MLB Baseball: New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels Preview, Prediction & Odds -- Sept. 1, 2021

by Big Al Staff

Game time: 7:07 p.m. ET
Venue: Angel Stadium, Anaheim, CA
Where to watch: YES, Bally Sports West, MLB Network

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Yankees -260, Angels +210; Over 8.5 -115, Under 8.5 -105
BetMGM: Yankees -250, Angels +200; Over 8.5 -115, Under 8.5 -105
Caesars: Yankees -255, Angels +225; Over 8.5 -115, Under 8.5 -105

Season record (entering Tuesday)
Yankees: 76-55 (2nd place, AL East)
Angels: 65-67 (4th place, AL West)

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Yankees - Angels preview and analysis


Recent form (entering Tuesday)
Yankees: Lost 3 straight
Angels: 4-6 in last 10

Well, we were right about one thing for Monday. The New York Yankees’ bats would carry them.

Just not to victory.

Instead, it was the Los Angeles Angels’ bats coming alive -- including Shohei Ohtani -- and getting an 8-7 victory in the series opener Monday at Angel Stadium.

The third and final installment of this three-game series is Wednesday. As for Tuesday night, the Yankees are trying to snap a three-game losing streak and by the time you read this, it’s likely over by now.

But for the few moments we have left, let’s just relish in the fact that sports are weird. To go from a 13-game winning streak to now losing three in a row has got some real oblong personality. But the Yankees have faltered a bit, and it’s cost them at least in the American League East.

The Tampa Bay Rays, by way of their eight-game winning streak, have pushed their lead on the Yankees to seven games and are closing in on the top record in the American League. The Yankees still hold the top wild-card spot in the AL by a two-game cushion on the Boston Red Sox, who have also lost back-to-back games and failed to gain ground on New York.

Corey Kluber returned to the Yankees’ rotation on Monday and while he had six strikeouts, he gave up five earned runs and one homer. That blast was crucial; a grand slam from Jack Mayfield to cap off a five-run fourth and give the Angels a 5-2 lead.

New York battled back to tie it in the fifth on RBI singles from DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, but Ohtani cracked his 42nd homer of the year in the bottom of the fifth to give the Angels a 6-5 lead they would never relinquish.

Stanton tied the game in the seventh with a mammoth two-run shot to center field, but Juan Legares drove in the winning run in the eighth to give the Angels a much-needed home victory in front of thousands of Yankees fans.

Gerrit Cole will get the start for the Yankees in the series finale, and there’s no better option for New York to turn to in avoiding a lengthy slide. Cole, the right-hander who is the likely frontrunner for the AL Cy Young, is 13-6 with a team-best 2.80 ERA.

A series win for the Angels could make the wild card race sort of enticing, but it’ll need to be a Herculean comeback for the Halos. Entering Tuesday, they’re 9.5 games out of the second play-in spot, and are still a ways away from the first-place Houston Astros in the American League West.

Left-hander Packy Naughton will make his first major league start on Wednesday. Naughton, a former ninth-round pick of the Cincinnati Reds, has two strikeouts in two appearances for the Angels.

Prediction


Talk about David vs. Goliath in this pitching matchup. When in doubt, take the guy who is on fire. Cole can hardly be touched right now, and you’d like to think if the Yankees are still in a slump, he’s the one to get them out. Yankees win 8-4.

Betting trends


The Yankees are 35-21 (-5.7 net games on the money line) when they’re favored by -150 or more.

New York is 13-11 in Cole’s starts this season (-8.7 net games).

The Angels are 29-39 (-0.9 net games) as an underdog this season.

Key injuries


Yankees: SS Gleyber Torres (thumb, 10-day IL, expected back Friday)

Angels: CF Mike Trout (calf, 60-day IL, out for season)

Players to watch


Yankees: Giancarlo Stanton continues to smash. His home run on Monday gives him five in the last seven games and he has a hit in seven of his last eight.

Angels: Juan Legares’ 3-for-4 night on Monday was a microcosm of what he’s done when getting into the lineup. He’s batted .300 in August with six RBI to go with one homer.

Projected lineup


Yankees:
DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
Aaron Judge (R) RF
Giancarlo Stanton (R) DH
Joey Gallo (L) LF
Gio Urshela (R) 3B
Gary Sanchez (R) C
Brett Gardner (L) CF
Andrew Velazquez (S) SS

Angels:
David Fletcher (R) 2B
Shohei Ohtani (L) DH
Phil Gosselin (R) 3B
Jared Walsh (L) 1B
Jo Adell (R) LF
Brandon Marsh (L) CF
Max Stassi (R) C
Jack Mayfield (R) SS
Juan Lagares (R) RF

Statistical leaders


Yankees:
Batting average: Aaron Judge (.294)
Hits: DJ LeMahieu (132)
Home runs: Aaron Judge (29)
RBI: Aaron Judge (73)
Stolen bases: Gleyber Torres (12)
Wins: Gerrit Cole (13)
Saves: Aroldis Chapman (24)
ERA: Gerrit Cole (2.80)

Angels:
Batting average: David Fletcher (.289)
Hits: David Fletcher (149)
Home runs: Shohei Ohtani (42)
RBI: Shohei Ohtani (90)
Stolen bases: Shohei Ohtani (20)
Wins: Shohei Ohtani (8)
Saves: Raisel Iglesias (28)
ERA: Shohei Ohtani (3.00)

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