It’s Ohtani Day in Seattle, as baseball’s most prolific talent makes his second start of the season. All he’s done since his last start, which was comprised of six shutout innings, is blast two home runs. What does he have in store against a struggling Mariners team? The Angels are road favorites at -145 on the moneyline, with an over/under of 7 runs.
Let’s make predictions for Wednesday’s game and dive into why it’s not the day to bet against Ohtani.
Angels vs. Mariners Prediction
Angels -145 doesn’t give you a ton of value, but it makes more sense here than Angels -1.5 because of how little help Los Angeles tends to give Ohtani.
The 2021 MVP is the perfect man to slow the Mariners after their offensive explosion on Tuesday night, and he looked every bit like the ace he was last season when he took the hill on Opening Day.
Ohtani should be able to quiet a decent Seattle lineup, while an Angels offense that has nearly all key pieces healthy right now (minus Jared Walsh) is in a good position to beat up on Chris Flexen and the Mariners’ bullpen. Flexen’s control issues could give the Angels a major advantage and a chance to put runs on the board early for Ohtani.
This Angels team proved last year that even a great Ohtani start doesn’t guarantee a win, but they still won more often than they lost when he was on the mound. With a better group around him, a bounce-back day from the Angels should be in store.
Angels vs. Mariners Prediction: Angels -145
Angels vs. Mariners Odds
The Angels enter as road favorites at -145 on the moneyline. The over/under is 7 runs, and you can get Angels -1.5 at +125.
Ohtani naturally makes the Angels favorites here, though the way their bats have woken up also plays a role. An Opening Day loss to the A’s is starting to look like a blip on the radar, and there’s reason to believe in this Angels offense against the less impressive parts of the Mariners’ pitching staff.
Angels vs. Mariners Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Angels vs. Mariners
Chris Flexen vs. Control Issues
For the first time in a while, the Angels have a lineup that might truly punish pitchers for their mistakes. Of course, Ohtani and Mike Trout have long been able to do that, but a healthy Taylor Ward and Hunter Renfroe makes this offense much more formidable against a pitcher with vulnerabilities like Flexen.
Flexen had an elevated 3.3 BB/9 rate last season and didn’t look like a changed pitcher when he walked three batters in four innings last week. Flexen’s length will be limited as it is – he entered in relief on Friday and threw only 66 pitches – so walks would be a double-edged sword that could lead to big innings from the Angels and force the Mariners to go to their bullpen for much of the game.
Angels’ Bullpen vs. Mariners Lineup
Ohtani was a legitimate Cy Young contender in 2022, but the Angels managed to go just 16-12 in games he started. Part of that was a lackluster lineup, especially while Trout was out, but much of it was the result of a bad bullpen blowing a close game. Their Opening Day loss was a product of both.
If the Angels can prevent that from becoming routine in Ohtani starts this season, they can make a big leap to contention. The Angels’ bullpen held up exceptionally well in the three games following Ohtani’s first start – so well that Aaron Loup was the only reliever to allow a run on this team through four games.
Will the unit buckle under the pressure of what could be a close game once Ohtani exits on Wednesday?
Angels vs. Mariners Starting Lineups
Angels Starting Lineup
LF Taylor Ward R
RF Mike Trout R
DH Shohei Ohtani L
RF Hunter Renfroe R
1B Jake Lamb L
2B Brandon Drury R
3B Gio Urshela R
SS Luis Rengifo S
C Logan O’Hoppe R
Mariners Starting Lineup
CF Julio Rodriguez R
2B Kolten Wong L
1B Ty France R
C Cal Raleigh S
3B Eugenio Suarez R
LF Jarred Kelenic L
RF Teoscar Hernandez R
DH Tommy La Stella L
SS J.P Crawford L