Red Sox vs. Angels Odds, Preview, Prediction: Red-Hot Boston a Slight Favorite in Anaheim (Monday, July 5)
John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images. Pictured: Rafael Devers (11), Xander Bogaerts (2) of the Boston Red Sox.
- The Red Sox have been on fire of late and start the second series of their West Coast trip Monday vs. the Angels.
- Boston enters the matchup as short favorites against an Angles squad that is treading water in the AL West.
- Tanner McGrath explains why he likes the Red Sox to stay hot on the West Coast:
Red Sox vs. Angels Odds
|Red Sox Odds||-115|
|Time||9:38 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Monday and via DraftKings.|
The Boston Red Sox have to be feeling good coming into this series against the Los Angeles Angels. They’ve won nine of their past 10 games, are playing the best baseball of anyone in MLB right now and are getting a huge arm off the injured list soon.
Meanwhile, the Angels have been quietly much better than expected over the past month. Even without Mike Trout, the Angels have managed to string together enough performances to be over .500 again.
However, do the Halos have enough firepower to keep up with Boston? Let’s dive into this matchup.
The Red Sox are Firing on All Cylinders
It’s time we put Boston in the World Series contender conversation.
Many still critique the front office for the Mookie Betts trade, but I am starting to believe it was the right move. Behind young All-Stars Rafael Devers (.924 OPS, 68 RBIs) and Xander Boegarts (.928 OPS, .326 BA), the Red Sox have a lineup that can go toe-to-toe with any team in baseball, and they haven’t needed Betts to do so.
Considering the bullpen, lineup and defense has been great, the only question surrounding this team is the starting rotation. However, two guys have alleviated those worries for Boston fans.
The first is Nathan Eovaldi. ‘Nasty Nate’ was a middle reliever during Boston’s title run in 2018, but since has turned into the No. 1 guy for the Red Sox. He’ has a 9-4 record this year while posting a 3.41 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.
The second is Chris Sale. Sale is almost back to being 100% healthy and returning to Boston’s rotation. If he is anything close to what he was before the injury, he is exactly what the Red Sox need right now.
Plus, he’s willing to go “anywhere” to get his rehab starts in:
Breaking: Red Sox ace Chris Sale willing to make a rehab start in New Zealand pic.twitter.com/rsTUWtXaV6
— Christopher Smith (@SmittyOnMLB) July 1, 2021
Today’s starter, however, is not quite as talented. Martín Pérez doesn’t have eye popping numbers (4.04 ERA, 4.37 FIP, 1.43 WHIP) and his expected statistics are calling for regression (5.17 xERA, 4.60 xFIP), but Pérez has been effective as a back-half of the rotation guy.
He generally pitches five or six innings, has had only one blowup start this season (Six earned runs in 1 1/3 innings against Toronto) and the Red Sox are 10-6 when he takes the mound.
Can the Bullpen Keep the Angels Afloat?
There’s one tweet that perfectly encapsulates the Angels season:
every time I see an Angels highlight it's like "Mike Trout hit three homes runs and raised his average to .528 while Shohei Ohtani did something that hasn't been done since 'Tungsten Arm' O'Doyle of the 1921 Akron Groomsmen, as the Tigers defeated the Angels 8-3"
— ℳatt (@matttomic) May 18, 2021
This organization is either cursed or poorly managed, or both. As Albert Pujols continues to find success in his new role, Anthony Rendon is having his worst statistical season since 2015 (.240 BA, .712 OPS). Plus, the aforementioned Trout is still injured, and the Halos are almost 10 games out of the division race.
But not everything is doomed in Anaheim. Obviously, Shohei Ohtani is amazing (30 HRs, 3.60 ERA), Jared Walsh is having a breakout season as the full-time first baseman (.283 BA, .380 wOBA, .907 OPS), and the Angels are 18-11 since June 1.
Plus, they might have a good matchup today. Over the past 30 days and against left-handed pitching, the Angels lead the league in OPS (.897) and wOBA (.383).
But the problem today won’t come from the batter’s box, it will come from the mound. The Angels are starting lefty reliever José Suarez, meaning they’ll likely string together a bullpen game.
The Halos have been stretching their relief arms, as they lead the league in innings pitched over the past week (32 1/3). During that stretch, the relievers rank 11th in FIP (4.18) but 18th in xFIP (4.60), meaning the arms are likely due for a bit of regression.
Red Sox-Angels Pick
The Red Sox are 53-32, 26-15 on the road and 28-19 against teams with a winning record. They’re having the best season of any team in the American League and have been unbelievably hot over the past few weeks.
If I’m getting Boston at anything close to even money, I’m not passing it up.
The sharps agree, too. We’ve tracked sharp money coming in on the Boston moneyline, pushing the Red Sox from -105 at open to -125 at some books. DraftKings currently has the Red Sox at -115, which is exactly where I want to bet them.
The over is worth a look, as the Red Sox and Angels have been two of the best offenses against left-handed pitching this season. However, the 10.5 total is a tad high for me, and I think the Red Sox straight up offers better value.
Look for Martín Pérez to do just enough on the mound today while Boston’s lineup smacks around a vulnerable Angels bullpen. I’m looking to play the Red Sox as short favorites at -120 or better.
Pick: Red Sox ML (-115)