Baseball fans' dreams of seeing Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani in the postseason still have a way to go, but for now, those dreams look like they could become a reality. Following their big series win over the first-place Rangers, the Angels are now 4.5 games back and 8-2 over their last ten games. With Los Angeles looking to keep their winning ways alive, we will preview their first game against the Royals before going over my play for the first five innings.
Remember a few sentences ago when I said baseball fans dream of seeing the Angels in the playoffs? Well, what Shohei Ohtani did last night against the Rangers is the exact reason why that is the case. Not only did the two-way superstar hit his seventh home run over the past ten games and fourth in the last four last night, but he also gave the Angels six innings on the mound with two earned runs allowed and three strikeouts to bring his ERA to 3.40 in 82 innings.
In the Angels 5-3 win yesterday, outside of Ohtani contributing two of those runs on his mammoth home run, LA also got big home runs from Mickey Moniak and Chad Wallach. With the team looking to win their fourth straight series, they will send Patrick Sandoval to the mound tonight for his 13th start. The lefty has thrown 63.7 innings up to this point, in which he has pitched to a 4.52 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 25 walks.
Sandoval and the Angels will take on a Royals team tonight that has lost nine straight games, leading to them being swept in three consecutive series. Before their off day yesterday, the Royals fell 7-4 in their final game against the Reds, as their pitching staff allowed five or more runs for the eighth time in the past ten games. Offensively, the Royals finished with 15 hits, but they left 26 runners on base.
Looking to avoid a ten-game losing streak, the Royals will give the ball to Brady Singer for the start. Singer has been hit around quite a bit this season, allowing an average of 5.6 hits per start over his last ten. On the year, the right-hander has a 6.58 ERA in 64.3 innings with 60 strikeouts and 26 walks.
For my play in this one, I’ll be taking the Angels F5 run-line of (-.5), which is priced at (-110). The Royals are the third least profitable team in the MLB in terms of F5 run lines, and they have struggled mightily with left-handed pitching. While the Royals cannot find the win column no matter where they play, the Angels are playing with a lot of momentum and have swung the bats well on the road.
Over the last month, the Angels are 6th in wOBA, 5th in OPS, and 3rd in wRC+ against right-handed pitching on the road, and now they face Brady Singer with a 6.18 home ERA. The Royals right-hander does not have an ideal matchup against this red-hot Angels lineup, as he is in the 10th percentile in expected batting average, 9th percentile in expected slugging, and an opposing BAbip at home of .336.
I don’t think Singer will get much run support tonight either since the Royals offense is 26th in wRC+, 21st in wOBA, and 19th in OPS against lefties at home over the last month. Their matchup tonight, Patrick Sandoval, has a batting average allowed of .223 and a FIP of 3.91, which is lower than his ERA on the road. All in all, I’ll be rolling with the team with momentum to open the scoring early.
Los Angeles Angels F5 (-.5)(-110)