Staying in the playoff picture doesn't just mean a potential playoff berth for fans of the Los Angeles Angels, it also means potentially holding on to Shohei Ohtani for at least the remainder of the season.
Speaking of Ohtani, he's set to be the starting pitcher for the Angels tonight when they host the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates. They're sitting 5.0 games back from a wild card spot, so this weekend's series against the lowly Buccos is a big one.
Let's find out what the oddsmakers think about tonight's series opener.
Pirates vs. Angels odds, run line, and total
Pirates vs. Angels prediction and pick
Shohei Ohtani hasn't shown his best stuff over his last two games, giving up nine earned runs in his last 10.0 combined innings pitched. The good news is, he gets to face arguably the worst offense in baseball tonight.
Over the last 30 days, the Pirates rank dead last in the Majors in OPS at .621. They also rank 29th in batting average at just .218. The Buccos are 2-8 in their last 10 games for a reason, and I have no desire to back them on Friday night against the best baseball player on the planet.
Meanwhile, the Angels offense has been as hot as its been all season, coming in at fourth in the Majors in OPS over the same time frame at .817.
Johan Oviedo gets the start for the Pirates and just like Pittsburgh's offense, he's been struggling mightliy of late, sporting a 6.75 ERA in three starts this month.
I won't hesitate to take the Angels on the -1.5 run line tonight.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change