MLB Odds & Picks (Sunday, July 26): Predictions for Angels vs. Athletics

Credit:

Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels.

  • The Los Angles Angles and Oakland Athletics face off Sunday (4 p.m. ET on MLB Network).
  • The A's enter today's game as favorites (-113) and the Angels (+100) will have pitcher Shohei Ohtani on the mound.
  • Jake Hurwitz breaks down how he plans to bet the AL West matchup.

Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics Odds & Picks

Angels Odds -104 [BET NOW]
Athletics Odds -110 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 8.5 (-120/+100) [BET NOW]
First Pitch Sunday, 4:10 p.m. ET

Odds as of Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET 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 rubber match of this three-game series features the return to the mound for Los Angels Angels right hander Shohei Ohtani, who will square off against Mike Fiers.

The Oakland Athletics took the first game in extra innings, 7-3, with a walk-off grand slam from Matt Olson. The Angels took the second game with a strong performance from Dylan Bundy. LA has the edge on the mound in this one, but the Athletics have the stronger bullpen and lineup.

The Angels will again be missing Anthony Rendon with a an oblique injury. With Ohtani pitching and unable to hit, the Angels will rely heavily on Mike Trout in this one.

Ohtani did not pitch in 2019, but he did start 10 games in 2018. In that span Ohtani had a 3.31 ERA, 1.16 WHIP a 15.5 SwK, and a 111 BPV in 52 IP. Against this current A’s roster, Ohtani has a 1.47 FIP and a ridiculous 51.7 K%. The Oakland current roster has 0.155 wOBA and .107 BA against Ohtani.


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.


Fiers on the other hand is coming off a career year in which he had 15 wins, a 3.90 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. The 35-year-old had an expected ERA of 5.02 and a BPV of 59 (that is really bad). He also had a career low BPV in 2019, but pitched very well at home compared to on the road. Fiers had a 2.61 home ERA compares to his 4.62 road ERA. He has not fared so well against the current Angels roster as he has a 5.36 FIP and 18.9 K%.

The Angels have hit .287 off Fiers and have a 0.362 wOBA. When Fiers faced LA in 2019 he went 3-0 with a 3.04 ERA, but his expected ERA was 5.15 and his Dom was only 5.7. Fiers seemed to get very lucky in 2019.

The Angels don’t care if they face a righty or lefty as they hit both equally well. The A’s on the other hand, prefer lefties as they hit .262 against southpaws in 2019 and only .244 against righties. Oakland performed better at home last season with a 52-29 record at RingCentral Coliseum.

Bullpens

Oakland has a very deep bullpen led by closer Liam Hendricks who had a 1.80 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 2019. The Athletics also have Joakim Soria, Jake Diekman, Lou Trivino and Yusmeiro Petit. The A’s were top 10 in bullpen ERA, WHIP, homers per nine, and strikeout-to-walk-ratio last season.

The Angels have some question marks in their bullpen, though. They are led by closer Hansel Robles, who had a great campaign in 2019 with a 2.48 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. His expected ERA was 3.89, which shows that he may have been lucky. Robles has already suffered a loss this season, but LA has Tyler Buttrey and Kenyan Middleton to help bridge the gap.

With Ohtani on the mound I see Oakland struggling to score early in this one. Fiers is not very good, but he has found success on the mound and will get to face a LA lineup without Rendon and Ohtani in it. I see both teams struggling to score early in this one.

The Pick: Under 4.5 F5 (-104)

[Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

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