MLB Baseball: Los Angeles Angels vs. Baltimore Orioles Preview, Prediction & Odds - 8/24/21

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 7:05 p.m. ET
Venue: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD
Where to watch: Bally Sports West, MASN

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Angels -145, Orioles +125
BetMGM: NL
FanDuel: NL

Season record
Angels: 62-64 (4th place, AL West)
Orioles: 38-85 (Last place, AL East)

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Angels - Orioles preview and analysis


Recent form
Angels: 4-6 in last 10, lost three straight
Orioles: Lost 18 straight

Do you ever get annoyed at trying to adjust the columns on an Excel spreadsheet? And then when you finally do it, it looks weird?

That’s probably how the great folks at Baseball Reference feel adjusting the Baltimore Orioles’ streak column after every game. Just 18 dashes spread across this one column of the sheet.

The Orioles will look to hope and pray that their 18-game losing streak ends when they open a three-game series at home against the Los Angeles Angels at Camden Yards on Tuesday.

Writing about losing teams can be a drag. If they’re 20 games below .500, it’s hard to find storylines on any given day. But it’s more fun when the team is closing in on 20 consecutive losses and showing the Moneyball mirrorverse at its finest.

It seems like ever since the Orioles defeated the New York Yankees 7-1 on Aug. 2, their third win in four games, a hex was placed by the Long Island Medium that says the Orioles are never allowed to experience joy ever again. Baltimore’s 18-game losing streak isn’t just the fact they’re losing; the Orioles have given up 10 runs or more six times, they’ve scored five runs or fewer 16 times, and have lost by at least four runs 10 times.

The Orioles looked to come very close to winning this past weekend against the Atlanta Braves, but ended up being swept. The good news is they went to the bottom of the ninth each game with a chance to win. The bad news is there was no hope. Max Fried had a 90-pitch complete game Friday night in a 3-0 victory. Fried dominated on the mound and the Braves’ bats didn’t need to do much this weekend. That’s when you know the situation is dire.

Spenser Watkins is projected to be the starting pitcher for the Orioles, stepping on the prayer circle, I mean mound, for Baltimore’s latest attempt at this thing called winning.

But there may be no better chance for the Orioles to win than facing an Angels team that ran out of all feasible ways to score this past weekend. Los Angeles was swept in the three-game series against the Cleveland Indians, including a 3-0 loss in the Little League World Series showcase in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on Sunday.

The Angels were held to four hits on Sunday, a microcosm to how the entire weekend looked. Cleveland held L.A. to two total runs in three games, just days after they scored 13 in a come-from-behind victory at the Detroit Tigers on Thursday. Since then, it’s been low point for the Angels offense.

Shohei Ohtani went 1-for-2 with two walks on Sunday, but the 5-9 hitters combined to go 1-for-16 and six were left on base. That’s the kind of night Indians pitcher Cal Quantrill had; seven strong shutout innings, nine strikeouts in 94 pitches for the 26-year-old right-hander.

Even more good news for the Orioles: The Angels will send struggling right-hander Dylan Bundy to the mound with his 2-9 record and 6.04 ERA. If the Orioles can’t hit off Bundy, it might be time to just unpack everything, pack it up again, and then go home.

Offensive analysis


If I told you the Orioles weren’t dead last in every offensive category, would you believe me? Because the Orioles are 21st in batting average, and they have a better mark than at least three current playoff teams. They’re also 20th in home runs, and only have the fourth worst scoring offense in the league. We call that progress. Meanwhile, the Angels are a very good hitting team (.249) and middle of the pack when it comes to power with Ohtani’s 40 homers carrying that distinction.

Defensive analysis


As for the Baltimore pitching staff … oh, boy. A combined 5.79 ERA, a league-worst 683 earned runs, a league-high 189 home runs given up, and a partridge in a pear tree. You don’t want to look, but you have to and it’s impossible to look away. The Angels also have a bottom-third pitching staff with their 4.70 ERA ranked 24th in the league

Prediction


Ride the favorite until the Orioles say otherwise. Angels win 9-5.

Betting trends


The over has cashed in five of the last seven meetings.

The Angels have won six of their last eight in Baltimore and have won the last four overall.

The Orioles are 11-50 in their last 61 following a loss.

Key injuries


Angels: OF Mike Trout (calf, 60-day IL), 3B Anthony Rendon (right hip, 60-day IL)
Orioles: RF Heston Kjerstad (illness, 60-day IL)

Players to watch


Angels: Third baseman David Fletcher enters Tuesday carrying a six-game hitting streak. His batting average as a whole has taken a dip since Aug. 10, but he still leads the Angeles with a .297 mark and has a 40-RBI season.

Orioles: The only bright spot for Baltimore has started to come back to Earth, but centerfielder Cedirc Mullins remains an important player. The Orioles’ All-Star is still batting a team-best .309 with 21 homers and 42 RBI. Let that last part sink in a bit.

Projected lineup


Angels:
Shohei Ohtani (L) DH
David Fletcher (R) 2B
Justin Upton (R) LF
Jared Walsh (L) 1B
Max Stassi (R) C
Jose Iglesias (R) SS
Brandon Marsh (L) CF
Jo Adell (R) RF
Jack Mayfield (R) 3B

Orioles:
Cedric Mullins (L) CF
Ryan Mountcastle (R) 1B
Trey Mancini (R) DH
Anthony Santander (S) RF
DJ Stewart (L) LF
Ramon Urias (R) 3B
Jorge Mateo (R) 2B
Austin Wynns (R) C
Richie Martin (R) SS

Statistical leaders


Angels:
Batting average: David Fletcher (.297)
Hits: David Fletcher (145)
Home runs: Shohei Ohtani (40)
RBI: Shohei Ohtani (88)
Stolen bases: Shohei Ohtani (18)
Wins: Shohei Ohtani (8)
Saves: Raisel Iglesias (27)
ERA: Shohei Ohtani (2.79)

Orioles:
Batting average: Cedric Mullins (.309)
Hits: Cedric Mullins (143)
Home runs: Cedric Mullins, Ryan Mountcastle (21)
RBI: Ryan Mountcastle (65)
Stolen bases: Cedric Mullins (22)
Wins: Matt Harvey (6)
Saves: Cesar Valdez (8)
ERA: N/A

Managers
Angels: Joe Maddon (18th season, 2nd with Angels)
Orioles: Brandon Hyde (4th season, 3rd with Orioles)

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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