Fresh off his 1st inning appearance at the 2021 All-Star game in Denver, Angels star Shohei Ohtani returns to the mound for the first time in the second half when they face the A's in Oakland.
He'll match up against left-hander Cole Irvin making his 18th start of the season. Despite a solid 3.65 ERA, Irvin is 6-8 on the season in large part to lack of run support in his starts.
The two-way sensation remains the favorite at WynnBET to win American League MVP, with overwhelming -370 odds (bet $370 to win $100). But how much will his well-earned hype play into the odds for tonight's game?
Angels vs. A's - Odds, Props, and Plays
The Angels are listed as very slight underdogs on the road at -105 money line odds, with the total posted at 8.5 runs. Ohtani's pitching player prop for strikeouts is also listed at 6.5, with the under price substantially higher at -140 compared to the over at +110.
Rather than chase after a team in this matchup, I'm going to attack the strikeout prop in an ideal opportunity for Ohtani to be well-rested and pitch deep into this matchup at plus-value.
Ohtani has gone 6+ innings in five of his last seven starts. His final start of the first half was his longest of the season back on July 6, throwing 7 innings of 2-run ball. He's also only gone below six strikeouts five times this season.
Oakland, typically known for being a selective team at the dish has hovered to the middle of the pack this season, ranking 12th in walk percentage. They still strike out a fair amount at 23.1%, putting them right in the middle of the pack of the league.
WynnBET is begging for action on the over for one of the most popular players in the game, likely indicating that sharp money has come in on the under. While I traditionally don't like to fade the sharps, I'll take the plus-value on Ohtani to be the difference maker and add to his MVP-resume with a strong start tonight.
The Angels have a ways to climb in the AL West standings, and after losing two of three to the Mariners over the weekend in Anaheim, they'll need Ohtani to help carry the load to help climb back into the mix.