Billy J’s Tuesday MLB Pick – Oakland Athletics @ Los Angeles Angels

Our in-house MLB expert, Billy J (+1.83 units), gives his best bet for today!

The MLB trade deadline is today and we can be in store for some absolutely wild trades. Juan Soto could be on the move. That news alone is already enough to talk about. High end starters like Pablo Lopez and Nathan Eovaldi could be on the table. There’s always the Cubs All-Star catcher in Willson Contreras among many other teammates of his who could be moving as well. Potentially moving today could be Angels scheduled starter Noah Syndergaard (5-8, 3.83 ERA).

Syndergaard will be appealing to many teams such as the Blue Jays and Phillies who are still very well in the playoff race. The Braves were once thought to be in it until they obtained Jake Odorizzi from the Astros last night. As more names come off the board, the more appealing Syndergaard’s name will be prior to the deadline. Syndergaard is not the same flame thrower he was back when he was with the Mets, but he still possesses a hard sinker and can induce a ton of ground balls when he is on. The Angels six-man rotation with Shoehei Ohtani has limited the amount of starts for Syndergaard this season. Like most Angels starting pitchers he does not qualify for many statistical categories due to innings pitched. Syndergaard also had his last start skipped in preparation for a potential move out of Anaheim so that will allow him to continue to not rush the number of innings he was expected to pitch this year post-injury from Tommy John surgery.

It’s almost as if the Angels are keeping Syndergaard fresh as they have limited his starts and innings in July. Syndergaard has only three July starts and pitched just 14 2/3 innings. It is fully expected that at some point there will be a confirmed trade and this will create some of the current odds to dance a bit. At this current moment the Angels money line is -125 and the over/under set at 7.5 runs.  It is more than likely that the Angels during the day will formally announce a new starting pitcher for today’s contest against the Athletics. Most likely right-hander Janson Junk will be asked to make a second consecutive start for the Angels. Junk, who has a 0.00 ERA in two appearances this season, made a start last Wednesday at the Royals. He went five innings while allowing four hits, no runs, and struck out eight hitters. Pretty impressive for a spot start.

It was this time last year where the Angels acquired Junk from the Yankees in the Andrew Heaney deal. It would be full circle here if he is the starting pitcher today if Syndergaard were to get moved. No matter who starts today for the Angels, they will face A’s left-hander Cole Irvin (6-7, 3.05 ERA). Irvin has been as steady as it gets and was magnificent in July. Irvin went 4-1 in his five starts and boasted a 1.85 ERA and 22 strikeouts. What is even more impressive with Irvin is that three of his five starts were against the Astros and he won two of those contests.

There are a lot of variables at play for this game and a bettor here can wait until the cards fall into place to determine the best course of action. However, I see just an incredible value here on the under. It’s not like I’m going on a limb here, but it will be very shocking if Syndergaard stays in Anaheim and starts tonight. Junk has not pitched since last Wednesday and would be slated to go with no issues today. Both offenses have been pretty abysmal this season and both rank in the lower part in team batting average with the A’s the worst in the majors with a .215 team average. Aside from Ohtani, no one from the Angels lineup is a consistent power threat lately. The A’s as well are also in the bottom third in the majors in team home runs. Finding runs should be hard to come by tonight. Factor in as well that Irvin has been absolutely brilliant lately and I really like this 7.5 total where it is now before it potentially moves down. I’ll leave this last note here as well that the Angels in July finished with a .199 batting average and had just 156 hits in 782 a-bats. The Angels added to their league worst strikeout total by striking out 250 times in July.

The Pick: Angels/A’s Under 7.5 for 3 Units on Caesars SportsBooks

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