Houston Astros (64-35) vs Los Angeles Angels (49-48)Date : 07/20/2018
Time : 10:07 pm EST
Location : Angel Stadium, Los Angeles, California
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Houston Astros vs Los Angeles Angels
Game 1 of a 3-game set between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels will take place at Angels Stadium in Los Angeles, California, beginning at 10:07 pm EST. The Astros hold down the top spot within the AL West while the Angels are currently in the 4th place slot within the division. In their last outing, the Astros would win a 3-game home set versus the Detroit Tigers despite losing the final 6-3 on 7-15-2018. Houston would cash in on the money line as heavy favorites (-420) while the over was the play in that the total was set at 7.5 runs for the game. Drew VerHagan (1-2) picked up the win in this contest as he pitched 3 innings while allowing 1 run on 2 hits with 2 strikeouts with an ERA of 7.11 while Justin Verlander (9-5) took the loss as he lasted 6 innings while allowing 6 runs on 6 hits, a whopping 4 homers, and 12 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.29. Houston only had 4 hits for the game with Marwin Gonzales going 2-3 in the loss while Yulu Gurriel was 1-2 with an RBI. John Hicks and Jaime Candelario each had a hit with 2 RBI’s apiece for Detroit in the win, breaking a 6-game losing streak going into the All-Star Break.
The Angels would lose a 3-game road set to the Los Angeles Dodgers by losing the finale by a 5-3 score to where the Dodgers would cash in on the money line as favorites (-250) while the under was the play in that the total was set at 8.5 runs for the game. The Angels mustered only 6 hits for the game with Jefry Marte going 2-3 with 3 RBI’s while Andrelton Simmons was 1-5 in the loss. Mike Trout went 0-2 while Justin Upton went 1-3. Taylor Cole (0-2) took the loss in going 2 innings while allowing 1 run on 3 hits, 1 homer, and 2 strikeouts with an ERA of 6.46. Clayton Kershaw received the no decision once again at the mound as he was able to last 6.2 innings while allowing 3 runs on 6 hits, 1 homer and 8 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.74. Yasmani Grandal went 3-3 with an RBI for the Dodgers in the win while Enrique Hernandez was 1-2 with 2 RBI’s. The loss was the Angels’ 3rd in 5 games.
Houston Astros's Latest Performance :
The Houston Astros have lost 3 of their last 5 games to where the O/U was 4-1. Recently, after a 4-game home sweep of the Chicago White Sox on 7-8-2018, they would go on to drop a 4-game home set to division foe Oakland Athletics on 7-12-2018 by losing 6-3 in the finale. The Astros would go on to win a 3-game home set versus the Detroit Tigers to end the first half of the season.
For the season, Houston is averaging 5.05 runs per game (5th) with a team batting average of .261 (3rd), 126 homers (7th), along with 53 stolen bases on the year (8th). Their pitching staff ranks lowest in MLB stats with an ERA of 2.94 (1st) with 1042 strikeouts (1st) along with 69 quality starts (1st).
Jose Altuve (.332 BA on 389 AB), Carlos Correa (.268 BA on 269 AB), Josh Reddick (258 BA on 248 AB), and Alex Bregman (.288 BA on 371 AB) has spearheaded the Astros offense throughout the year. George Springer (.249 BA on 378 AB) has also been a solid contributor for the Astros at the plate.
Charlie Morton (11-2) has been consistent this year for Houston pitching 112.1 innings while allowing only 40 runs on 84 hits, 11 homers, 45 walks, and 146 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.96 while Justin Verlander (9-5) has pitched 137.2 innings thus far while allowing 38 runs on 91 hits, 16 homers, 24 walks, and 172 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.29. Lance McCullers (10-4) has also been solid as he has pitched 112.1 innings while allowing 51 runs on 86 hits, 11 homers, 43 walks, 119 strikeouts with an ERA of 3.77.
Los Angeles Angels's Latest Performance :
The Angels come into this game losers of 3 of their last 5 games to where the O/U was 2-3. Recently, the Angels would win a 3-game home set against the Dodgers on 7-8-2018 while also being victorious in a 3-game home set versus the Seattle Mariners on 7-11-2018 by winning the finale by an 11-2 score. Nonetheless, they would lose a 3-game set to the Dodgers on the road in interleague action on 7-15-2018.
For the season, the Angels are averaging 4.38 runs per game (14th) with a team batting average of .244 (22nd), 130 homers (4th) along with 45 stolen bases (16th). Their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.81 (9th) with 877 strikeouts (5th) with 36 quality starts on the year (22nd).
Andrelton Simmons (.313 BA on 323 AB), Mike Trout (.310 BA on 335 AB), and Albert Pujols (.251 BA on 347) have been the offensive leaders for the Angels offense this season. Justin Upton (.251 BA on 347 AB) has also been very consistent contributor to the offense as el this season.
Tyler Skaggs (7-5) has pitched 98 innings while allowing 31 runs on 90 hits 8 homers, 28 walks, and 105 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.57.
How Houston Astros & Los Angeles Angels Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
For the season, the Angels are 43-54 ATS while the O/U is 41-49-7. The Houston Astros are 50-49 ATS while the O/U is 45-49-5.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
The pitcher for the Angels have not been announced for the opener, however, Dallas Keuchel (7-8) will come to the mound for the Astros and he will be looking for his 4th straight win. In his last outing, Keuchel went 6 innings while allowing no runs on 6 hits and 4 strikeouts in a 3-0 home win versus the Detroit Tigers on 7-13-2018. The lefty has not given up a home since 6-5-2018 when he surrendered 3 in a 7-1 home loss to the Mariners. During his stretch of solid pitching, Keuchel is credited with only 3 earned runs in his last 3 starts on 17 hits. The team is 4-1 in Keuchel’s last 5 starts while the under has been the play in 3 of his last 4 starts (3-0 in last 3 outings). In his last appearance versus the Angels, the left-hander pitched 8 innings while giving up 5 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits, 2 homers, and 2 strikeouts in a 7-6 road win on 5-5-2017. In his last 3 starts, the left-hander is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA with 13 strikeouts.
Kole Calhoun (.227 BA on 22 AB), Ian Kinsler (.267 BA on 15 AB), Martin Maldonado (.250 BA on 8 AB), Mike Trout (.353 BA on 34 AB), and Justin Upton (.273 BA on 11 AB) have had the most experience along with success against Keuchel. On the other hand, Jefry Marte and Andrelton Simmons are 0-15 combined lifetime against the lefty.
No pitcher has been assigned for the Angels for game 2, however, Justin Verlander (-5) will once again grace the mound for the Astros looking to end a string of losses and no decisions in which to get back into the win column. He has been credited with 12 earned runs on 22 hits in his last 4 starts while he has also given up 5 homers in his last 3 games (4 in his last outing). Houston is 2-4 in Verlander’s last 6 starts while the over has been the result in his last 2 starts. Versus the Tigers on 7-15-2018, Verlander went 6 innings while allowing 6 runs on 6 hits along with allowing the Tigers to go on a home run barrage with 4 for the game in a 6-3 home loss. In his last outing versus the Angels, however, the righty was much better in that he pitched 7 innings while allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, 1 homer and 9 strikeouts in a 5-2 home win on 4-25-2018.
Verlander has dominated this Angels lineup in the past in that Kole Calhoun (.107 BA on 28 AB), Ian Kinsler (.167 BA on 6 AB), Martin Maldonado (0-6), Andrelton Simmons (.176 BA on 17 AB), Mike Trout (.042 BA on 24 AB), Justin Upton (0-12), and Luis Valbuena (.067 BA on 15 AB) have all had a rough go of it against the right-hander in their respective careers.
There is also no pitcher assigned in the finale for the Angels, however, the Astros will bring out Lance McCullers (10-4) in hopes that he can somehow erase the remnants of his last outing to where he pitched 4 innings while allowing 6 runs on 4 hits, and 1 homer in an 8-3 home loss to the red-hot Oakland Athletics on 7-11-2018. In his last outing versus the Angels, McCullers pitched 6 innings while allowing 2 runs on 4 hits in a 2-1 road loss on 5-14-2018. Despite his last outing, the righty is only credited with 7 runs on 10 hits in his last 3 outings. The team is 7-1 in his last 8 starts while the over has been the play in 5 of his last 7 games at the mound.
Justin Upton (4-10), Luis Valbuena (.600 BA on 5 AB), Andrelton Simmons (.200 BA on 15 AB), and Martin Maldonado (2-6) have had the most experience and success facing McCullers within the Angels’ lineup while Kole Calhoun (.167 BA on 24 AB), Mike Trout (.105 BA on 19 AB), and Jefry Marte (0-3) have struggled mightily against the righty in their careers. Ian Kinsler is 0-6 lifetime against McCullers.
Against The Spread Selection: Game 1: Los Angeles Angels/Game 2 & 3: Houston Astros
My reason for the pick :
Despite Keuchel’s solid streak of pitching, due to the Angels’ recent success against the lefty, I would have to back the Angels to pull out a close win in the opener. The Angels and Astros are tied in their 2018 series as both teams have won 3 games each, however, despite Keuchel’s win against the Angels in his last matchup, he did not pitch well at all by allowing 5 earned in 8 innings of work. While he may go deep into this contest, I expect the Angels to get just enough hits of the left-hander to pull out an all-important win in which to begin the 2nd half of the season.
Verlander has owned the Angel’s lineup in his career, and I expect this trend to continue as he will certainly get back on track from his recent set of shaky outings in which to pull out a win for the Astros on Saturday. Of course, Verlander must be able to prevent the Los Angeles from hitting the long ball, something that plagued him in his last outing, while ensuring that he continues to hammer the strike zone (as he so often does) in which to neutralize that dangerous offense. In all, I will take the Astros to tie the series in winning fashion in game 2 heading into the finale.
Lance McCullers has also had success against the Angels’ lineup in the past, despite a tough-luck 2-1 loss in his last outing against the division foe. Nonetheless, McCullers has had a fine season for Houston and has become one of the staples of this pitching staff. It is for this reason that I will also choose Houston to get the win in game 3. Again, while there are a few within the Angel lineup that has had success against McCullers, however, he has been very effective against the power hitters for the group. Take the Astros to finish off the Angels in grand fashion on Sunday while taking the momentum into their next series.
Betting trends for Houston Astros:
- Betting Trends for Houston Astros
- The Astros are 16-3 in last 19 road games
- The Over is 13-8-2 in Astros last 23 road games
- The Astros are 8-4 in last 12 games
Betting trends for Los Angeles Angels:
- Betting Trends for Los Angeles Angels
- The Angels are 7-4 in last 11 home games
- The Angels are 8-13 in last 21 games
- The Under is 6-3 in Angels last 9 home games