Atlanta is a -148 favorite heading into the July 22nd Angels at Braves betting matchup. That’s not a huge shock considering Atlanta is at home and have gone 12-5 this month, but is there also some value on the Angels at +126 considering Shohei Ohtani gets the start on the mound?
Overall the free fall does continue for the Angels, who went into the break on a three game losing streak and have lost 8 of their last 9. Los Angeles is just 2-12 this month, but both of those victories were in Ohtani starts. In fact the Angels have won six straight Ohtani starts which has to make them an option in this one.
Angels Have a Chance With Ohtani?
The Braves would probably be -200 favorites or better if Ohtani (9-4, 2.38 ERA) was not pitching on Friday night. He has picked up the win in six straight starts and has struck out at least 10 batters in his last four appearances. Ohtani was 4-1 with a 1.52 ERA in June and is 2-0 with a 0.89 ERA so far in July.
Another thing helping LAA’s chances in the July 22nd Angels at Braves betting matchup is that only three Braves have ever faced Ohtani. Matt Olson has the most experience from his time with Oakland, but he’s 1-13 with 6 K’s in his career vs. the Los Angeles starter.
Something that has obviously helped Ohtani’s recent success is that the Angels are scoring runs for him, averaging five runs/game on his six game stretch. That potential does take a bit of a hit though with Mike Trout out indefinitely with a rib injury. Luis Rengito has been trying to pick up the slack with a .355 average in his last 8 games.
Braves Have Turned Things Around
Atlanta had an obvious World Series hangover to start the year, going 10-12 in April and 13-15 in May. The defending champs have turned things around in a big way though, rolling along at a 33-11 clip in June and July.
The Braves are still trying to chase down the Mets though, still facing a 2.5 game deficit in the NL East. Atlanta has a tough challenge hitting against Ohtani, but Austin Riley did go into the break hot with a ..355 average over his previous 10 games. Riley and Olson have combined for 11 HRs over the Braves’ past 10 games so maybe it’s possible they can get to Ohtani in the series opener.
Charlie Morton (5-4, 4.45 ERA) makes his first start of the second half on Friday night, trying to bounce back from 5ER allowed over 5.0 IP to the Mets in his last outing. The Braves have gone 9-4 in Morton’s last 13 starts, and the right-hander gets a boost not having to face Trout in this contest.
Free July 22nd Angels at Braves Betting Pick
There has to be some value on the Angels in an Ohtani start, and indeed 52% of the betting public likes the visitors in this spot. The Braves look good too as winners of five of their last six series openers not to mention seven of their last nine Friday games. The Braves are also 19-7 in their last 26 at home.
Ultimately Atlanta is just too hot over the last two months, even up against Ohtani.
Free Pick: Braves -1.5 (+145)