Opening Day 2022 of the MLB season has finally arrived! Despite Rob Manfred doing everything possible to screw the sport up, a full 162-game season is set to be played. Among the season’s first games on Thursday is a primetime matchup featuring the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels. It’s hard to pass up the opportunity to watch the reigning AL pennant winners take on the defending AL MVP. Undoubtedly thanks to the most fascinating player in baseball drawing the starting assignment, the home club is a slight MLB betting favorite ahead of this Astros vs Angels season-opener.
This Astros vs Angels MLB betting preview includes key game info, projected starting pitchers, betting odds, trends and a prediction for the Opening Day matchup.
Astros vs Angels Prediction and MLB Betting Preview
MLB Regular Season Opening Day Game
Houston Astros (0-0, 0-0 Away) vs. Los Angeles Angels (0-0, 0-0 Home)
Date: Thursday, Apr. 7, 2022
Time: 9:38 p.m. EST
Venue: Angel Stadium of Anaheim — Anaheim, CA
Coverage: MLB Network
Astros vs Angels Starting Pitchers
Astros: Framber Valdez (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Angels: Shohei Ohtani (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Houston Astros Preview
The Astros may have fallen short in the World Series last fall, but they are poised for another successful season in 2022. One can start with the fact that the team’s top two starting pitchers, Justin Verlander and Lance McCullers Jr., both watched the majority of the team’s postseason run sidelined with injuries. Of course, Verlander missed the entire 2021 campaign after having Tommy John surgery. If the 39-year-old can somehow return to full form and operate as the Astros’ ace pitcher once again, the sky is the limit.
While Verlander is indeed on the Opening Day roster, it will be Framber Valdez who starts Thursday’s MLB betting matchup for Houston. The left-hander won 11 games and posted a 3.14 ERA last season. Along with Luis Garcia, Valdez helped a depleted Astros pitching staff navigate all the way to the World Series last year. From an offensive standpoint, virtually the entirety of last year’s Astros team that led all of baseball in scoring. While losing Carlos Correa in free agency hurts, a lineup that includes Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez, Michael Brantley and Alex Bregman remains extremely dangerous.
Los Angeles Angels Preview
After injuries derailed his first few MLB betting seasons, Shohei Ohtani broke out in 2021. The modern-day version of Babe Ruth won AL MVP honors and has quickly become the new face of the entire sport. Ohtani sparkled both swinging the bat and on the mound throughout the 2021 season. How hard is it to both hit and pitch? Well, no other current MLB player is doing both. The fact that the Japanese sensation not only has proven capable of doing both but managed to do both at such a high level for a full season is truly remarkable. In Ohtani, we are witnessing baseball history of the most special kind.
Thanks to Ohtani being named the Angels’ Opening Day starting pitcher, L.A. is a slight MLB betting favorite over the defending AL champs. Of course, the Angels would love to find success in the standings to complement their generational superstar. The team will hope that free agent acquisitions Noah Syndergaard, Ryan Tepera and Aaron Loup can help bolster what was one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball last year. On offense, the Angels desperately need Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon to stay healthy. Jared Walsh also returns after slugging 29 homers a season ago.
Astros vs Angels MLB Betting Odds
Moneyline: HOU: (-105) | LAA: (-115)
Run Line: HOU: +1.5 (-185) | LAA: -1.5 (+160)
Total: 8.5 — Over: (-120) | Under: (+100)
Public (Spread) Betting Percentages via Action Network: HOU: (57%) | LAA: (43%)
Astros vs Angels MLB Betting Trends
- Astros are just 1-5 straight up in their last six road games against a right-handed starting pitcher.
- The total has gone OVER in seven of the Astros’ last eight games as an MLB betting underdog.
- Angels are 0-5 straight up in their last five games as a favorite.
- The OVER is 4-0 in the Angels’ last four home games when the total is set between 9.0 and 10.5 runs.
- Astros are 6-2 straight up in their last eight head-to-head matchups against the Angels in Anaheim.
Astros vs Angels Stats
- Houston averaged 5.34 runs per game (RPG) this season (No. 1 in the MLB).
- Houston surrendered 4.10 RPG this season (No. 8 in the MLB).
- Los Angeles averaged 4.46 RPG this season (No. 17 in the MLB).
- Los Angeles surrendered 4.96 RPG this season (No. 23 in the MLB).
Astros vs Angels Weather Report
According to Forecast.io
Wind: 7 MPH (blowing left to right)
Astros vs Angels Prediction | MLB Betting Picks
Tonight’s starting pitching matchup between Framber Valdez and Shohei Ohtani figures to be a doozy. Both are quality pitchers who are more than capable of throwing several strong innings. Of the two teams, the Astros clearly have the better overall offense. However, can one really bet against Ohtani keeping them down so long as he is in the game?
While bettors can expect both starters to control this game early on, the offenses could come alive in the later innings. The Angels made several free agency moves to try and bolster what was an awful bullpen a season ago. Whether or not the additions pay off remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the Astros relief pitching is also difficult to fully trust. Both Kendall Graveman and Yimi Garcia departed in the offseason leaving Houston short on bullpen depth coming into 2022.
By pursuing the MLB betting total for the first five innings, one can isolate the starting pitching matchup and not have to sweat out the shaky bullpens late in the game.
Astros vs Angels Prediction: First Five Innings UNDER 4.5 Total Runs (-105 at Bovada Sportsbook)