The Los Angeles Angels are all-in for the 2023 season; the only problem is since they decided to make a run for the postseason, they have lost both series they’ve played in. There is certainly a sense of urgency to get back on track after their series loss to the Braves, and today they will be back at home for the first time in nine games, playing host to the Mariners. We’ll preview the series' opening game before going over my two plays.
The importance of this series can’t be understated for both sides, with Seattle holding a .5-game lead over the Angels for third place in the division. With the Rangers and Astros continuing their impressive seasons, Seattle and LA have little room for error moving forward. The Mariners have stayed within striking distance by winning three straight series, including their most recent one over the Red Sox, culminating in a 6-3 win yesterday.
Seattle’s young and talented rotation has been a big reason for their success as of late, and tonight they will turn to one of those young arms in Bryan Woo to make his 11th start of the season. Woo allowed three earned runs over five innings in his most recent start and uncharacteristically recorded no strikeouts in the outing. Overall the young righty is pitching to a 4.96 ERA in 49 innings of work.
Seattle and Woo will take on an Angels team tonight that had the unfortunate matchup of the Atlanta Braves in their most recent series. Despite winning the opening game, LA would lose the next two, including a 12-5 loss yesterday in which the offense provided by Hunter Renfroe, Eduardo Escobar, and Zach Neto was not enough. The offense’s late rally could not compensate for the bad start the team got from recently acquired Lucas Giolito.
After losing back-to-back series, Los Angeles will hand the ball to the likely AL MVP, Shohei Ohtani, tonight to make his 21st start. The superstar is fresh off his best outing of the season, which was a complete game masterpiece against the Tigers in which he allowed just one hit and struck out eight.
The Los Angeles Angels team total for the first five innings is currently set at 2.5, and I’ll be taking the over, which is priced at (+105). LA has hit their F5 team total over in eight of their last ten home games and hit their full-game team total over in 17 of their last 27 games overall. While the team has been spotty at best on offense over their last two series, they finally return home where they have performed at their best offensively.
Over the past month, the Angels rank 6th in OPS and wOBA and 5th in wRC+ against right-handed pitching at home. Now they face a starter in Bryan Woo, who has allowed 13 earned runs over his last three starts and had a 5.44 FIP in July. From June to July, Woo saw his strikeout percentage decrease and his hard-hit percentage increase, which is not a good combination when facing the Angels at home.
Woo faced the Angels in his second career start and allowed two earned runs over 4.2 innings. Since then, the Mariners' starter went on a run of strong starts before the number of hits he allowed per start increased. With Woo’s FIP sitting at 5.71 the second time through an order, I think the Angels can get some runs on the board early tonight.
For my prop play in this one, I’ll be taking Shohei Ohtani to go over 1.5 walks allowed, which is priced at (-143). Over his last ten starts, Ohtani is averaging 2.5 walks per game and has gone over 1.5 walks in seven of those ten starts. Even with how dominant he can be on the mound, he has been susceptible to command issues throughout games.
In the two starts in which Ohtani has made against the Mariners this season, he’s allowed a total of nine walks, which gives him nine starts this year in which he’s issued three or more free passes. The right-hander cleared this total in three of his four July starts, and I expect his August to begin the same way.
Los Angeles Angels F5 Team Total Over 2.5 (+105)
Shohei Ohtani Over 1.5 Walks Allowed (-143)