Mariners vs. Angels Best MLB Bets, Picks & Predictions – August 15, 2022: Stiff Pitching in a Tough Matchup

<p>AP Photos</p>

AP Photos

MLB Best Bet Today – August 15, 2022

9:40 p.m. ET

Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels will host Luis Castillo and the Seattle Mainers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim tonight. We’re backing two elite starting pitchers against struggling offenses for this bet. 

Ohtani’s one of the best starting pitchers in the MLB. He enters this game with a 10-7 record and a 2.68 ERA through 19 starts. His success is backed by a dominant 2.38 xFIP. 

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Ohtani boasts elite strikeout stuff, bringing a dominant 35.2% strikeout rate into this game. He only owns a 39.8% groundball rate, although he has the ability to get grounders when needed. The right-hander also boasts 0.97 HR/9, 6.1% walk, and 25.7% hard-hit rates in 2022. 

Ohtani’s flashed even more at home this season. His strikeout rate increases to 37.3% while his walk rate drops to 5.1% in Anaheim. He also boasts a ridiculous 1.99 xFIP through 60 home innings. 

Ohtani’s allowed 2 or fewer earned runs in 15 of his 19 starts this season. He’s shut his opponents out in 7 starters this season. He’s one of very few pitchers in the MLB that has the ability to blank any opponent on any given night. 

Luckily, Ohtani gets a solid matchup against Seattle tonight. The Mariners have been struggling in recent games, ranking 23rd in the MLB in team wOBA (.294) and 25th in slugging percentage (.360) over the last 14 days. 

Seattle’s struggled quite a bit against right-handed pitching in recent weeks. They currently rank 29th in the league in average (.203) and 27th in slugging percentage (.345) and OPS (.632) against righties since July 16th. 

Castillo draws the start on the other side of this game. He’s looked outstanding throughout the season, posting a 5-4 record with a 2.71 ERA through 16 starts. He boasts a dominant 3.37 xFIP as well. 

Castillo has multiple ways to get out of trouble, as he boasts 26.1% strikeout and 45.1% groundball rates this season. He’s held his opponents to a 0.72 HR/9, although his 8.2% walk rate is somewhat of a concern. 

Castillo’s found plenty of success at home or on the road throughout the season. He isn’t a pitcher that I’d be overly concerned about throwing in Anaheim tonight. His splits are much more drastic for his opponents’ handedness. He boasts a 2.87 xFIP against right-handed batters compared to a 4.02 xFIP against lefties. 

Castillo’s been throwing at an extremely high level in recent games, though. He’s allowed 1 or fewer earned runs in 5 of his last 7 starts. He’s also allowed 2 or fewer earned runs in the first five innings of seven consecutive starts. 

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Castillo gets a great matchup against Los Angeles tonight. They’ve been struggling for the majority of the season, and that’s been the case in recent games. Over the last 14 days, they rank 27th in the MLB in team wOBA (.283) and 20th in slugging percentage (.385). 

The Angels also rank 25th in the league in average (.228), 21st in slugging percentage (.378), and 23rd in OPS (.678) against right-handed pitching since July 16th. 

I’m avoiding the two bullpens in this game because I don’t trust either of them. Truthfully, they can both get the job done, especially if these starters are able to throw deeper into this game. I’m not trusting it, though, and I’m willing to bet that both starters will throw at least 5 innings. 

I’m taking the alt-total here because I want the plus odds. It makes the play riskier, as there is virtually no room for error. I could see one of the two pitchers shutting the other team out in the first five innings, though, giving the other a bit of a buffer. 

Overall, I’m backing two elite arms in a pitcher-friendly stadium against two struggling offenses.

Seattle Mariners vs. Los Angeles Angels F5 u2.5  | +152 at FanDuel

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