A Friday night showdown awaits in LA between the Angels and Dodgers as both teams try to stay alive in the playoff hunt in their respective leagues. Let’s analyze this latest Freeway Series chapter and keep cashing our MLB picks!
Los Angeles Angels vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Friday, August 06, 2021 – 10:10 PM EDT at Dodger Stadium
The Angels enter this latest iteration of the Freeway Series with three consecutive wins under their collective belts, the latest being a 5-0 blanking of the Rangers in Texas on Thursday night. Starter Dylan Bundy, who was demoted to the bullpen several weeks ago, made a triumphant second start since rejoining the rotation and pitched six-plus innings of three-hit shutout baseball and registered the win.
Adam Eaton went long with a solo shot in the third inning in what proved to be the winning run but José Iglesias chipped in with a two-run single in the sixth inning to ice the victory for the Halos. However, the big story was Bundy’s impressive start after getting hammered throughout most of the season. It was a change in his pitching mechanics that Bundy initially rejected, but ultimately embraced, that appeared to be the game-changer.
“It took some convincing,” Bundy said. “But it was about rock bottom for me there at that one point. Had to change something.
“Just getting used to the stuff that I’m working on,” Bundy said. “Starting to kind of show itself on the field and against the opposing team. So, it’s starting to feel better. Still a work in progress.”
Patrick Sandoval (3-5, 3.49 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 87 strikeouts) will take the hill for the Halos on Friday night and will attempt to maintain his mojo after two impressive performances in which he allowed only two runs on five hits over 14 plus innings in a 2-0 win over the Twins and a 2-1 loss against the Athletics. Sandoval’s only appearance this season against the Dodgers came on May 7th in which he was summoned in relief and pitched three-plus innings and allowed one run on two hits in the Angels’ 9-2 victory.
The Dodgers are hoping their starter, David Price (4-1, 3.55 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 42 strikeouts), can rekindle some of the magic that saw him win an AL Cy Young and become a five-time All-Star. In Price’s last appearance, he pitched an inning in relief in the Dodgers’ 13-0 shellacking of the Diamondbacks in the desert.
The veteran lefty has made only seven starts in 28 performances this year. In his most recent start Price pitched four-plus innings and allowed three runs on four hits in a 5-0 loss to the NL West-leading Giants on July 29th. Price has yet to face the Angels this season.
Wanna Make a Bet?
We should point out that the Angels’ superstar, Shohei Ohtani, will be used sparingly in this series as the National League rules apply which means no designated hitter. The Angel’s super slugger, currently with 37 dingers on the season, will be used in pinch-hit situations but that’s a big bat taken out of the lineup which doesn’t bode well for the Angels.
The MLB odds at all of the best online sportsbooks are showing the Dodgers as roughly -200 favorites and the absence of Ohtani is a big reason why. However, the Angels have taken two of three from Big Blue this season and I have to give the advantage to them in this pitching matchup. David Price is simply no longer a reliable starter and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Angels’ bats got to him early and put this one out of reach. Conversely, Sandoval is spitting bullets and pitching as well as he has all season.
The books have overpriced the Dodgers in this one because they will be getting a wave of public money on the defending World Series champs. That’s all Joe Q Public thinks about when betting them, last year’s title, and that’s why they get routinely slaughtered when laying the heavy lumber. Grab the juice and back the Halos here.
MLB Pick: Angels +180 at SugarHouse