Dodgers vs. Angels Odds & Picks: The Undervalued Team On Friday Night

Credit:

Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images. Pictured: Clayton Kershaw.

  • The Dodgers and Angels open their three-game Freeway Series on Friday night.
  • With Clayton Kershaw on the mound, the Dodgers will look to maintain first place in the NL West this weekend.
  • The Angles' lineup, however, has been better than the Dodgers' of late. BJ Cunningham explains how he's leveraging that in his betting pick.

Dodgers vs. Angels Odds

Dodgers Odds -175 [BET NOW]
Angels Odds +148 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 8.5 (-120/+100) [BET NOW]
First Pitch 9:40 p.m. ET 
TV FS1

Odds as of Thursday night and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


The battle of LA commences on Friday as the Dodgers send veteran ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound to face the Angels. Both LA teams come into the game riding high after taking two of three from respective division rivals earlier in the week.

The Dodgers are now tied with the Rockies for first place in the NL West, so this series is important if they want to potentially stay in first place through the weekend. The Angels had a horrific start to the season and are now five games below .500. They will need to turn things around in a hurry.

Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP  is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.

BaseRuns is a formula designed to estimate how many runs a team would be expected to score (or allow) given their underlying offensive (or defensive) performance. In other words, BaseRuns is a context-neutral run estimator used to evaluate teams. Major League average for an individual player per game is 0.46 BaseRuns.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs

The Dodgers offense has been in a slump over the past week, as they’ve been hitting a measly .209 over their past seven games. Joc Pederson, Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy have been holding the Dodgers back during that span. The trio has combined for just seven hits in 53 plate appearances.

Took make matters worse, Corey Seager has been questionable over the past week with lower back discomfort. Seager has been the Dodgers’ best hitter to date (.419 wOBA), so the team really needs him back in the lineup.

Dodgers Projected Starter

Clayton Kershaw, LHP

Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Kershaw is clearly starting to enter the back end of his career. In 2019 he posted his highest xFIP (3.50) in over eight years. One of the main reasons for that is his fastball. It’s lost a lot of velocity, going from an average of 94.2 mph in 2015 down to 90.2 mph last season. That big dip in velocity has increased the wOBA against it from .275 in 2015 to .314 in 2019.

His secondary pitches are still effective, as his slider, changeup and curveball all generated a whiff rate over 30% in 2019. The bad news is the Angels have been top-10 against curveballs and sliders so far in 2020, so Kershaw will have to use his fastball and changeup more often on Friday night.

Los Angeles Angels

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs

The Angels’ offense started out the season pretty slow, but caught fire in their series against the A’s earlier this week. They plated 20 runs on 36 hits and took two of three from their in-state rivals. It’s no surprise that they’ve been led by Mike Trout, who has a .449 wOBA so far this year with eight home runs.

The Angels have positive weighted runs against fastballs (wFB), curveballs (wCB), and sliders (wSL) so far in 2020, which are three of Kershaw’s main pitches, so I don’t expect him mow down this Angels lineup.

Angels Projected Starter

Patrick Sandoval, LHP

Projected Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Patrick Sandoval had a decent first year in the show in 2019. In 39.1 innings he posted a 4.02 xFIP, along with a 9.61 K/9 rate. His fastball was shelled by opponents to the tune of a .410 wOBA, but his secondary pitches were effective, as they all generated a whiff rate over 35%.

His changeup and curveball are by far his best two pitches, as he held opponents under a .200 batting average against both last season. Sandoval’s changeup has tremendous sinking movement that goes down and away from righties and it looks almost impossible to hit if his location is on point.

The Dodgers have been ripping fastballs and curveballs to begin the season with 7.1 weighted fastball runs and 3.3 weighted curveball runs. However, they’ve struggled mightily against changeups, so I would expect Sandoval to utilize his best pitch often on Friday night.

Bullpens

The Dodgers bullpen, to nobody’s surprise, has been one of the best in baseball this season with a collective xFIP of 3.48. The Angels’, on the other hand, has been a disaster. It ranks near the bottom of MLB baseball with a 5.12 xFIP. So , the Dodgers will have a huge advantage in the pen during this series.

Projections and Pick

I really like the Angels in this game. Their lineup is starting to heat up and could be one of the best in the AL if they keep it going. However, when it comes to the bullpens, it’s a complete mismatch. I am going to back the Angels first five inning moneyline at +135 (DraftKings), but I would only bet it down to +128.

The Pick: Angels First Five Innings +135

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