It’ll be an early start for a marquee matchup in Cleveland on Sunday, as Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels square off against the Guardians First with first pitch set for 11:35 a.m. ET. Lefty Patrick Sandoval (3-1, 3.41 ERA) gets the ball for L.A., while the Guardians will counter with promising young rookie Tanner Bibee (1-1, 4.30).
The Angels are -125 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while Cleveland checks in as narrow +105 underdogs. The run total is set at 8.5.
Angels-Guardians picks: Sunday, May 14
Out: RP Aaron Loup (hamstring), C Chad Wallach (concussion), 1B Jared Walsh (head), SP Jose Suarez (shoulder)
Day to day: C Mike Zunino (neck)
Out: SP Aaron Civale (oblique), SP Triston McKenzie (shoulder)
Patrick Sandoval vs. Tanner Bibee
Sandoval is coming off one of his lesser starts of the year — four runs over 6.1 innings against the Houston Astros — which tells you how good his year has been so far. The lefty’s command can get him into trouble sometimes, and he doesn’t strike a ton of batters out, but he uses his slider/changeup combo effectively enough to get lots of weak contact and a healthy 52.1% ground ball rate. That should serve him well against a contact-oriented Guardians lineup.
One of Cleveland’s top prospects, Bibee got off to a sensational start to his MLB career but came back to Earth a bit in his last time out, allowing four runs over 5.2 innings against the Detroit Tigers. The righty’s bread and butter is a four-seam fastball that sits 95 and that he commands extremely well, setting hitters up for a true put-away slider. He’s got two plus pitches and elite control, although his lack of a third pitch could cost him against tougher lineups.
The Guardians are among the league’s worst offenses against left-handed pitching and Sandoval should be able to coax them into plenty of weak grounders, while the righty-heavy Angels could have trouble in their first look at Bibee. Give me the under between two solid pitchers and two inconsistent offenses.
Pick: Under 8.5
In the end, I trust the star power a bit more in what should be a close game, as Trout and Ohtani are more likely to manufacture a run when it matters — especially given Emmanuel Clase’s recent struggles in late-game situations.