Saturday MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions: Los Angeles Angels vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (Sept. 26)
Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Shohei Ohtani and Austin Barnes.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels battle each other in LA to close out the 2020 MLB regular season.
- The Dodgers have their eyes on the playoffs, while the Angels will be heading home in a few days after being eliminated from postseason contention.
- Michael Arinze breaks down whether or not the Angels will be motivated in their final series and shares a bet based on his analysis below.
Angels vs. Dodgers Betting Odds
|Angels Odds||+200 [BET NOW]|
|Dodgers Odds||-223 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||9 [BET NOW]|
|First Pitch||9:10 p.m. ET|
At 41-17, the Los Angeles Dodgers just keep rolling this season.
A Rays loss in one of their next two games would make the Dodgers the only team to win at least 40 games in this 60-game season. The Dodgers already have a win percentage that sits at .700, which would amount to about 114 wins when prorated over 162 games. This team’s consistency has really been something to marvel at over the last eight years, as it’s achieved a .560 win percentage or better.
With two games remaining in the season, the Dodgers are still looking to finalize their playoff rotation. Tonight, they’ll hand the ball to Tony Gonsolin for the second game of their three-game series against the Angels. Gonsolin will be opposed by Dylan Bundy as he gets set to make his 12th and final start of the year.
These September games are tricky, as it’s difficult to properly account for all the different motivational angles of a team that’s headed for the playoffs against another team that’s getting a head start on booking its tee times.
Bundy’s Career Year
Bundy sits at 6-3 with a 3.29 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, but his advanced numbers suggest he’s been even better — he holds a 2.93 FIP, which is the best of his major league career.
This season, Bundy increased his K/9 from 9.02 to 9.87 while reducing both his BB/9 (3.23 to 2.33) and HR/9 (1.61 to 0.69). Batters only hit .207 against him, as his barrel rate of 4.6% is also the best of his career.
If you take a look Bundy’s pitch tracking courtesy of Baseball Savant, you’ll find he’s generating less spin on his pitches, which has actually increased the vertical movement of his pitches, thereby making it more difficult on hitters to barrel up. This has resulted in an increase in his whiff percentage from 28.2% last year to 29.5% this season.
Gonsolin Targets Playoff Start
Gonsolin will hope to pitch his way into the Dodgers’ postseason plans. He’s 1-2 with a 1.77 ERA and 0.79 WHIP. While his 2.44 FIP suggests that could be due for some regression, his overall numbers are still exemplary on the season.
Gonsolin is striking out 8.85 hitters per nine innings, and his 1.55 BB/9 is rare for a pitcher in just his second year in the big leagues. In 40.2 innings of work, his HR/9 sits at only 0.44, and he’s done a good job of stranding 79.5% of the runners that reach base.
What I like about Gonsolin is that he doesn’t beat himself when he’s on the mound. He gets ahead of hitters with his four-seam fastball and can finish hitters off with any one of his three off-speed pitches (split-finger, slider, curveball). To get an idea of how good his off-speed repertoire is, each pitch has generated a whiff rate of at least 38% this season.
A whiff rate that high on three different pitches isn’t something that’s common among many pitchers, let alone a second-year pitcher.
The Angels are 0-4 against the Dodgers this season, and their loss last night eliminated them from playoff contention. There seem to be too many variables coming into this game because one has to account for both the team’s collective mindset, along with the starting pitcher who is such a key factor as to whether a team wins or loses a game.
While one might think starting pitchers would be motivated for each start, they are not immune from the mental fatigue that can come from being alone on the 18-inch rubber with the expectation of throwing 100 pitches per outing.
One thing I know for certain is that I don’t want any piece of the Angels in this matchup. I would, however, lean to the Dodgers because Gonsolin’s motivational angle is a bit clearer in this spot.
What worries me is whether or not the Dodgers will continue to field their best lineup. Rest becomes a critical component heading into the postseason. Let’s be honest, Bundy’s no tomato can. He’s actually had two appearances against the Dodgers and is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA.
BetMGM offers the Dodgers moneyline at -250. I’m never in love with laying 2:1, so if I were betting this game, I’d probably look to back the Dodgers on a first-five run line to minimize the juice. This game is just going to be a lean for me, as I’ll look to sit this one out and await better betting opportunities during the playoffs.
The Pick: Lean — Dodgers F5 Run Line -0.5 (-128)