The Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels will meet for the sandwich game of this three-game series at Angel Stadium. The Rangers got off to an impressive start in Anaheim last night. They looked good in a 6-4 win with Kohei Arihara on the bump. Arihara went 5.2 innings with 2 hits and no earned runs in his nightly portfolio.
The bullpen nearly blew that game for him, as the Angels made it interesting in the 7th inning. The Angels scored 4 runs in the bottom half of the frame, as Brett Martin and Kyle Cody both gave up 2 runs each. It was a solid win for the Rangers on the road to get this series opened up. They advanced to 8-9 on the season with the victory.
The Angels are keeping their fingers crossed that this is finally their season to go to the playoffs and make some noise. It’s been painful during the Mike Trout era in Anaheim. They have who many consider the best player in baseball and nothing to show for it as a team. Since he’s been with the Angels, the team has struggled to get over the hump and develop into a playoff contender.
The front office has tried to put talent around him, and the cupboard hasn’t been completely bare for Trout, but no one has helped him much in the clutch. That’s mainly because of a rotation that has been unable to get on track. Some bad luck with injuries has something to do with that, but not the only explanation. That includes Shohei Ohtani, who has not been able to stay on the hill for the Angels.
When Ohtani does have a healthy shoulder and can pitch, the Angels’ rotation receives a huge boost. Getting through an entire season with a clean bill of health is the biggest enemy for Ohtani. You can imagine how good his numbers would look if he could avoid getting injured. As a 26-year-old, Ohtani is just about approaching his prime for a pitcher.
There will come a point where the Angels will have to consider disregarding him as a member of the rotation, though that’s the last thing they want to do. Ohtani is a heck of a talent as a pitcher and is one of the better hurlers in the majors when he is feeling good. However, we haven’t seen a lot of him. Note that Ohtani will not bat in the lineup as a result of his start tonight, his second of the season. The Rangers will counter with Jordan Lyles. Head below for our free Rangers vs. Angels pick on April 20, 2021.
Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels MLB Betting Odds:
Rangers vs. Angels Prediction:
Shohei Ohtani was in decent form in his first start this season. It was a big sigh of relief for management, as Ohtani was getting shelled in spring training. Decent is more than fine considering how Ohtani was pitching before the regular season started. Ohtani posted an ERA of 12.19 and 2.42 WHIP in spring training.
Opponents were hitting .326 against Ohtani, as he struggled to get into a groove on the bump. In his season opener, Ohtani recorded an ERA of 1.93 against the Chicago White Sox. That sounds amazing, but not so fast. Ohtani walked 5 hitters and gave up 2 hits for a 1.50 WHIP. If it weren’t for a play ruled as an error, then 3 runs would have gone against Ohtani and his ERA would have been well above 1.93.
Good start for Ohtani, but the 1.93 ERA might be a bit deceptive. Ohtani recorded an ERA of 37.80 and 6.60 WHIP in two games last year before being sat down. His effort in spring training was closer to that than we saw in 4.2 innings against the White Sox. It’s unlikely we see the Angels push Ohtani far in this game even if he’s in good form. They don’t want to overwork him too early in the season. His counterpart, Jordan Lyles, has recorded an ERA of 4.70 and 1.24 WHIP in three games across 15.1 innings of work in 2021.
That sounds about right for Lyles, who has allowed 3 earned runs in each of his last two outings against the Padres and Rays. He started off with a 3.18 ERA against the Royals in his first start of the season, but that’s inched up to a 4.70 ERA. The Angels have recorded 9 RBI, along with a .351 OBP against Lyles in 51 at-bats. He was atrocious on the road last season. Lyles posted a 7.18 ERA and 1.47 WHIP through 31.1 innings as a visitor. I think we should be able to get to at least 9 runs in this matchup.