Angels vs. Braves MLB Odds, Preview and Pick

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Friday’s baseball betting lineup includes Sho-time in Atlanta where Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels take on Ronald Acuña Jr. and the Braves in the opener of a weekend interleague series. 

Los Angeles Angels vs. Atlanta Braves

Friday, July 22, 2022 – 07:20 PM EDT at Truist Park

Can the Angels Get Back on Track?

Few teams had a more disappointing first half of the season than the Los Angeles Angels, who were picked to challenge for an AL West title on the preseason MLB futures, and they’ll try to get their second half off on a winning note on the road in Atlanta against the Braves.

One of the few positives from the Angels’ first half has been the two-way performance of All-Star Shohei Ohtani (9-4, 2.38 ERA), and he is one-half of the starting pitching duel for Friday’s series opener against Atlanta veteran Charlie Morton (5-4, 4.45 ERA).

Rivalry History and Trends

Of all the interleague matchups throughout the Angels’ and Braves’ histories, they have played each other the fewest amount of games with this weekend marking just their sixth series meeting of all-time, and first collision since getting together in Anaheim during the 2017 campaign.

  • The Angels took two of three matchups in the 2017 set, giving them a slim 8-7 edge the rivalry since they first met in June 2005.
  • Two of the games in 2017 went ‘over’ the totals, just as two of the three in 2014 when the Angels and Braves last met in Atlanta.
  • The clubs have split the six clashes in Atlanta over the years with totals 3-3 O/U.
  • The Angels begin the second half 37-46-9 O/U/P while the Braves are 46-45-3.

Angels Pitcher Shohei Ohtani

Even though the schedule worked out perfectly for Ohtani to become the first player in MLB history to the starting pitcher at an All-Star Game and bat leadoff, the Anaheim ace begged off doing any mound work at this year’s Midsummer Classic.

Ohtani has been one of the toughest pitchers in either league over the last six weeks by winning his last six trips to the bump and allowing just two earned runs in that span, the latest victory coming against Houston eight days ago when he worked six frames and struck out a dozen Astros as -115 chalk at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review).

With the Angels and Braves never meeting since Ohtani came to the majors, this will obviously be his first career start against Atlanta. Ohtani has only made one interleague start this year, a win over Miami earlier this month, and he is 4-2 with a 2.79 ERA in seven road assignments.

Braves Pitcher Charlie Morton

Morton will be facing the Angels for the first time since the 2019 season when he was with the Tampa Bay Rays, and while he did split those two decisions with 13 strikeouts in 12 innings, he also got knocked around a bit by allowing seven runs and serving up three long balls.

It has been nine days since Morton was last on the mound, and he’ll be looking to bounce back from a rather poor performance in a loss to the New York Mets who slapped three homers and scored five times in his five innings of work. Atlanta closed as -150 chalk on the MLB odds in that 7-3 defeat.

Morton had been on a good run prior to the stinker against New York. He lasted seven innings in four of his five starts before losing to the Mets, pitching to a sparkling 1.60 ERA in that stretch. Morton also struck out 42 during those five assignments.

Injury Update

While Ohtani is arguably the best overall player in the majors currently, Mike Trout remains the heart and soul of the Angels, and there’s nobody more disappointed and frustrated with the team’s 39-53 record heading into the second half of the season.

Unfortunately, Trout can do nothing to help the Angels in this series. Back issues caused him to miss a few games prior to the All-Star break, and Trout eventually landed on the injured list with rib inflammation.

Friday’s Best Bet

There is a slight chance of some afternoon showers in the Atlanta area on Friday, but they should move through to leave behind cloudy skies, muggy temps in the low-80s at first pitch and a light southwest breeze (right to left).

Most shops are carrying the Braves around -150, which seems a little high considering how well Ohtani has been pitching. A wise old man once told me not to go against a streak, like the one Ohtani is on, so my MLB pick will be on the visitors Friday evening.

MLB Pick: Angels (+139) at BetOnline

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Angels (+139)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.