MLB Odds & Picks for Dodgers vs. Angels: Value on Halos as Home Underdogs (Saturday, May 8)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels.
- The Dodgers lost their fourth-straight game on Friday, losing 9-2 to the Angels.
- The win for the Halos put an end to a five-game losing streak, dropping them to last in the AL West.
- Kenny Ducey has been more than happy fading the Dodgers most of the season, and he's not stopping today.
Dodgers vs. Angels Odds
|Over/Under||8 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||9:07 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Saturday and via William Hill.|
After a shellacking on Friday night, the Angels will look to pick up where they left off against the wounded Dodgers, who find themselves teetering on the verge of a losing record after such a promising start to the season.
With a star-studded pitching matchup, and two offenses in similar form, is there value here on taking the steep home underdog?
Let’s take a look at the matchup and find out.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The free-fall for the Dodgers has continued into the Freeway Series with their 14th loss in 18 games coming at the hands of the Angels on Friday. A team that started the season 13-2 now finds itself just a game over .500 and third in the NL West. In times like these, it’s nice to have a stopper in Clayton Kershaw to turn to, though that didn’t work out for them so well on Tuesday in Chicago.
Still, Kershaw is one of the few things about this team that has worked. Even after getting shelled in that aforementioned loss, which lasted just one inning for the lefty, his ERA sits at 2.95.
His strikeout rate is down ever so slightly, and he’s been touched up for just a bit more hard contact, but nothing jumps off the page as a major cause of concern. If anything, his stuff has played up even better in this season bereft of offense, with higher whiff rates on his slider and curveball.
Offense hasn’t been the problem for the Dodgers: they rank seventh in wRC+ over the past two weeks, with the third-best strikeout-to-walk ratio in the league from a hitting standpoint. The long ball hasn’t been there quite as much, though, with 15 dingers in 14 days to rank right in the middle of the league over that time period. That could be the reason we haven’t seen many explosions at the plate.
No, it’s been the Dodgers’ pitching staff that’s let them down lately. Over that same two-week period, it carries a 4.01 ERA, with almost exactly-average performances by the rotation and bullpen. You’d think that Kershaw would buck that trend here, though.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels have been such a weird team. Up and down the order, they have enough talent to beat anyone in the league, but have found that difficult of late. Coming into this series to the Dodgers, the Halos had lost five in a row, including a four-game sweep at the hands of the Rays, before turning it on and scoring nine runs off the talented Julio Urías and a strong bullpen.
If they can replicate anything close to that level of success at the dish, they should be able to pick up another win here on the arm of Dylan Bundy. The right-hander’s fastball is up 2 mph from last season and wiffle ball slider is still pushing a ridiculous 50% whiff rate.
As a result, his strikeout rate is once again strong at 27%, and he’s been one of the best in the league at limiting hard contact with just 26.8% of the batted balls he’s allowing coming off the bat at 95 mph or more. His 4.00 ERA isn’t even all that bad, but according to Baseball Savant’s ERA indicator, which factors in hit probabilities, he should have a 2.80 ERA to be right there with his opponent Kershaw.
Let’s talk about that matchup for a second. It’s worth noting the Angels have a 107 wRC+ against lefties, indicating above-average hitting within the split even though they’re right in the middle of the league in that category. They also just beat up on a lefty on Friday and have gotten to some left-handed relievers lately, so they should be plenty comfortable against another southpaw.
There is a rule I like to follow, and it’s to ride the wave instead of guess when a streak will end. Fading the Dodgers has been profitable for quite a while now, and this offense has been pretty pedestrian.
It’s not like the Angels have been that great either, but at least they’ve been hitting a bit better than the Dodgers lately. With what I see as a relatively even pitching matchup, I think there is plenty of value on the heavy home underdogs.
Bundy deserves more respect, and his low walk rate should help him limit traffic against the walk-happy Dodgers.
Pick: Angels ML (+135)