Rangers vs. Angels (July 28): Ohtani seeks career-high 10th win

By | July 28, 2022

With speculation swirling about his future, Shohei Ohtani will take the mound tonight for the Los Angeles Angels for the opener of their four-game series against the Texas Rangers.

With a win tonight, Ohtani will have his first double-digit win season as an MLB pitcher, and he will put a frustrating final frame in his last outing behind him as well.

But a big cloud is looming over tonight’s game and the next few days for Ohtani, as there is a lot of discussion about his future, at least in the media.

It is not likely that last year’s AL MVP will be moved before next Tuesday’s MLB trade deadline.

But with the Angels going nowhere fast, no guarantee that next season will be better, and Ohtani set to hit free agency at the end of next season, there is a lot of talk that the Angels should move him now to get the maximum return.

Whether he is still in Anaheim or in a new city this time next week, Ohtani will be must-see TV wherever he is. That includes tonight, when a lack of glamorous matchups around the league increases the entertainment and betting value for this showdown between AL West rivals.

Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels Matchup Information and Betting Odds

Matchup Information

  • Matchup: Texas Rangers (43-54, 22-28 away, 3rd in the AL West) vs. Los Angeles Angels (42-56, 22-27 home, 4th in the AL West)
  • Venue & Location: Angel Stadium (Anaheim, California)
  • Date: Thursday, July 28, 2022
  • Game Time: 9:38 p.m. Eastern Time (6:38 p.m. local time)
  • Rangers vs. Angels TV Info: MLB Network

Rangers vs. Angels Pitching Matchup

  • Texas Rangers: Spencer Howard (2022: 7 appearances – 5 starts, 1-2, 7.11 ERA)
  • Los Angeles Angels: Shohei Ohtani (2022: 16 starts, 9-5, 2.80 ERA)

Rangers vs. Angels Odds

Game odds are via FanDuel. Odds from other top online sportsbooks that we have reviewed and recommend may also feature in this article.

Moneyline

  • Texas Rangers +188
  • Los Angeles Angels -225

Over/Under

  • Over 7.5 (-110)
  • Under 7.5 (-110)

Run Line

  • Texas Rangers +1.5 (-113)
  • Los Angeles Angels -1.5 (-106)

Ohtani’s Strong Home Form Likely to Continue Against Rangers

Last Friday in Atlanta, Ohtani was outstanding against the Braves for six innings. Then he lost Dansby Swanson to start the bottom of the seventh after getting ahead 0-2 on the All-Star shortstop, and things unraveled from there.

After Swanson walked, the floodgates opened when Matt Olson obliterated the second pitch he saw to put Atlanta up 2-0.

At the end of it, Ohtani was tagged for six runs out of the seven that the Braves scored in the inning, with a three-run blast by Orlando Arcia knocking him out of the game after 6.1 innings and 92 pitches.

Though his final frame could not have gone any worse, it was Ohtani’s fifth straight start with 10+ strikeouts. With 11 Ks against the Braves, he has 57 strikeouts in his last five starts.

Things should have a better ending tonight for Ohtani, who has been outstanding at home recently.

Home and Away Splits for Shohei Ohtani (2022 MLB Season)

  • Home (eight starts): 5-2, 2.05 ERA, 48.1 IP, 32 H, 11 R (11 ER), 11 BB, 70 K, 0.89 WHIP, .184 OBA
  • Away (eight starts): 4-3, 3.60 ERA, 45 IP, 38 H, 19 R (18 ER), 12 BB, 64 K, 1.11 WHIP, .220 OBA

Since giving up five runs in a loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on May 26, Ohtani is 4-0 with a 0.68 ERA in four home starts. In 26.2 innings, he has given up just two runs (both earned), 15 hits, and six walks and struck out 42.

Things could be going better for him at the plate, as he is hitting just .225 with four homers in 71 at-bats this month.

And that may not improve tonight against the Rangers, against whom he is hitting .211 (8 for 38) with three homers, eight RBI, and 17 strikeouts this season.

But the Angels as a whole should have some success at the plate against Howard, who has allowed 14 runs, 18 hits, and seven homers in 11.2 innings in three road starts this season. In each road start, he has gone no further than 4.2 innings and allowed no fewer than four runs.

That helps things line up even more favorably for the Angels, who hit far better at home (.244) than on the road (.217) and are also better against righties (.232) than lefties (.226). They also average over a half a run more per game at home than on the road.

Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels Prediction and Picks

Rangers vs. Angels Prediction: Angels to win

Rangers vs. Angels Picks: Angels -1.5 (Best Value: -104 at BetRivers) & Angels team total over 4.5 runs (Best Value: +100 at Caesars Sportsbook)

Putting any serious faith in the Angels to win a game is certainly asking a lot, even when they come in with three wins in their last four games.

But they are most likely to win when Ohtani is on the mound at Angel Stadium, and when they have won in his starts this season–nine times in 16 starts, including six of his last seven–they have won by 2+ runs every time.

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