Today’s MLB Betting Prediction | Nationals vs Angels Odds, Expert Picks Tuesday April 11
John McCoy/Getty Images. Pictured: Shohei Ohtani
- The Angels host the Nationals in MLB action on Monday night.
- With Shohei Ohtani on the mound, the Angels are massive favorites. So where is the betting value?
- Jim Turvey dis into the matchup and offers up his best bets for Nationals vs Angels below.
Nationals vs. Angels Odds
-120 / -102
-120 / -102
The Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Angels face off on Tuesday night in what very well may be the biggest discrepancy in starting pitcher talent we will see the entire season.
The Nationals will give the ball to Josiah Gray, while the Angels will turn to some guy you maybe have heard of: Shohei Ohtani.
Naturally, bettors will have to lay a lot of juice to be on the L.A. side, so let’s see if that juice is worth the squeeze.
Gray has made two starts this season and is sporting a 4.91 ERA. His advanced metrics are a bit all over the place (3.54 xERA, 5.94 FIP, 4.27 xFIP) but that makes sense given that we are just 11 innings into his season. Last season, his 5.02 ERA ranked a not-so-nice 69th out of 72 pitchers with at least 140 innings, while his 5.86 FIP was by far the worst in baseball over those same innings.
Gray’s ‘x’ stats (xERA and xFIP) liked him a little bit more, but neither placed him in anything resembling even the top-half of starters. And at this point, his strong prospect pedigree has lost nearly all its shine, with a career 5.16 ERA in over 230 innings.
Gray has added a cutter this season in an attempt to diversify his pitch portfolio, but in this game he may want to avoid it, since it has been by far his worst pitch this season (-2.7 FanGraphs pitch value runs so far), and the Angels feasted on cutters last season, finishing third in baseball in terms of runs produced against cutters in 2022.
For the Angels, you know the name Ohtani, of course, but he’s known for so many things at this point, we should clarify how good he is as a starting pitcher.
The answer: insanely good.
We mentioned Gray’s dead-last FIP in 2022. Ohtani was very nearly on the exact opposite of that spectrum, with a 2.40 FIP that trailed only Carlos Rodon and Kevin Gausman in all of baseball. He had the second-best strikeout rate in baseball, and his Stuff+ was tied for second (Gray ranked in the bottom five in baseball in Stuff+, Eno Sarris’ elite pitching model) last season. The crazy part: Ohtani’s been even better by some metrics this season.
Through two starts, he’s given up a grand total of one earned run, and both his strikeout rate and Stuff+ number are higher than ever. The Stuff+ number is so high, it’s in the land of one-inning elite relievers, and not even in the same stratosphere as other starting pitchers. He continues to break models (and that’s before we even begin to talk about the fact that pitching is just half his game).
Of course, even if this were just a matchup of similar pitchers, the edge would be on the Angels’ side. Their offense this season (110 wRC+) has been far superior to the Nationals (92 wRC+), as has their defense (sixth in fielding WAR for L.A. compared to 20th for Washington) and their bullpen (Angels sixth in reliever WAR vs. 21st for the Nats).
Nationals vs. Angels Betting Pick
There are many different ways to play the Angels on Tuesday, but let’s not overthink this. I’m putting three-quarters of a unit on the Angels first five innings run line (-1.5 +105 BetMGM) and a quarter unit on the full game alternate run line, looking for a full-on blowout (-5.5 +390 DraftKings).
I like the first five more because we’re targeting the exact portion of the game that projects forward to have the biggest gap (the Angels’ bullpen was not projected to be this strong before the season), but really any way you can get on the Angels, even though it’s juicy, is worth it on Tuesday.
Pick: Angels -1.5 +105 first five innings; Angels -5.5 +390 full game
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