After starting the season with a pair of intra-division series on the road, the Angels are coming back to Anaheim for their home opener, where they’ll be hosting the Blue Jays. Let’s take a look at the odds at this AL matchup, where my prediction is for the Angels to win and hit their moneyline of -130.
Blue Jays Vs. Angels Prediction
The Angels are coming off of an impressive series win over the Mariners in Seattle, one that probably not many people expected to see from them. They’ve done it with the classic combination of some timely swings, and better than expected pitching.
It’s extremely early obviously, but this Blue Jays series represents a second consecutive chance for them to show what they can do against a top AL contender. If it turns out to be another strong showing, the Halos will officially start turning heads.
The Blue Jays have had something of an up and down start, as they’ve bounced back nicely with 3 consecutive wins against the Royals since losing 3 in a row to St. Louis and KC. The Jays definitely have some bats, nobody’s denying that- but they’ll be forced into a versus-lefty platoon in this game, which hasn’t always been their best look.
Of course the main question mark with this team centers around the arms, and Friday’s starter, Chris Bassitt, is not immune to those concerns. After a solid 2022 with the Mets, he’s expected to be a boost to a rotation that needs it, but he had a truly awful team debut against the Cardinals. There’s a whole season ahead, but there’s no time like the present to right the ship before the bad outings begin to pile up.
As intriguing as both starting pitchers are, these are offense-first teams with mediocre bullpens; I’m sticking with the over in this one. When it comes to the results, I’m going to back the Angels while they have health and a bit of momentum, as well as the home field. I don’t think this team has much legs as far as the season overall, but there’s no reason they can’t extend their solid start to the year.
Blue Jays Vs. Angels Prediction: Angels -130, o9 runs
Blue Jays Vs. Angels Odds
As the home side, the Angels are favored with a moneyline of -130, but +165 odds to cover a spread of -1.5. The Jays are -195 to cover, and +110 to win, while over and under 9 runs are both -110.
Blue Jays Vs. Angels Key Matchups
Patrick Sandoval Vs. Blue Jays Righties
After an excellent 2022, Sandoval had a great first start of the year in a blowout win over Oakland. One wrinkle to his success a year ago is that he absolutely obliterated lefty bats, but was closer to league average against righties. As a result, opponents understandably tend to maximize the number of right handers he has to face, a tactic I’m sure the Blue Jays will incorporate into Friday’s lineup.
Frankly, Toronto is a tough matchup for the Angels’ young lefty, as they don’t really need to make too many substitutes with so many of their best bats being righties anyhow. George Springer is one of the toughest leadoff hitters in the sport, and Bo Bichette is coming off of his second consecutive season leading the American League in hits; suffice it to say, that’s a tough way for a lefty to start his day.
Those two are followed up by two more righty bats, the first of which is Vladimir Guerrero Jr., one of the three to five most dangerous bats in the AL, by many measures. Rounding out a brutal opening stretch of the lineup is Matt Chapman, who is off to an excellent start, with a batting average of .522 in the early going. I do believe in Sandoval’s stuff, but he’s not going to shut down this lineup the same way he did Oakland, which is a big part of why I’m picking over 9 runs in my Blue Jays vs. Angels prediction.
Chris Bassitt Vs. LA’s Stars
High-end talent has never been these Angels’ problem; I think most baseball fans, players, and analysts would agree that the Angels’ best players are just about THE best players, period. Mike Trout, when healthy, is simply incomparable in so many ways, his consistent greatness at the plate and in the field is pretty much unmatched in this era of the game. If he’s able to stay on the field for anywhere close to a full season, he’s an MVP candidate, and a handful for any pitcher.
Then of course there’s Shohei Ohtani, who is so special that despite Aaron Judge putting together perhaps the best offensive season of the modern era, there were shouts (and not entirely ridiculous ones) that Ohtani should still be the MVP. Of course, we’re talking about his Matchup with Bassitt, and his prowess at the plate alone- while very strong- is not what truly makes him special. One thing that does make him interesting in this matchup is that lefties, like himself, hit well against Bassitt last year, so he could be in line for a big outing.
Lastly, while not as outrageous as his teammates, the Angels have another potential star: catcher Logan O’Hoppe, who many view as a frontrunner to win AL Rookie of the Year. Having torn up the minors a year ago, he’s earned his first sustained MLB action this year and has already impressed as he’s swatted a pair of homers and driven in 8 runs, a team record for a rookie at this point in the season. This is just the beginning of his journey, but it’s looking like it’s going to be a fun one to watch.
Blue Jays Vs. Angels Starting Lineups
Blue Jays Starting Lineup
DH G. Springer R
SS B. Bichette R
1B V. Guerrero Jr. R
3B M. Chapman R
LF D. Varsho L
RF W. Merrifield R
C A. Kirk R
2B S. Espinal R
CF K. Kiermaier L
Angels Starting Lineup
LF T. Ward R
CF M. Trout R
DH S. Ohtani L
RF H. Renfroe R
2B B. Drury R
1B J. Lamb L
3B G. Urshela R
SS L. Rengifo S
C O’Hoppe R