What a rough week it has been. Blown saves and blown big leads all week long stung us. We got bit again last night when we took the Tampa Bay Rays against the Baltimore Orioles. The Rays jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning against Orioles starter David Hess, and it looked like this one could get ugly. But instead, the Rays completely fell apart and never scored again and allowed the weak swinging Orioles to post a six spot on the board and win the game going away. Yikes. It seems like every game we lost this week we had a big lead at some point. What can you do, the variance is always tough to overcome. Today I will look at the game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Minnesota Twins.
The Minnesota Twins are in Los Angeles Sunday for a day game with the Angels. This is game four of the four-game series, and the Twins lead the series two games to one. Minnesota took game three last night in twelve innings on a Mitch Garver RBI double.
Starting today for the Angels is Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani (3-1 4.10 ERA), and for the Twins, it is Fernando Romero (2-0 0.00 ERA). The Angels are -164 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at eight runs. First pitch is scheduled for 1:07 PM PST from Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
Shohei Ohtani has had a bit more of an up and down start to his pitching career than he has to his hitting career. At the plate, the guy looks like an MVP candidate. He has big power and hits for average. Through his first sixty-nine at-bats of his big league career, Ohtani is slashing .348 with a .652 slugging percentage. Not having Ohtani’s bat in the lineup is going to hurt the Angels in the long run. He is just too good in the batter’s box to not be hitting every day.
Now, that’s not to say that he isn’t very good on the mound, he is. He has thrown multiple pitches over 100 MPH this year and at times has looked nearly unhittable. Ohtani really only had one bad start, against Boston on April 17th. In that game, he gave up two runs early and was clearly hampered by an injury, and they pulled him from the game after just two innings. It turns out he had a blister on his throwing hand, and that was the issue. Besides that start, Ohtani has been really tough to hit, and the Angels are 4-1 in games in which he starts.
Starting tonight for Minnesota is Fernando Romero. You may not have heard that name yet this year, but you will. This guy made his big league debut two starts ago and has been lights out. His fastball averages 98 MPH, and he has pitched eleven and two-thirds of an inning on the year in his two starts, and he has yet to give up a run. He has piled up fourteen strikeouts in those two starts. At triple-a ball this year before the call-up, Romero hadn’t given up a run in his eight innings of work. This kid is really, really good, and its only a matter of time before he becomes a household name.
Both of these young pitchers are just twenty-three years old. One of them came into the league with a ton of hype and fanfare. The other came up as an early season call-up with little publicity. That is where the differences end. Both of these guys are really good, and they throw hard and strike out a lot of guys. The fact that this line is such a big one attests to the fact that much of the public doesn’t know who Fernando Romero is just yet.
This Angels offense is a powerful one. They are ranked in the top five in the majors in runs scored and home runs. It will be very interesting to see what Romero can do against them tonight. I expect a tight close game where both starting pitchers are effective, and the game comes down to the wire. I like a little play on the Twins as I think they are being undervalued a lot in this game.
But that is going to be a high variance play at close to +150 so it won’t be my main play for the day. For my main play, I will take the under eight runs. The total opened at seven and a half runs and has now been bet up to eight runs at -120. The public jumped all over the over early today and moved the number up and I would expect that is just because they haven’t seen what Romero can do.
The Twins can’t hit a lick and Ohtani should be able to handle them, and with Ohtani on the mound and not in the batter’s box I expect Romero to be able to limit the Angels bats as well. Give me the under eight runs today from Angels Stadium at -120!