. I get that he wants to go out and pitch. But one has to wonder if the team can adequately protect him from himself.
There’s no question that he’s been brilliant this season:
- He’s 9-2 with a 3.36 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP.
- He was the starting pitcher for the American League in the All-Star Game.
- He’s hitting .258 with 44 home runs and 94 RBI.
While Ohtani’s undoubtedly good for baseball, that soreness might be the reason he allowed six runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings his last time out. An injury might be the only way we see some regression in his numbers, as his 3.43 FIP is pretty in line with his ERA.
The walks are probably the most significant criticism you can have about him. His 3.20 BB/9 ratio is undoubtedly too high for a pitcher of his quality. However, he’s often able to use a plus fastball that touches 100 mph to wiggle himself out of danger.
According to Baseball Savant, Ohtani also throws a slider (20.8%), a splitter (15.4%), a cutter (13.3%) and a curveball (3.7%). He does tend to fall in love with his fastball, which he throws 46.8% of the time.
Seven of his home runs have come against the fastball, and opposing hitters are batting .291 against the pitch with a .390 wOBA. Look for the Athletics to be patient at the plate against him. In 12 innings against Ohtani, Oakland has been able to draw fives walks.
In 55 at-bats, the Athletics have a .217/.246/.200 line against Ohtani while the Angels have a .138/.242/.172 line in 58 at-bats against Montas. There’s not much advantage either side can gain from those numbers, so the bullpen may very well decide this game. That’s where Oakland has more of an advantage, as evidenced by their 4.04 ERA vs. a 4.58 ERA for Los Angeles.
Here are a few other points to consider:
- The Angels have lost Ohtani’s last three starts against the Athletics.
- Oakland is a perfect 3-0 when Montas starts against the Angels.
Lastly, Oakland is 12-4 with a 32.3% ROI as a road favorite when they’re on a four-game winning streak.
I think the motivation is clearly with the visiting Athletics, and I’m not too interested in backing Ohtani amid these injury concerns.
Pick: Oakland ML (-130)