Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels 4/7/22 MLB Picks and Predictions

Los Angeles Angels (0-0) vs Houston Astros (0-0)

Game Info: Thursday, April 7, 2022 at 9:38 pm (Angel Stadium of Anaheim)

Shohei Ohtani (0-0) (0.00) vs Framber Valdez (0-0) (0.00)

Betting Odds: Los Angeles Angels +110 / Houston Astros -130 --- Over/Under: 8.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Houston Astros face the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, April 7th, 2022 at Angel Stadium for an MLB opening day matchup. 

The Houston Astros made it back to the World Series in 2021 but came two games short in the end as the Braves won the series 4-2. The Astros look a bit different on paper going into 2022, but after a 95-year win a season ago, the Astros remain the favorite to win the AL West yet again. The Astros were not big spenders in the offseason as the team only brought in a few depth pieces and bench bets. As far as notable departures, none are bigger than shortstop Carlos Correa, who signed a three-year deal with the Twins a few days after free agency opened back up after the lockout. Zack Greinke, Yimi Garcia, and Kendall Graveman also moved on from Houston in the offseason. The Astros are hopeful that ace Justin Verlander can come back from his season-ending injury and make a difference in the rotation this year. Verlander is not ready for opening day, as Framber Valdez is the projected starter for this contest. Valdez had a strong campaign in 2021 owning an 11-6 record, posting a 3.14 ERA, and striking out 125 batters in 134.2 innings. Although this team may not be as potent on paper as we have seen in recent years, the Astros are still a team to watch out for in the American League this year. 

The Los Angeles Angels could quite possibly have the two best players in the MLB in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. With that being the case, there are absolutely no excuses for this team to miss the playoffs in 2022. The Halos have not been to the postseason since 2014 as Mike Trout has only played in three playoff games in his career. The Angels finished the 2021 season with another losing record of 77-85. L.A. had problems on the mound as the team owned the league’s 22nd ranked pitching staff in terms of team ERA. Despite Ohtani being a monster at the dish, the Angels were ranked 19th in the league in team OPS last year as well. The Angels’ lineup won’t look a whole lot different in 2022, but the pitching staff did add a few key pieces. Former Mets starter Noah Syndergaard signed a one-year deal with the team before the lockout on November 16th. If he can pitch the way he did in Flushing, the Angels could have a really strong 1 and 2 with Ohtani and Thor. Cincinnati Reds right-hander Michael Lorenzen signed a deal with the Angels as well, as he will look for a bounce-back year towards the end of the rotation. The Angels have a team on paper that should compete in the AL West and with the expanded wild card playoff structure, this team should be competing for a postseason berth late in the year. 

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It will be Valdez vs. Ohtani in the first game of the season and the Angels open as a small favorite at -125 on the money line. Although I do believe the Angels are better than they were in 2021, I still worry about that bullpen. I do not think the Angels should be the favorites in this spot as I still believe Houston is the better team in this matchup. This is not a game I am rushing to the window for, but give me Houston and the plus money on opening day.

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Ron’s Pick Houston Astros +110

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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