Billy J’s Monday MLB Pick – Los Angeles Dodgers @ Los Angeles Angels

Our in-house MLB expert, Billy J (-5.39 units), gives his best bet for today!

The Freeway Series is back for an encore and right before the Major League All-Star Break. In what is usually a very competitive series year after year, the Dodgers could very well take complete ownership of the 2022 series. The Dodgers have won four straight in the Freeway Series and swept the two-game set at Dodger Stadium last month. This included an almost no-hitter by the Dodgers’ Tyler Anderson on June 15th in which Shoehi Ohtani spoiled the party with a one-out triple in the ninth inning. The Angels are 73-65 all-time in the series so this could very well be a series where the Dodgers make up more ground in that regard.

Making the start for the Dodgers is their perennial ace Clayton Kershaw (6-2, 2.40 ERA). In his two July starts, Kershaw has been nearly unhittable. Kershaw has pitched 14 2/3 innings and only has given up one earned run combined in those starts along with one walk and 18 strikeouts. Vintage Kershaw at his finest. Not only is Kershaw heading to Anaheim tonight on a complete roll as of late, but he has also dominated the Angels for his career. In 14 starts, Kershaw is 8-2 with a 2.31 ERA and 102 strikeouts. With the potential of Mike Trout (back spasms) being out again tonight and potentially through All-Star Break, it will not be easy for the Halos hitters tonight.

Opposing Kershaw tonight will be the Angels go-to pitcher this season in left-hander Patrick Sandoval (3-4, 2.95 ERA). Sandoval has been very steady this season for the Angels starting pitching, which has been tumultuous at best if you completely exclude Ohtani. Due to the Angels six-man rotation, Sandoval at this time does not have enough innings to qualify for ERA rankings. He would be tied for 20th in the majors if he did. Sandoval did not pitch in the first series and will certainly have his hands full with a Dodgers team who has won nine of their last ten.

With the Dodgers a complete freight train as of late and the Angels who continue to free fall, there are so many choices we can make here when perusing the wagers on the board. Although I can make a very strong case here with the run line for the away team, I’ll dig my teeth into some other plays I feel much more confident in. For starters, the Angels now lead by a wide margin in the team strikeouts category. They sit at 883 total now and will easily get over 900 by the break. We’ve got an Angels team that continues to strikeout in bunches and are now facing an ace in Kershaw who has been rolling with strikeouts lately. Runs will be absolutely hard to come by as it is and without Trout and with the lefty vs lefty matchup Ohtani has, I just don’t see the rest of the Angels lineup making any noise.

In what will be his last start before the break, this could be Kershaw’s final outing to dazzle where he could have the opportunity to start in front of his home crowd at Dodger Stadium for the All-Star game next Tuesday. I like the Dodgers in many ways and will play all of the following and try to also get in a Kershaw strikeouts over prop as well.

Today’s Picks: All plays 1 unit on Caesars SportsBook

Dodgers Over 4.5 runs -105

Angels Under 3 runs -120

Dodgers 1st 5 Innings Run Line -0.5 -130

Race to 5 Runs: Dodgers+109

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