After a run-in with the historically hot Rays resulted in a four-game sweep, the streaky Red Sox are in a mini tailspin. Next, they’ll host an Angels team that has played well so far and is showing a surprising amount of promise. Let’s take a look at the odds for this AL matchup where my prediction is for the Red Sox to hit their moneyline of +100 and pick up the home win.
Angels Vs. Red Sox Prediction
Yes, the Red Sox got swept by the Rays, but dare I say, there’s hardly any shame in that right now. They even became the first team to come within four runs of Tampa, which they did in 1-0 and 9-7 losses. It’s always a stretch to glean positives from a massive divisional sweep, but the Sox had some strong performances on both sides of the ball, and the context of an opponent on a generational run is relevant here.
The Angels rebounded nicely after a couple of tough losses to close out and start a pair of series, by claiming the last two games and the series win against Washington. They’ve had a pretty good start to the season, and they currently lead an intriguing AL West at 7-5.
A handful of strong starts have defined the Halos solid opening stretch, a few of which are not surprising; Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout are hitting the ball really well, and Ohtani is also pitching really well. Shocker. The less-heralded early standouts include rookie catcher Logan O’Hoppe, who actually leads the team with four homers, outfielder Hunter Renfroe, who is off to a great start in LA, and Friday’s starting pitcher, Patrick Sandoval.
Picking the Angels is always a tough proposition, as is picking the road team at Fenway Park. The Red Sox are a solid team, much better than the results against Tampa might suggest, and they seriously need to get back on track. I believe that they will, behind a strong performance from Tanner Houck, who is also better than he’s shown so far this year.
As much as I believe in Houck, I also think that Sandoval could be in line for a solid outing. There’s no reason to invest in offense for this game, especially with injury concerns in both lineups already and plummeting air temperatures around gametime.
Angels Vs. Red Sox Prediction: Red Sox +100, u9.5 runs
Angels Vs. Red Sox Odds
The Red Sox are even money to win at +100, while the Angels moneyline is -120. However, Boston is -150 to cover a spread of +1.5 runs, while the Halos are +130 to cover. For a run line of 9.5, the over is set at -105, with the under is -115.
Angels Vs. Red Sox Key Matchups
Patrick Sandoval Vs. Red Sox Lefties
After breaking out over the past two seasons, Sandoval is off to an excellent start this year. In his first two starts, he’s tossing an ERA of 1.64 with a WHIP of 1.000 on the dot to go along with it. He also has an advantage against what can generally be a tough Boston lineup; as a lefty, he matches up well with some of the toughest hitters in the lineup.
Obviously, the biggest bat in the lineup is Rafael Devers, who is off to an excellent start and still dangerous against lefties- who can forget his statement home run as a rookie facing Aroldis Chapman- but definitely prefers to face right handers. Sandoval also dodges a major righty threat, Adam Duvall, who is off to a scorching start to the season but is injured at this time.
Team Japan star and MLB newcomer Masataka Yoshida is another big lefty threat, but has been out for a couple of days with a minor injury. He’s expected to play, but nothing is guaranteed; if the Sox have any apprehension, there’s no reason to run a risk this early in the season.
Boston also has plenty of veteran righty bats sprinkled in, with Enrique Hernandez and Justin Turner both up early in the lineup, and Rob Refsnyder in the middle. They’ll need to put together some good at-bats against Sandoval, and help the Sox get to the bullpen as soon as possible.
Tanner Houck Vs. Angels Superstars
Houck, who is transitioning back towards being a starting pitcher, has his walk rate down as compared to last year, and his strikeout rate is just about level. The issue is that he’s already given up 2 homers in 10 innings, compared to just 3 in 60 across all of last season.
No, the Angels are not the best team to face when you want to work on keeping the ball in the park, but let’s not forget what a weird park Fenway is. Right field gets deep fast, and could help to contain Ohtani, while the monster can turn pop flies into homers but let’s be honest; with someone like Mike Trout, it’s more likely to turn a deep liner into a base hit.
Anthony Rendon will be a major X-factor in determining this lineup’s performance. With a strong top of the lineup, and O’Hoppe anchoring the bottom for now, Rendon is one of the question marks. The third baseman is as good as anyone when he’s locked in, but he’s been up and down with the Angels thus far. He’s dealt with a suspension and injury already this year, so we’ll see how he looks going forward.
If Houck can keep the ball in the yard, the Sox are in good shape. I think he has a good chance to do so against a lineup basically filled with righties outside of Ohtani, a group Houck has routinely dominated in the past. This is a big reason why I have his team cashing the +100 moneyline in my Angels vs. Red Sox prediction.
Angels Vs. Red Sox Starting Lineups
Angels Starting Lineup
LF T. Ward R
CF M. Trout R
DH S. Ohtani L
3B A. Rendon R
RF H. Renfroe R
2B L. Rengifo S
1B J. Lamb L
SS G. Urshela R
C O’Hoppe R
Red Sox Starting Lineup
SS E. Hernandez R
3B R. Devers L
DH J. Turner R
LF M. Yoshida L
CF R. Refsnyder R
RF A. Verdugo L
2B C. Arroyo R
1B B. Dalbec R
C C. Wong R