Mariners vs Angels Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Thursday, August 3
Mark Blinch/Getty Images. Pictured: Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels.
Mariners vs Angels Odds
-102 / -120
-102 / -120
The Los Angeles Angels have now dropped two series in a row and will head home, looking to get back on track against the surging Seattle Mariners in a four-game weekend series.
Can Shohei Ohtani be the stopper for the Angels as he's been many times over, or will young Bryan Woo win this duel?
Let's break this one down and find the top betting pick to make in our Mariners vs. Angels preview.
There have been a number of pitchers to make the leap from Double-A to the Major Leagues this season, and Woo is among the many who have struggled in their first taste of big-league ball. The right-hander owns a 4.96 ERA entering his start on Thursday night, but there are certainly some positives to take away from his time at this level.
For starters, Woo has excelled in everyone's favorite area with a 3.51 xERA. There's so much more to his first 49 career innings than that, however.
The 23-year-old was a massive strikeout arm in the minors, posting a 31% K-rate or better at each level. He's done a pretty solid job of avoiding a massive drop-off in the majors with a 25.8% strikeout rate to this point.
And while he has never been a groundball pitcher in professional ball, he's managed to roll them up at a 39.4% clip, which isn't very high, but it's at least a lot better than the numbers he posted down in Double-A.
In short, Woo has posted stronger batted-ball numbers than he has in his entire minor-league career, and that's a good thing when you consider almost every pitcher is going to strike out fewer batters when graduating to the majors.
The ability to pitch to contact is a very important skill for young arms, and Woo's improving groundball rate — plus his .228 xBA — offers plenty of reasons for hope.
I also have to give the Mariners offense some credit. I've shown no mercy all season toward this team, which once again has assembled a poor lineup. But in the last two weeks, this group is slashing .265/.334/.469.
Strikeouts are still a massive issue for the Mariners, considering it's the result of 27.9% of their plate appearances in the last two weeks, but at least things have been happening when the bat's been on the ball.
Shohei Ohtani isn't a player who likes to pitch to contact. For the entirety of his career, the right-hander's calling card on the mound has been the strikeout. Few have done it better than Ohtani over the last two years, considering he's been in the top 6% of the league in strikeout rate dating back to last April, and that's been a blessing for him.
Ohtani's career 35.9% hard-hit rate isn't even good. In fact, it's only 0.3 points better than the league average. His 8.8% career walk rate is 0.4 points worse than average, and this season he's really struggled in that department with 10.2% of plate appearances ending in a walk.
However, he's always maintained a solid expected batting average and has pitched to ground balls pretty well, but he's not someone who's successfully pitched to contact often.
This season has been particularly arduous for Ohtani, who owns a career-worst 10.4% barrel rate and a 3.83 xERA. He's still been very good on account of his elite strikeout numbers, but when contact has been made, it has not gone very well for him.
He's also coming off of a month of July that saw him post a 4.97 ERA in four starts.
Mariners vs Angels Betting Pick
You couldn't hand-pick a better team for Ohtani to face on Thursday to break out of his funk. The Mariners own one of the highest strikeout rates in baseball, and despite their hot streak, that hasn't changed at all.
The amount of contact allowed should be minimal, and it's also worth noting that in 11 innings versus the Mariners this year, the righty has struck out 14 batters.
Woo's matchup here should also be favorable.
The Angels have been punched out in 28.6% of plate appearances in the last two weeks and have ranked a bit lower in fly-ball rate lately than they have for the season. There's also a chance Mickey Moniak misses this game after it was revealed on Wednesday that he's been dealing with an injury.
I think both pitchers should be in position to right the ship considering their strikeout pedigrees and the matchups. With that, I'm going to back the under here.