Angels vs. Rangers Best MLB Bets, Picks & Predictions: Will Ohtani Have a WOAHtani outing?

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Ready to lock in your MLB bets? OddsJam’s MLB expert breaks down his top pick and prediction for today’s slate. Find the bet @BalesSJustin is eyeing below.

Angels vs. Rangers Betting Preview

9:40 p.m. ET

Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels will host the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim tonight. It isn’t often we get to back one of the best pitchers in the MLB during a hot streak at plus odds, but that’s exactly what we’re getting tonight. 

Ohtani’s been an elite arm in the MLB this season. He boasts a 9-5 record with a 2.80 ERA and a 2.38 xFIP. He’s also recorded a 12.9 K/9 through 16 starts. Furthermore, he owns 35.9% strikeout, 15.8% swinging-strike, and 33.5% CSW rates through 93.1 innings this season. 

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Ohtani’s been on one of the hottest streaks of his career, posting double-digit strikeouts in 5 consecutive starts. He’s averaging 11.4 strikeouts per game in those contests. 

Ohtani’s new strikeout success shouldn’t come as a surprise, though. He’s been throwing his fastball drastically less and his slider more. He’s also seen upticks in his curveball and splitter at times. Overall, all of these are better strikeout pitches than his 4-seamer. 

Pitch mix is a key reason we’re taking the over here. Ohtani has three elite put-away pitches. He boasts an elite 44.4% put-away rate with his curveball. He also owns 34% and 33.1% put-away rates on his splitter and slider, respectively. 

These three pitches each get whiff rates over 40% with his slider getting whiffs 50.9% of the time. 

It’s important to note that his cutter does boast 25% put-away and 26.7% whiff rates, which are outstanding for that type of pitch. It just doesn’t stick out compared to his other pitches. Last, his 4-seamer gets 19.2% put-away and 20.1% whiff rates in 2022. 

One of the most ridiculous parts of his pitch mix is that Ohtani leads the MLB in put-away rate with his curveball, while also ranking 26th with his slider, second with his splitter, and 24th with his cutter. 

The right-hander’s also been better at home this season. His strikeout rate increases to 37.6% and his xFIP dips to 2.08 through 48.1 home innings. 

Ohtani gets a plus matchup against Texas tonight. They’re striking out at the seventh-highest rate (25%) in the MLB over the last 14 days. They also haven’t been a dominant offense over that span, giving a massive edge to Ohtani. 

Texas is also striking out at the eighth-highest rate (23.3%) in the league against right-handed pitching. They rank 20th in average (.237), 21st in slugging percentage (.381), and 26th in OPS (.677) against righties in 2022. 

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There’s very little reason to believe the Rangers will find success against Ohtani’s pitch mix tonight. They only have two players that have seen the qualified number of splitters this season. Corey Seager and Kole Calhoun own 55% and 66.7% whiff rates against the pitch, respectively. It’s very difficult to plan for pitches that you aren’t overly familiar with, and it’s a major reason that splitter pitchers generally hold an advantage over offenses. 

Similar to most offenses, Texas has struggled against sliders in 2022. They’ve featured 14 hitters throughout the season that whiff over 28% of the time against the pitch. Seven of those batters whiff over 40% of the time against sliders this season. 

The Rangers’ hitters have been better against the curveball this season. With that being said, 8 of the 11 hitters that have seen the qualified number of curveballs whiff 28% or more of the time. 

Arguably the most important aspect of this bet is that Texas features several players that whiff at a surprisingly high rate against 4-seamers and cutters. These aren’t Ohtani’s two main put-away pitches, but if he can find extra strikeouts with these, he should hit double-digit strikeouts for a sixth consecutive game.

Angels vs. Rangers Pick: Shohei Ohtani over 8.5 strikeouts  | +102 at BetRivers

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