Los Angeles Angels (75-78) at Houston Astros (95-57)
|Date & Time||Saturday September 22, 2018, 7:10 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Houston Astros -280 / Los Angeles Angels +230 --- Over/Under: 7.5
The Los Angeles Angels and the Houston Astros meet in game two of their three game AL West division set from Minute Maid Park in MLB action on Saturday.
The Los Angeles Angels will look to bounce back after dropping the series opener on Friday by a final score of 11-3. Mike Trout led the Halos with a two run home run, while Francisco Arcia added an RBI to round out the scoring for L.A. in the loss. Andrelton Simmons went 2 for 4 with a triple and Jose Fernandez added a double while Taylor Ward chipped in a base hit to finish off the Angels’ offense in the defeat. Andrew Heaney took the loss, falling to 9-10 this season after allowing six runs on five hits while striking out five over just three innings of work. Jaime Barria will start game two and is 10-9 with a 3.61 ERA and 91 strikeouts this season. In his career, Barria is 1-1 with a 2.81 ERA and 12 strikeouts against Houston.
The Houston Astros will look to build some momentum heading to the postseason after clinching the AL West crown on Friday with the win. Yuli Gurriel had a solid outing, going 3 for 4 with a pair of home runs and a whopping seven RBIs, while George Springer added a three run shot and Jake Marisnick chipped in an RBI of his own to round out the ‘Stros scoring in the victory. Martin Maldonado went 2 for 4 while JD Davis, Marwin Gonzalez, Tyler White, Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve each had a base hit in the win. Gerrit Cole improve to 15-5 this season after allowing all three runs on six hits while striking out 12 over seven innings of work. Justin Verlander will start game two and is 16-9 with a 2.67 ERA and 269 strikeouts this season. In his career, Verlander is 12-9 with a 3.12 ERA and 157 strikeouts against the Angels.
Los Angeles is 2-6 in their last 8 games overall and 7-3 in Barria’s last 10 starts while the over is 5-1 in their last 6 road games. Houston is 14-5 in Verlander’s last 19 division starts and 21-7 in their last 28 games overall while the under is 7-3 in Verlander’s last 10 home starts against a team with a losing record. Houston is 6-1 in Verlander’s last 7 starts against the Angels.
I had considered the plus money for a split second, considering that there could be a hangover for the Astros after clinching the division. But then I remembered that the Angels have lost their last three games by a combined score of 42-6. That’s not a football score, that’s 42 runs to 6 runs over three games. Combine that with the fact that Verlander is starting to look like JV again, winning five of his last six starts, and I think Houston on the run line is the only way to go on Saturday.