MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Indians vs. Angels: How to Bet Shohei Ohtani Start (Wednesday, May 19)

MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Indians vs. Angels: How to Bet Shohei Ohtani Start (Wednesday, May 19) article feature image
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Stephen Brashear/Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani.

  • The Angels close out a three-game series with the Indians on Wednesday night after splitting the first two games.
  • Shohei Ohtani gets the start for Los Angeles and has been dominant both at the mound and on the plate.
  • Michael Arinze breaks down how he's betting this game as Ohtani faces Aaron Civale.

Indians vs. Angels Odds

Indians Odds +110
Angels Odds -135
Over/Under 7.5
Time Wednesday, 8:07 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds as of Wednesday morning via BetMGM.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Angels announced that Mike Trout was heading to the 10-day Injured List. The truth is that he’ll be out of the lineup even longer as the timetable for his return is six to eight weeks.

The Angels already have the third-worst run differential (-45) in the league and now they have to try to compete without the best player in baseball?

One thing I know is I don’t want any part of Los Angeles with Trout sidelined.

However, his absence does present an interesting betting opportunity on Wednesday with Aaron Civale on the mound to take on the Angels.

Cleveland Ends Four-Game Skid Against Los Angeles

Cleveland snapped a four-game losing streak Tuesday with a 6-5 win over Los Angeles. The win evened up the series at a game apiece.

Civale comes into this latest game with a 5-1 record, highlighted by a 3.40 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, this season. While his 4.34 FIP is a bit higher, that’s primarily because he pitches to contact, as evidenced by his 80.9% contact rate.

His K/9 rate has actually dropped from 8.39 last year to 6.62 this season despite there not being any change in his velocity. His four-seam fastball averages around 91.5 mph, but he’s able to keep hitters off balance with a mixture of six different pitches, according to Baseball Savant.

In addition to his four-seamer (26.1%), Civale throws a cutter (21%), curveball (16.2%), splitter (14.1%), slider (13.1%) and sinker (9.5%) as part of his arsenal.

That’s a nice mix of pitches with plenty of downward action in the bottom half of the strike zone. Perhaps that’s why Civale has been able to increase his GB/FB ratio from 1.41 to 1.58 — the highest in his three-year career.

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No Player Like Los Angeles Star Ohtani in the Game

Every historian has probably said at one point or another that we’d never witness a player who can combine pitching with hitting like Babe Ruth ever again. Who knew it would take a phenom from Japan to change that belief?

What Shohei Ohtani is doing as a two-way player is mind-blowing. However, before I get too carried away with extolling all his virtues, I’ll focus on his pitching prowess for the purpose of this article.

Similar to Civale, Ohtani throws roughly the same mix of pitches, except for a sinker. But unlike his counterpart, Ohtani can dial his four-seamer up to hit triple digits.

Ohtani (1-0, 2.10 ERA) is striking out 14.03 batters per nine innings, and even when hitters do make contact, they’ve only managed to have a .196 BAPIP. Yet, he’s not just a strikeout pitcher. His 0.70 HR/9 ratio is also impressive, along with his 1.60 GB/FB ratio.

There’s only been one game this season when he allowed more than one earned run in an outing.

He might have even found something in his last start, as he completed seven innings of work for the first time this season and issued just one walk, which is something he has struggled with at the major-league level.

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Indians-Angels Pick

I’m on the hunt for an elixir to turn my MLB season around, and this game might provide the catharsis I need. I’m eschewing all money lines, run lines, first fives, first five-run lines or any other garbage that’s gone against me. Instead, I think it’s time to call on the gods of NRFI nation to show me the way.

In his five starts this season, Ohtani has only allowed a first-inning run on one occasion. His prodigious strikeout rate has enabled him to wiggle in and out of danger despite his high walk rate (7.01 BB/9) during the campaign.

However, I mentioned he walked only one batter his last time out, so he could be trending in the right direction.

As for Civale, that’s where it gets a bit dicey. He’s allowed a first-inning run in four of his eight starts this year, but never in back-to-back outings. Oh, by the way, he’s coming off a start where he allowed a first-inning run.

Not only will Civale avoid facing the best hitter in the world in Trout, but the only player he’s ever faced in the Angels’ lineup is Juan Lagares, so that lack of familiarity should be to his advantage. Furthermore, Ohtani has only faced Eddie Rosario in Cleveland’s lineup, so that that angle could work as well. The combination of these factors could be enough to get us to the finish line.

Civale’s track record in the first inning is probably why the NRFI line is as low as -114 odds on DraftKings at the moment. Nonetheless, I think it’s a risk worth taking, and hopefully, I can recall the feeling of making a withdrawal instead of a deposit this time around.

Pick: First Inning Under 0.5 Runs (-114)

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