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Athletics at Angels – Pick for April 8th

Well, I guess when we lose, we lose big. We picked up the loss last night when we backed the Miami Marlins as big underdogs against the Philadelphia Phillies. I liked the Marlins side of the starting pitching matchup as youngster Dillon Peters had impressed me in his first start of the season and I expect him to have a solid season.

Well, I was wrong, like really, really, wrong. Peters got absolutely rocked and gave up not one, but two, grand slams in his two and two-thirds of work. And that wasn’t even the worst of it for Miami, as the bullpen got beaten up as well. All told the Marlins pitching staff gave up twenty runs! Twenty! It is the most runs scored by any team this season. What can you do it is just one game, and we were taking the long-term value play on the underdog and missed. In the end, losing by one run or by nineteen is the same thing, although this one hurt just a little bit more!

Today I will head to the American League for a matchup between the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels.

The Oakland Athletics are in Los Angeles for game three of a three-game series with the Angels. The series is tied at one game apiece with Los Angeles taking game one 13-9 with a crazy comeback and then Oakland evening up the series in game two, winning 7-3.

The Angels will start Shohei Ohtani (1-0 4.50 ERA) against the Athletics Kendall Graveman (0-1 8.10 ERA). The Angels are -170 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at nine runs. First pitch is scheduled for 1:07 PM PST from Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

The Shohei Ohtani show continues Sunday night as the Japanese star makes his second ever major league start. Ohtani impressed in his first start on the mound as after giving up three runs early, he settled down and retired fourteen out of the last fifteen batters he faced. I was a lot skeptical of Ohtani heading into the season, and he has quickly won me over.

More so for what he has done at the plate than on the mound though. Ohtani has hit .389 with three home runs and seven RBI through his first five games. So, while he has been decent on the mound, I wonder how much the Angels are going to miss his bat in the lineup today?

With Ohtani leading the charge, the Angels are leading the majors in home runs and are second in both slugging percentage and runs scored. This Angels offense is clicking on all cylinders right now.

For Oakland, they start the embattled Kendall Graveman. Graveman is 0-1 on the season and has not pitched well. He has an ERA north of eight and only has two strikeouts in ten innings of work. Against the Angels in his first start of the season, Graveman gave up five earned runs on seven hits in just five innings. Graveman has never been an elite arm, with a career ERA of 4.20, but right now he is really struggling on the mound.

I am officially an Ohtani believer. He plays hard and has shown the ability to be clutch when the Angels need him to be, and I think that he is going to be a solid, possibly All-Star level player. On top of that, Kendall Graveman is a dumpster can fire right now, and I expect him to struggle once again against one of the best offenses in the land.

It does worry me a bit that the Angels won’t have Ohtani’s bat in the lineup, but this team has lots of firepower, and they should be fine without him.

So, we have established that the Angels are the side to be on, now we look at the run line versus the money line. I tend to always like the run line more in games where many runs are expected to be scored. It is just a lot easier to cover that run and a half when there are nine or ten runs in a game than when there are just three or four. The over-under for this game is set at nine runs, so I expect there to be some fireworks.

When I look at the price for this game, we are getting a huge premium to take the run line. The Angels are -170 money line favorites and +120 on the run line. That is a full ninety cent premium. Many times, you are only going to get fifty or sixty cents on the run line. That makes me think that the book really wants you to take it, which is usually a bit scary. But I just don’t think I can pass up on all that extra value. So, I will snatch up all that extra juice and take the Angels on the run line tonight at home.

Give me the Los Angeles Angels laying a run and a half at +120 today!

The Bet: Los Angeles -1.5 runs +120

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