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Rockies vs. Angels Odds, Preview, Prediction: How to Bet Shohei Ohtani vs. Colorado (July 26)

Rockies vs. Angels Odds, Preview, Prediction: How to Bet Shohei Ohtani vs. Colorado (July 26) article feature image

Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Shohei Ohtani

  • Shohei Ohtani and the Angels take on the Rockies on Monday night in Anaheim.
  • All eyes will once again be on Ohtani as he takes the mound and steps in the batter's box.
  • Michael Arinze breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.

Rockies vs. Angels Odds

Rockies Odds +130
Angels Odds -150
Over/Under 7.5 (-115 / -105)
Time 9:38 p.m. ET
Odds as of Monday afternoon and via DraftKings.

After dropping the last two games of their series against the Dodgers, the Colorado Rockies will head to Anaheim for an interleague showdown with the Angels. They’ll face an Angels team that won three out of their last four games to finish 3-3 on a recent road trip.

Germán Márquez will get the start for Colorado, and Shohei Ohtani will oppose him for Los Angeles. I see this as a very compelling matchup even though both teams are in fourth place in their divisions.

But with Los Angeles as high as a -155 favorite, I’m going to shift my attention to the total, which is where my model shows a slight edge.

Márquez Has Been Consistently Solid for Colorado

The Colorado Rockies couldn’t keep the momentum going after an extra-inning victory over the Dodgers in the series opener. Although they lost the next two games, both of those setbacks were by a one-run deficit. At 10-36, they have the worst road record in the majors.

Pitching on the road is something that Márquez has had success with throughout his career as a member of the Rockies. He sports a career 3.55 ERA on the road vs. 4.72 at home. This year, he’s having one of the best statistical seasons of his career when you consider his overall 3.50 ERA along with a 3.65 xERA and a 3.32 FIP.

Even for someone who pitches half his games at Coors Field, Márquez has never conceded a ton of home runs. His 1.14 HR/9 ratio at home is just a tick higher than when he’s on the road (1.13 HR/9). Much of that has to do with his ability to pitch down in the zone, thanks to a devastating slider and curveball. Márquez’s 2.04 GB/FB ratio is the highest of his career when throwing at least 100 innings. That’s a big reason why he’s been able to have a 0.68 HR/9 ratio this season.

According to Baseball Savant, his pitch arsenal includes a four-seam fastball (45.4%), a slider (27.6%), a curveball (19.4%), a sinker (5.6%) and a changeup (2.1%). Márquez has always had a good fastball, but he’s been able to pitch in on the corners much more efficiently this season. FanGraphs’ Pitch Info values his four-seamer at 9.3 runs above average, a 41% increase from his previous high (6.6).

His fastball could be key against an Angels lineup that’s 23rd in the league against the pitch and 5.5 runs below average.

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It’s All Ohtani for Angels

It took more than three years before Ohtani got a taste of interleague play, as injuries prevented him from pitching a full season. Now, his 14 starts this season are already a career-high for him in the majors. Ohtani has already made two interleague starts this year, and part of me has to wonder if opposing teams can’t help but be in awe of him as a two-way player. I think this is very plausible, particularly when he’s facing a team that is an infrequent opponent like the Rockies.

If the Rockies awestruck by Ohtani, they could be in even bigger trouble given their poor home/away splits. The Rockies are dead-last in the majors with a wRC+ of 61. They’re actually 19 points below the second-worst team in the league using this metric. When you dig deeper into the numbers, it’s much more about the Rockies just losing games on the road.

It’s almost like they’re a completely different team. They’re averaging just 2.87 runs per game on the road vs. 5.49 runs at home. That’s too much of a gap even after factoring in the Coors Field effect. And after scoring only two runs in their last two games, I can’t see their bats all of a sudden awakening in their first meeting against Ohtani.

The Rockies’ hitters will likely yield to first baseman C.J. Cron for any success tips on facing Ohtani. After all, he’s the only hitter on the team who’s stepped inside the box against him. Though, it’ll probably be a fairly quick conversation with his teammates, considering that Cron is 0-for-4 with two strikeouts against Ohtani.

Ohtani has bounced back nicely after a disastrous start against the Yankees when he couldn’t make it out of the first inning after allowing seven runs. His last two outings have both been quality starts, as he’s allowed two runs in 13 innings of work. Although he still walks too many batters for my liking, he has the rare skill of being able to buckle down when the pressure’s on.

Ohtani is more vulnerable when the bases are empty. Opposing hitters have a .242/.335/.401 line in this spot with a .325 wOBA. But with a runner on base, those numbers drop to .110/.250/.170 with a .209 wOBA and .109/.197/.182 with a .177 wOBA with runners in scoring position.

This is an elite level of pitching, and I think the Rockies are in for a steep learning curve when they face Ohtani for the first time.

Rockies-Angels Pick

The Rockies have to be on your list as far as teams you should fade when they’re on the road. A $100 bettor would be up to $1,183 this season in this situational spot. Colorado has actually won Márquez’s last two road starts, and perhaps that’s why the price on the Angels has come down a bit.

Nonetheless, I’m going to stick with my initial decision to play this game under the total. It’s actually been bet down from 8 to 7.5 across the board, but I’m going swallow a bit of juice and play it under 8 on the alternate run line. Here are some tidbits to support my reasoning:

  • With Ohtani as a starter, the Angels are 8-2 to the under (+5.77 units) when the total is 8 or lower.
  • The Angels are 3-0 to the under when Ohtani starts and the total is 7.5 or lower.
  • With Márquez as a starter, Colorado is 16-8-2 (+7.47 units) to the under in interleague play, and 9-1-1 (+8 units) to the under in his last 11 games in this spot.
  • The Rockies have gone under the total in each of their last six interleague games, and they’re 10-2 (+7.56 units) to the under in interleague play this season.
  • Lastly, dating back to 2005, our BetLabs database has the Rockies at 158-121-16 (+29 units) to the under in interleague play.

I’ll play a total of under 8 at -120 odds.

Pick: Under 8 (-120)

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