Houston Astros (64-35) at Los Angeles Angels (49-48)
|Date & Time||Friday July 20, 2018, 10:07 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Los Angeles Angels +119 / Houston Astros -129 --- Over/Under: 8
The Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels tangle in game one of a three game AL West division set from Angel Stadium on Friday.
The Houston Astros come into this series looking to start the second half strong after finishing the first on a low note, failing to complete the sweep of the Tigers, dropping the series finale by a final score of 6-3. Yuli Gurriel went 1 for 3 with an RBI, while Alex Bregman added a double and Marwin Gonzalez went 2 for 3 to round out Houston’s offense as the ‘Stros mustered up just four hits as a team in the loss. Justin Verlander took the loss, falling to 9-5 this season after allowing all six runs, five earned, on six hits while striking out 12 over six innings of work. Dallas Keuchel will start game one and is 7-8 with a 3.75 ERA and 93 strikeouts this season. In his career, Keuchel is 10-2 with a 3.67 ERA and 80 strikeouts against the Angels.
The Los Angeles Angels finished the first half struggling with consistency, alternating wins and losses in each of their last six games before the break, including a 5-3 loss to the Dodgers in their series finale. Jefry Marte accounted for all three Angel runs, going 2 for 3 with a homer. David Fletcher and Andrelton Simmons each had a double while Ian Kinsler and Justin Upton each contributed a base knock as the Halos put forth just six hits as a team in the loss. Deck McGuire gave up three runs on four hits over three innings of work, not factoring in the decision. Taylor Cole took the loss, falling to 0-2 this season. Tyler Skaggs will start game one and is 7-5 with a 2.57 ERA and 105 strikeouts this season. In his career, Skaggs is 4-2 with a 2.76 ERA and 29 strikeouts against Houston.
Houston is 4-0 in Keuchel’s last 4 starts and 5-1 in their last 6 road games against a left-handed starter while the over is 12-3-1 in their last 16 games against a team with a winning record. Los Angeles is 5-1 in Skaggs’ last 6 starts and 11-5 in their last 16 home games while the under is 6-2-1 in their last 9 games against a left-handed starter. Houston is 5-0 in Keuchel’s last 5 starts against the Angels and 5-1 in Keuchel’s last 6 road starts against the Angels.
Skaggs and the Angels at plus money is definitely worth a look as Skaggs hasn’t given up more than one run in each of his last six starts, posting an ERA under two in his last 43 innings on the bump and the Angels have won his last four starts against Houston. However, Keuchel is starting to look like himself again, giving up two runs or less in five of his last six starts and has pretty much owned the Angels in his career. The fact is that we are getting a low line with the much more reliable and consistent offense with a solid pitching matchup cancelling out, I like the Astros to draw first blood on Friday here.