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Baseball Betting -- Can White Sox' Kopech bring enough heat to counter Shohei Ohtani?

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Shohei Ohtani Of The La Angels

Will Shoei Ohtani get it Done on the Hill Tonight?

By Charles Jay

The way baseball fans feel (and we're sure there are many BetAnySports customers included), there isn't anything Shohei Ohtani can't do. He can hit the ball a mile, and he can strike out a lot of people.

But what we ask ourselves on this particular day is, can he carry the water as the favorite?

His Los Angeles Angels play host to the Chicago White Sox in a game that is slated to get underway at 9:40 PM ET at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. Down in the "O.C.," as they say.

Shohei Ohtani, who is 6-4 with a 2.90 ERA, takes the mound against Michael Kopech, who sports a 2.59 ERA to go with his 2-4 record.

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Baseball Betting -- Where the Angels stand With Shohei Ohtani

Neither of these teams has a whole lot to celebrate these days. The Angels are 36-41 and they have fallen twelve games behind the Houston Astros in the AL West. They are even a couple of games behind the Texas Rangers.

Things got pretty tense as Joe Maddon failed to pull this team out of a long losing streak, and it was said that he lost the locker room. Presumably to prevent full-scale mutiny, the Angels fired the former World Series champion and replaced him with Phil Nevin, who has won nine of 21 games. Having Mike Trout, as well as Ohtani, in the fold has not brought this team any closer to winning.  

Baseball Betting -- Where the White Sox stand

Chicago's situation may be even more disappointing, even though they are only six games back in the American League Central. That's because while people have become accustomed to the Angels falling short of expectations, the White Sox are coming off a season where they won the division by 13 games. It was not a surprise that Minnesota and even Cleveland may have done some things to close the gap, but the Pale Hose need to answer the call of urgency,as they stand at 35-38.

Baseball Betting -- Here are the numbers....

In the baseball betting odds posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Angels are favored:

Los Angeles Angels (Ohtani) -185
Chicago White Sox  (Kopech) +165

Over 7.5 Runs -120
Under 7.5 Runs -100

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Baseball Betting -- Kopech hard to hit as starter

If there has been a bright spot on the White Sox pitching staff, it is Michael Kopech. This former first-round draft choice is an interesting story; he can really bring it, as he was once clocked with a 105 mph pitch in the minor leagues. He pitched pretty well as a reliever last season (13.4 K's per nine) and has been able to elevaste himself into the starting rotation.

But he has not pitched with the best luck in the world. Despite a 2.59 ERA and a stirling WHIP ratio of 1.005, he's won only two games. It is true that Kopech has had some control problems, walking almost one batter for every two innings, but he has allowed just 4.9 hits per nine innings. If he had pitched enough innings to qualify, he would be one full hit per nine ahead of the current MLB leader in that category, Shane McClanahan of Tampa Bay. So basically what that means is that if Kopech can keep himself from getting wild, he is darn near unhittable.

Baseball Betting -- That's a big "if"

In four of his starts he's allowed more than three walks, and the White Sox have lost all four of those games. Kopech has been reached in his last two starts, yielding seven runs in ten innings, but interestingly enouugh, in four of his previous five starts he gave up two hits orless (only a single hit in three of those). So he can be dominating at times. He comes into this game on four days' rest, and he's done that only once, in his last outing, which wasn't stellar.

Baseball Betting -- Our conclusion

Frankly, my first instinct here was to go with the underdog Sox, as Ohtani is usually going to be overpriced. But there might be another way to play this.

Kopech's walks (29 in 62-2/3 innings) are a concern, especially as the Angels are fifth in the AL drawing them. And Kopech has a heck of a time keeping runners close; in his last start, for example, the Orioles stole five bases in the first four innings. By contrast, Shohei Ohtani has a K-BB ratio of 5.63-to-1. And for what it's worth, he hasn't allowed a hit to anyone in this ChiSox lineup.

Chicago has stolen 35 bases in 37 attempts, which is obviously phenomenal, but some of these guys have come with injuries bad enough that manager Tony LaRussa has told them to actually take it easy running unless it's absolutely necessary. So that doesn't help.

In the five-inning prop, we can get the Angels minus a half a run at -125. That's better than the full game price, and perhaps that's a more prudent way for us to proceed. A secondary choice may be to go with "under 4" over the first five innings. We believe Shohei Ohtani will get it done.

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Posted : 30/06/2022 12:21 am

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