Dodgers vs. Angels MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Road Favorite Should Dominate Freeway Series Opener (Friday, July 15)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Max Muncy and Freddie Freeman
- The Dodgers are strong road favorites in tonight's Freeway Series opener against the Angels.
- The Dodgers will send Clayton Kershaw to the mound and the Angels will counter with Patrick Sandoval.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup and a betting pick.
Dodgers vs. Angels Odds
|Time||9:38 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Dodgers are back on a tear and looking to do some more damage in the second leg of the Freeway Series.
Their opponents hailing from Anaheim have lost 10 of 12 and are looking like a beaten team at this point in the season.
Despite the mismatch, the price to back the Dodgers isn’t all that expensive. So, what gives? Let’s dig into it.
Dodgers Looking Dominant
First off, let’s start with this Dodgers offense, It’s absolutely cooking at the moment, ranking second in wRC+ over the last two weeks with a strong .206 ISO and a league-best .272 batting average.
The Dodgers are also fifth in hard-hit rate and rocking an elite 10.2% walk rate during this time, and after struggling with strikeouts earlier this summer, they’ve settled back in at 21.2% over the 14 days.
If you thought that was a scary sight for the Angels, then just wait for the pitching matchup. Clayton Kershaw will get the ball here, and he’s been the unstoppable force we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. Sure, he struggled in Coors Field with six earned over four frames at the end of June, but he’s never had success there — and not many have.
Even with that clunker, the southpaw is in the top 5% of baseball with a .331 xwOBA on contact and a 2.39 xERA. If that wasn’t bad enough, he’s also walking fewer than 5% of hitters he’s faced this year and striking out 27.6% of them.
It’s just not very easy to scratch across runs against Kershaw, let alone get baserunners.
Angels’ Offense a Disaster
On the other end of this pitching matchup is Patrick Sandoval, a pitcher who has produced good results for the Angels this year but is deeply flawed in almost every way.
Sandoval has walked 10.1% of batters he’s faced, a solid 1.7% higher than the league average and 0.2% higher than his poor mark set last year. His strikeout rate is still 3% higher than league average, but has come down 0.9% from last season.
While you might not really care about the dip in strikeouts, or excuse the walks because he’s punching out a quarter of hitters, it’s hard to look past Sandoval’s 7.4% barrel rate and .411 xwOBA on contact. Coupling a bunch of batted balls with a high hit probability together with a troubling walk rate is a disastrous sight.
Speaking of disasters, how about this Angels offense? It is dead-last in wRC+ over the last two weeks with just seven homers, a 33.6% strikeout rate and an impossible .072 ISO. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the latter two numbers in a two week span — it’s truly been awful.
On top of that, this team has been playing without Mike Trout, who is dealing with back spasms. It’s unclear if he’ll give it a go on Friday.
When you look at how skewed this pitching matchup is, and then look at the Angels offense — which will get even worse without Trout — it’s really hard to figure out why the Angels are being given any sort of chance here.
I think I’ve laid out the numbers pretty well here to paint the picture of how different these teams are. I’ll grab the Dodgers run line.
Pick: Dodgers -1.5 (-120)