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Rangers vs. Angels MLB Odds & Picks: Bet Los Angeles to Dominate (April 20)

Rangers vs. Angels MLB Odds & Picks: Bet Los Angeles to Dominate (April 20) article feature image

Ed Zurga/Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles Angels standout Shohei Ohtani.

  • The Los Angeles Angels face the Texas Rangers in Major League Baseball acrion at Angel Stadium.
  • Shohei Ohtani will take the mound for the Angels, who suffered a 6-4 loss Monday against the Rangers.
  • Michael Arinze details below why thinks Los Angeles and Ohtani are play in this spot.

Rangers vs. Angels Odds

Rangers Odds +163
Angels Odds -190
Over/Under 8.5
Time 9:38 p.m. ET
Odds as of Tuesday evening via DraftKings.

The Los Angeles Angels looked every bit like a team that hadn’t played in three days during Monday’s game, as it took six innings for their offense to scratch out a run. They exploded for four runs in the seventh inning, but it wasn’t enough to cancel out the five scored in the sixth by the Texas Rangers, who went on to earn the 6-4 victory.

The Angels will look to even the series Tuesday, with Shohei Ohtani getting the start on the mound. He’ll be opposed by Jordan Lyles, who’ll be making his fourth start of the season.

Ohtani has only made one appearance on the mound this season, due to the fact he has been dealing with a blister on his right hand. While he looked dominant in his only outing, control issues limited him to just 4 2/3 innings.

The Angels’ standout is still a bit of a wild card, but there’s no question that his stuff plays at the major-league level. It could be the perfect storm for him, with Los Angeles fairing well in a bounce-back spot off a loss this season.

Texas Rangers

I’m not sure what to make of the Rangers this season. The over-under for their win total was set at 67.5, and yet you could say they’ve played above expectations giving their 8-9 start. However, I think Texas’ recent win against Los Angeles was a bit fortunate, as they couldn’t catch its host in a flatter spot after not playing since Friday’s game.

Lyles will take his turn on the mound for the Rangers. In three starts, he’s 1-0 with a 4.70 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. Although, his 5.57 FIP does make him an ideal candidate to experience some regression. Lyles has a 2.35 HR/9 ratio, and his HR/FB is below average at 16.7 percent. Also, 53.4 percent of his batted balls are fly balls, and hitters have a hard contact rate of 42.6 percent.

Bottom line, this is a pitcher who’s just asking to get touched up for some big hits. If you look at his last four seasons, he’s finished with an HR/FB ratio of at least 12.8 percent. He’ll now face an Angels lineup with a .326 AVG / .436 OBP / .522 SLG slash line against him in 46 at-bats. And although this current lineup has only one home run against him, its .196 ISO is still above league average.

As far as their offense is concerned, the Rangers are 23rd with a wRC+ value of 86. They also have done a poor job getting on base, as their .26 BB/K rate is the third worst in the league. Yet, perhaps the biggest issue is their plate discipline.

Texas’ 31.3 CSW% (called strikes% + swinging strikes%) is the worst in the league. I suspect that sooner than later, the cumulative effect of these numbers will place an even bigger burden on its ability to win ballgames.

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Los Angeles Angels

We’re now into the third season of the Angels trying to utilize Ohtani as a two-way player. Yet, it’s hard to believe he’s only made 13 starts in the big leagues. Injuries have certainly derailed his progress, but when he’s been able to take the ball, he’s been effective.

Since arriving in Los Angeles, Ohtani is 4-3 with a 4.19 ERA in the majors. His 3.85 FIP would suggest that he’s been even better.  One thing that has been surprising about Ohtani is his lack of command. Even in 2018, when he made 10 starts, he still walked 3.83 hitters per nine innings. He did manage to finish 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA that season.

The walks are really the only blip when you look at his advanced numbers. Ohtani’s ability to generate 11.33 strikeouts per nine innings in those 13 appearances is very promising. That could work to his advantage against a Rangers team that’s 23rd in the league with a chase rate outside the zone of 32.6 percent. The other factor that should work to his advantage is that he’s yet to face Texas, despite being in the same division.

Ohtani remains very much an enigma in his fourth season. He’s already reached folklore status in that he’s been the buzz in the league, despite few hitters actually seeing him pitch. However, one thing we do know is that when he’s healthy, he’s worth every cent the price of admission.

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Rangers-Angels Pick

If Ohtani can still remember where the pitching mound is, I feel like I have to back him in his outings. The Angels are 8-5 straight up in games he’s started. If we look at the 2018 season (representing the majority of his starts), Los Angeles went 7-3, including a 6-1 mark in his first seven starts.

I think this is a good spot to back him against the free-swinging Rangers. No player has yet to get a hit off his splitter this season, and I’d expect Texas to get a heavy dose of that pitch.

While it took until the seventh inning for the Angels to plate some runs on Monday, I think their familiarity with Lyles on the mound should serve them well in this matchup. Los Angeles has avoided long losing streaks, as they’re 3-1 both straight up and against the spread coming off a loss.

With the Angels as high as -200 odds on the money line, I’ll look to play them on the run line instead at -105 odds via DraftKings as my top selection.

Pick: Angels Run Line (-105)

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