Dodgers vs. Angels Best MLB Bets, Picks & Predictions: Can Dodgers Ace Kershaw Get the Win in Battle of LA?

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Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Los Angeles Angels Betting Preview

9:40 p.m. ET

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Patrick Sandoval and the Los Angeles Angels will host Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight. We get a battle of two high-end pitchers against one of the hottest offenses in the MLB and one of the coldest. 

Sandoval’s been enjoying an outstanding season for Los Angeles. He’s posted a 3-4 record with a 2.95 ERA through 14 starts. He does own a 3.71 xFIP, suggesting he’s due for regression. There’s a reason I’ll mention later why I’m not overly concerned with that tonight, though. 

Sandoval enters this game with a 25% strikeout rate, and he has the ability to get a strikeout when needed. He also boasts a 45.3% groundball rate in 2022. Although this isn’t elite, it does allow him to get out of trouble. The lefty has also held his opponents to a 29.3% hard-hit rate in 2022. 

Sandoval’s an elite pitcher at home. His strikeout rate jumps to 27.3%, his walk rate dips to 9.1%, and his xFIP sits at an elite 3.14. He’s been better against left-handed batters, although this isn’t a massive edge over righties. 

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Sandoval’s coming off of two elite starts in terms of advanced metrics. He posted 1.60 and 2.20 xFIPs in his last 2 starts. He’s also given up 2 or fewer earned runs in 7 of his last 9 starting, including 5 games with only 1 earned run. 

The dominant left-hander gets a tough matchup against the Dodgers, who have caught fire in recent games. They rank second in the MLB in team wOBA (.363) and slugging percentage (.478) over the last 14 days. 

The Dodgers haven’t been nearly as successful against left-handed pitching this season, though. They only rank 15th in average (.247), 13th in slugging percentage (.407), and 11th in OPS (.731) against lefties. 

Los Angeles is expected to use seven right-handed batters tonight, which is a small concern. The bottom of their order leaves much to be desired with Trayce Thompson, Hanser Albero, Gavin Lux, and Austin Barnes expected to start. 

Unsurprisingly, Kershaw’s throwing at an elite level this season. He’s posted a 6-2 record with a 2.40 ERA through 11 starts. His ERA is backed by a dominant 2.91 xFIP in 2022. 

Kershaw enters this game with 27.6% strikeout and 50% groundball rates. He has the ability to get out of tough situations in multiple ways. He’s also held his opponents to a 29.8% hard-hit rate through 63.2 innings. 

Kershaw’s been a better option at home throughout the season, but he isn’t a pitcher that I’m going to worry about in this particular matchup. He’s also posted a ridiculous 2.74 xFIP against right-handed batters this season. 

Kershaw’s allowed 1 or fewer earned runs in 8 of his 11 starts this season. He allowed 2 earned runs in another one while allowing 6 earned runs in Colorado. Overall, Kershaw’s posted 1.47 and 2.95 xFIPs in his last 2 starts, and he looks in elite form at the moment. 

Another major key here is that the Dodgers are finally letting him throw deeper into games. Kershaw’s thrown 102 and 98 pitches in his last 2 starts after failing to break 90 pitches in any other start before it. 

He gets an elite matchup against the Angels tonight. They rank last in the MLB in team wOBA (.249) and slugging percentage (.262) over the last 14 days. 

The Angels also rank 24th in the MLB in average (.233), 27th in slugging percentage (.357), and 26th in OPS (.668) against left-handed pitching. They were also a dominant offense early in the season, showing how terrible they’ve been in recent games. 

Los Angeles is expected to use eight right-handed batters tonight. Kershaw’s success against righties will be on full display against the Angels, who don’t feature any righties, besides Mike Trout, that will strike fear in an opposing pitcher. 

I’m expecting a great start from both pitchers, meaning we’ll only need limited innings from the bullpens. The Dodgers feature one of the best bullpens in the MLB, and the Angels’ bullpen is roughly average. If both starters can throw 6+ innings tonight, we’ll be in an elite spot for the bullpens to take over.

Dodgers vs. Angels Pick: Under 8  | -112 at FanDuel Sportsbook

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