Mets vs. Angels MLB Odds, Pick & Preview: Back Trout to Stay Hot (Sunday, June 12)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured Mike Trout
- It's the Mets and the Angels on Sunday Night Baseball.
- Both teams need a win as the Angels have been scuffling and the Mets have seen their NL East lead shrink over the past week.
- Tanner McGrath breaks down the matchup and provides a best bet below.
Mets vs. Angels Odds
|Time||7:08 p.m. ET|
The Mets are in trouble.
The Braves have won eight straight games. The Phillies have won nine straight games. The Mets’ 5-4 record this month is fine, but the double-digit division lead they had on June 1st has dwindled to 6.5. The Mets are also 5-0 in extra-inning games this season and are due for a couple regression losses.
But, Mets fans, look on the bright side! You’re not the Angels, who recently lost 14 straight games during a historically bad Mike Trout slump. The Angels were leading the AL West at one point and are now nine games back of the red-hot Astros.
These two relatively desperate teams meet up on the big stage for this week’s edition of Sunday Night Baseball.
Who has the edge?
New York Mets: When Will Lindor Get Back on Track?
The Mets just get on base. Their .336 OBP leads MLB on the season and they’re now second in wRC+ behind the Yankees.
The Mets don’t hit the ball hard, but they never strike out (19.5 K%, third lowest) and they punish bad defenses by putting the ball in play. The Mets are second in contact rate (78.6%) behind Cleveland and the majority of their games have come against the three worst defensive teams in baseball via Outs Above Average (Rockies, Nationals and Phillies).
Obviously, this screams for negative regression. So, it’s unfortunate their 10.5-game division lead has been cut in half during one week in June.
All that begs the question, what do the Mets do from here?
For starters, getting back two of the top-five pitchers in baseball would be nice. The Mets pitching staff has mostly survived Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer’s absences, but the back of the rotation success isn’t sustainable.
Also, get Francisco Lindor back on track. He hasn’t been bad, just not elite. His OPS fell below 1.000 on April 21st and he’s slashed .243/.311/.392 in the 46 games since. He’s also struck out 44 times in just over 200 PAs, which is a little high for a career 15% strikeout guy.
Starting pitcher: Taijuan Walker (RHP)
Taijuan Walker is overperforming, as he has for most of his career. He pairs a 3.28 ERA with a 4.18 xERA and a 4.58 xFIP. He’s managed to eat up 46 2/3 innings — which the Mets are desperate for right now — over nine starts and has done so with a respectable 0.6 fWAR.
Historically, Walker’s four-seam has gotten slammed, so he’s scaled back the use of that and thrown his splitter more while also developing a slider. The splitter has been rather impressive, with a -5 Run Value and some impressive peripheral metrics.
#MLB 2022 Pitch Quality Leaders
⭐️ Splitter (min 100 Pitches)
Top 3#Mets Taijuan Walker 5.04 QOPA#SFGiants Alex Cobb 4.75 QOPA#RedSox Nathan Eovaldi 4.75 QOPA#LGM#SFGameUp#DirtyWater@tai_walkerpic.twitter.com/29vyeDv4Jb
— MLB Quality of Pitch (@qopbaseball) June 11, 2022
But outside of that, Walker’s only ability is his availability. There’s not a lot to love about his game. His strikeout rate is down and he’s ranked below the 50th percentile in average exit velocity allowed for three straight seasons.
This is also a dangerous place for Walker. In 35 lifetime plate appearances against current Angels hitters, Walker has allowed 14 hits and four home runs. Mike Trout alone is 10-for-16 with three home runs and a whopping 100.5 mph average exit velocity.
Los Angeles Angels: Trout Will Bounce Back
Speaking of Trout, he was in one of the biggest slumps of his career before Saturday night. In an 11-game stretch between May 25th and June 5th, Trout went 4-for-46 with one single, two walks and 16 strikeouts. That included going hitless in 26 consecutive at-bats.
The Angels went 0-11 in those games, by the way. Who would’ve thought?!?
Trout broke out a bit against Boston, smacking three hits, including a hard-hit double down the line, in the series’ first two games.
However, he then ended up on the Injured List. Thank goodness it was nothing major and he was inserted back into the lineup for Game 1 of this series, then broke out Saturday night.
Trout’s not hurt and his batted ball numbers haven’t taken the biggest hit recently (although his hard-hit rate collapsed during the 0-for-26 stretch). Instead, he just went through a phase where he posted a .120 BABIP in 60+ plate appearances. That gets to your confidence and it could help explain the added strikeouts.
All-in-all, Trout will bounce back. Even if this doesn’t look pretty:
But can the Angels bounce back?
I don’t think so. I just don’t love the construction of this roster.
Shohei Ohtani has been wonderful on the mound — and his seven-inning, one-run effort against Boston snapped the losing streak — but his OPS still hasn’t cracked .800. Taylor Ward is hurt after a hot start and the Halos don’t have the horses outside of the top-three guys.
The bullpen gives me zero confidence, although the starting rotation has been rather effective so far.
The five main starting pitchers for the #Angels are looking like they might be back on track.
Patrick Sandoval 2.81 ERA
Shohei Ohtani 3.64 ERA
Noah Syndergaard 3.69 ERA
Michael Lorenzen 3.69 ERA
Reid Detmers 3.83 ERA #GoHalos
— Classic Cards (@Classic_Cards_) June 10, 2022
Starting pitcher: Patrick Sandoval (LHP)
Patrick Sandoval was never really on my radar and I’ve generally looked to fade him in his time with the Angels.
But I’ve been impressed with his efforts so far this season.
He’s posted a 2.81 ERA in his nine starts and tossed 48 innings without allowing a home run. That last stat is a big indicator for negative regression, but his xERA and FIP are both south of 3.50.
His fastball doesn’t really play, given he doesn’t throw it especially hard and it has little-to-no movement on it. But he’s posted a combined -12 Run Value across his slider, changeup and sinker.
His changeup tends to confuse hitters the most and opponents are batting .100 on the pitch with a whiff rate approaching 50%. It pairs well with his fastball and guys just swing over the top of it over and over and over again.
Patrick Sandoval generated 13 swings and misses on his changeup during his no-hit bid.
His 4th time generating double-digit swings and misses on the pitch in a single game. pic.twitter.com/IYBiixQ5M1
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) July 26, 2021
The home runs are coming and his 11.5% walk rate is rather concerning for a guy who has struggled with control in his career. That 1.31 WHIP does not bode well for Sandoval going forward.
But the Angels are 6-3 in Sandoval starts this season and I am rather confident in his abilities and stuff.
It’s tough to pick a side in this game. It’s rare you get both teams at -110. The total feels slightly high at 9, but the wind is blowing straight out at almost 10 mph.
I lean toward the Angels at home with Sandoval on the mound, but I don’t feel like fading the Mets when they have advantages in the bullpen. However, the Angels grade out well on defense (sixth in Outs Above Average), so it’ll be tough for the soft-hitting Mets’ lineup to crack through the infield.
When guys break out of a slump, they often get hot quickly. Re-instilling confidence in your swing after a rough month does wonders for hitters, who suddenly see the ball better than they have in years.
I think we’re about to get that with Trout, who cashed his bases total in both games against Boston and has the perfect track record for a big game on Sunday Night.
As mentioned, Trout is a whopping 10-for-16 lifetime against Walker with three home runs and a triple. His ridiculous 100.5-mph average exit velocity has produced a .458 xBA and a 1.025 xSLG.
Plus, with the weather report calling for wind blowing out, those hard-hit balls are going to get some extra carry. You could even target Trout to homer on national TV Sunday Night.
Sometimes you have to pay a Trout tax when backing him in player prop markets, but his recent slump may grant us a valuable discount. I think it’s worth it to bet his bases if we can get a reasonable price around -130.
If you feel compelled to bet this game in different ways, I lean Angels (-110) and the under 9 (-115). But Trout is my best bet for this week’s edition of Sunday Night Baseball.
Pick: Mike Trout over 1.5 Total Bases (-135 or better)
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