The Los Angeles Angels have decided that they’re keeping Shohei Ohtani and trying to make a playoff run, so this series against the Atlanta Braves will be a good measuring stick to see where they stack up against the best team in baseball.
At 67-36 the Braves are rolling after sweeping the Brewers this weekend and the 55-51 Angels are reeling after a series loss to the Blue Jays.
For Game 1 of this three-game set the Angels will hand the ball to Griffin Canning and the Braves will counter with Charlie Morton. Canning is 6-4 with a 4.46 ERA heading into his 17th start of the year while Morton is 10-8 in 20 starts with a 3.57 ERA.
We have the best team in baseball against the best player in baseball and it’s no surprise that the best team is favored tonight.
Angels vs. Braves odds, run line and total
Angels vs. Braves prediction and pick
The Atlanta Braves lost back-to-back games to the Red Sox last week and clearly weren’t happy about it as they went on to pound the Brewers, 10-7, 11-5 and 8-6 in consecutive days.
That’s the type of firepower that their lineup features and as Matt Chapman said over the weekend when the Blue Jays played the Angels, Shohei Ohtani is the only one that can hit on their entire team.
Chapman isn’t too far off, though Mickey Moniak has been having a really good year. In July, Luis Rengifo and Taylor Ward both have an OPS over 1.000 and as a team the Angels are sixth in team OPS this month.
Too bad that’s five spots behind the Braves who once again lead the league in just about everything offensive stat this month.
For the month, both of these teams are at the top of the offensive leader boards, but in terms of their pitching staff ERA things aren’t going as well. Atlanta is 13th at 4.39 and the Angels are all the way down at 25th, 5.03.
Canning and Morton are both solid starting pitchers, Morton a bit more so than Canning, but they aren’t great.
You need to be great to shut down the Braves and at least very good to breeze through a surprisingly solid LA lineup. I’ll take the over in the first game of this series and hope Atlanta keeps scoring in bunches.
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