Red Sox vs. Angels Odds, Preview, Prediction: Bet Boston in Series Finale (Wednesday, July 7)

Red Sox vs. Angels Odds, Preview, Prediction: Bet Boston in Series Finale (Wednesday, July 7) article feature image
Credit:

Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images. Pictured: Eduardo Rodriguez #57 of the Boston Red Sox.

Red Sox vs. Angels Odds

Red Sox Odds -130
Angels Odds +110
Over/Under 9.5
Time 4:07 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Wednesday and via PointsBet.

The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels split the first two games of their three-game set in Anaheim, and the series will conclude on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET as the Angels and lefty Andrew Heaney take on Eduardo Rodriguez and the Red Sox.

The Red Sox have won 10 of their past 12 games and Wednesday serves as their final road game before the All-Star break next week.

Starting pitching has been an issue for the Angels and is a major reason the team is languishing around .500 in fourth place in the American League West. Some of their arms have been a bit unfortunate with their actual performances compared to expected.

Heaney has decent peripherals, but his hard hit rate and other batted ball allowed numbers are concerning against a lineup as good as the Red Sox.

Let’s take a look at both sides to see if we can find value in this matchup.

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Boston Remains Elite in All Phases

Boston’s lineup is a big reason it has one of the best teams in the AL, but the success of the pitching staff is also a key reason why the Red Sox sit five games above the pack in the division.

At face value, Eduardo Rodriguez, doesn’t look like an elite pitcher or even a good one, but the batted ball numbers suggest he’s been a bit unlucky. His xERA of 3.31 is more than two runs lower than his actual 5.42, his xFIP and FIP are both below 3.50 and his strand rate is 7% lower than any other year in his career.

Hitters have been unsustainably good against Rodriguez with runners on base, and that’s unlikely to remain the same going forward as his actual numbers should align more closely with his expected. Rodriguez’s xwOBA allowed is 50 points lower than his actual wOBA as well — only eight pitchers have been more unlucky with batted ball data compared to outcomes.

Boston hasn’t been quite as good as L.A. against left-handed pitching, but the Red Sox still rank among the top-10 lineups in wRC+ and are the much healthier team overall.


Can the Angels Weather the Injury Storm?

The Angels have mashed left-handed pitching all season, as they have the third-highest wRC+ against lefties in the entire league. They don’t strike out much against southpaws (28th) and are middle of the pack in BABIP against them thus far. L.A. also has the second-highest line drive rate and third-highest hard hit rate.

Injuries are piling up for the Angels, though, who are now without Anthony Rendon, Mike Trout and Justin Upton, who project well against left-handed pitchers. The lineup as presently constructed isn’t nearly as good as the version that helped put up those elite numbers against southpaws.

Heaney has a pretty low strand rate, which hurts his ERA compared to expected, but he has also surrendered a lot of hard contact and has been punished for that. Against a Red Sox lineup that ranks top two in line drive rate and seventh in barrel percentage, Heaney may struggle with the league’s forth-worst defense behind him.

Red Sox-Angels Pick

The Red Sox should be bigger favorites given the Angels’ weaker lineup and Rodriguez’s inevitable positive regression with runners on base. The Red Sox didn’t use their highest leverage arms on Tuesday and have a day off on Thursday, so Alex Cora has his full choice of options in the bullpen if the Sox are protecting a close lead late.

Heaney has faced even more hard contact lately than he was earlier in this year, so Boston should make put a lot of pressure on a bad Angels defense to make plays and keep them in this game.

Pick: Red Sox moneyline (-130)

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