• Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics
• Thursday, April 27 at 4:05 PM ET
• Angel Stadium in Los Angeles, California
One of the major storylines thus far this season has been the incredible play of star pitcher/slugger Shohei Ohtani. He continues to showcase why he’s the best player in the game, as he has recorded some truly dazzling performances. This is bad news for teams across the bigs, including the Oakland Athletics, as these two teams are set to face off on Thursday. With this, the Angels should torch the Athletics with Shohei Ohtani on the bump.
Matter of fact, we’d be ready to go against the Athletics regardless of who they’re playing. Things have been a dumpster fire for the A’s this year, as they’re currently 5-18 on the season. Oakland is far and away the worst team in the bigs. You’ve got to feel for their fanbase, as the club is pretty much already out of the hunt for the postseason. With ownership buying property in Las Vegas too, it’s only a matter of time before they leave the city.
|Angels vs. Athletics odds|
|Angels to win||-115||-115||-115||-115|
|Athletics to win||+125||+125||+125||+125|
|Over to hit||-110||-110||-110||-110|
|Under to hit||-110||-110||-110||-110|
That’s all adding up to what should be a forgetful season, with the Angels ready to make things worse during their series this week. Ohtani will get the start on Thursday, and it wouldn’t surprise us at all if he posts a shutout victory. On the year, Ohtani is a perfect 3-0, with a 0.64 ERA. Ohtani has been unreal no matter who he has faced. With Oakland’s lineup being brutal, it should mean that Ohtani will be able to cruise.
According to the best-rated sportsbooks, which includes the reliable Bovada review, the Angels hold -115 MLB betting odds to post a win. The Athletics have been placed at +125. Oakland is going to need more than a miracle to be able to post a victory on the road against the Angels. Ohtani is arguably the best pitcher in the league right now and he’s showing no signs of slowing down. We’re locking in the Angels as our pick.
Shohei Ohtani is currently:
🔹Leading MLB in ERA (0.64)
🔹Leading the AL in strikeouts (38)
🔹Holding hitters to a .092 batting average
Oh yeah, and he's got 4 home runs and 11 RBI 🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/bSOfcSGcsD
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) April 22, 2023
Ohtani feels like a lock to win AL MVP this year
With how amazing he has been, Ohtani feels like a lock to win AL MVP this year. The fact that Ohtani is 3-0 on the season is one thing, but you can’t forget that he’s also a home-run machine when at the plate. We have truly never seen a player like this in a long time. On one day, Ohtani can make you look foolish with his incredible pitching on the bump. And then any other day, he can record some mind-blowing hits.
That’s how amazing he has been. Ohtani’s main competition for MVP is 100 percent going to be Aaron Judge. Judge was a monster last year himself, setting the AL home run record. Because of that, Judge received his nine-year, $360 million extension from the Yankees. With that said, the Yankees have looked rough thus far this season too. That’s only going to help Ohtani in what should be a fun battle the rest of the way.
— Anaheim Sports (@AnaheimSports1) April 22, 2023
“The best way I could put it is that he would thrive anywhere,’’ Angels manager Phil Nevin said via the NY Daily News oh Ohtani and his future in the bigs. “Even with the off-field stuff, the endorsements, he’d be fine. It’s not gonna bother him whether he’s in a big market or small market. Seeing him on the kind of stage like we expect to be on now wouldn’t affect him at all.”
With Ohtani set to hit free agency next offseason, teams are going to be lining up to try and sign him. With that said, Ohtani is going to only demand even more money if he’s able to take home the AL MVP honors. From our chair, we feel like it would be a bit of a surprise if he doesn’t win it. He holds -400 MLB betting odds to capture the individual award. We’re going with him as our pick to win AL MVP, there’s no doubt about that.
Angels need to keep improving to try and reach the playoffs
Although it is early on in the campaign, there’s no question that the Angels need to keep improving to try and reach the playoffs. Los Angeles is 11-12 on the year, one game under .500. That’s not what the fans were hoping to see out of them thus far in the season. The issue here has been inconsistent play, other than Ohtani that is.
Mike Trout is one of the best sluggers in the game too, but he and Ohtani aren’t getting much help in the lineup behind them. Nevin continues to say that this can’t be a two-man show. Trout and Ohtani can’t do everything for this team whenever they have a big game on the schedule.
The expectation is that the Astros are going to win the AL West, but there’s still a chance for the Angels to reach the postseason by grabbing an AL Wild Card spot. Right now, the Angels hold +250 odds to play postseason ball this fall. They’d love nothing more than to grab a WC spot and prevent the Mariners from moving on. Only time will tell if that happens or not.