Just about every MLB expert projected the defending World Series champion Houston Astros would repeat as World Series champions – not to mention win the AL West again. However, the Los Angeles Angels are right there with Houston in the division as the two teams close a series in Anaheim on Wednesday. The Astros are MLB betting favorites behind Cy Young contender Justin Verlander.
How to Bet Astros at Angels MLB Betting Odds & Game Info
— Houston Astros (@astros) May 16, 2018
When: Wednesday, 9:40 PM ET
Where: Angel Stadium, Anaheim
Probable pitchers (away/home): Justin Verlander/Garrett Richards
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Radio: 790 AM (Houston) / 830 AM (LA)
Opening MLB Betting Lines: Astros -132, Angels +122 (7.5)
Why Bet on Houston?
The Astros lost the series opener Monday against the Angels but were 6-3 at Angel Stadium last season and are 12-6 there since the start of the 2016 season. Carlos Correa (.397) and Jose Altuve (.381) rank 1st and 2nd in the majors in road batting average, respectively. As a club, the Astros rank 2nd in the majors in road batting avg. (.289) and runs per game on the road (5.9).
The Astros lead the AL in fielding percentage (.991), trailing only the D-backs (.992) in MLB. Correa has not made an error this year and has gone errorless in 51 consecutive games dating back to 2017, the longest streak of errorless games by an Astros shortstop since Adam Everett had a 53-game streak in 2006.
Who Will Start Off for the Astros?
It’s Cy Young candidate Justin Verlander for Houston. Verlander (4-2, 1.21) struck out seven and walked two in a loss to the Rangers on Friday, allowing one run on three hits in six innings. Verlander got saddled with a tough-luck loss, getting outdueled by Cole Hamels. He made it through six innings unscathed but allowed a double and two walks to start the seventh before getting pulled. The Rangers scored a run on a sacrifice fly, and that was enough to decide the game. Verlander has given up one or no earned runs in seven of his nine starts this season, with a 77-to-13 K/BB ratio in 59 2/3 innings overall. Batters are hitting .146 against him.
Verlander pitched well in his past three starts, but the Astros have given him no run support. Verlander has thrown six or more innings in each start, but the Astros have provided him just one or zero runs in all three appearances.
Why Bet on LA Angels?
Depending on what happens Tuesday, the Angels will either be going for the series win or a sweep. That’s because Andrew Heaney dominated the Astros’ lineup on Monday, striking out 10 in eight one-run innings in a 2-1 victory over Houston. Heaney scattered four hits, and he only walked one. This makes four straight starts for the left-hander where he’s allowed two runs or less, and he’s struck out 26 over that time frame compared to just six free passes.
However, L.A. has lost its closer – probably for a while, if not the entire season. Angels manager Mike Scioscia wouldn’t commit to one closer when asked Monday following the placement of Keynan Middleton (elbow) back on the disabled list. Middleton has ulnar collateral ligament damage and could be looking at a lengthy, if not season-ending, absence.
“We’ve got some guys in the back end that are going to have to get outs for us, and how they line up in a certain game right now will be dictated by how the game unfolds and some matchups and things like that,” Scioscia said. “But we’re confident that we’re going to have arms down there that will get the outs we need.”
Jim Johnson, 34, has plenty of past closer experience, which might appeal to Scioscia. Blake Parker has rebounded of late after a rough start and could also be in the mix, and Cam Bedrosian and Justin Anderson loom as possibilities.
Who Will Take the Mound for the Angels?
It’s Garrett Richards for L.A. Richards (4-1, 4.08) gave up three runs on five hits, struck out four and walked none over 5.1 innings but didn’t factor into the decision as the Angels topped the Twins 7-4 last Thursday. Richards was cruising through five innings and looked like he was on his way to a smooth victory after getting staked to a 4-0 lead, but he ended up getting chased from the contest after serving up a three-run homer to Brian Dozier and was ultimately forced to settle for the no-decision.
Thursday marked the first time in eight starts this season that Richards (4.5 BB/9 in ’18) did not issue a walk. Though his control has declined, the 29-year-old’s 11.5 K/9 rate would be a career high. Richards hasn’t faced Houston this year. He is 5-4 with a 3.28 ERA in 14 career appearances (11 starts) against the Astros.
Latest MLB Betting Trends
- Houston is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 games
- Houston is 6-2 SU in the last 8 games
- The total went UNDER in 6 of Houston’s last 7 games
- LA Angels is 1-4 ATS in the last 5 games
- LA Angels is 6-3 SU in the last 9 games at home
- The total went UNDER in 6 of LA Angels’s last 9 games when playing Houston
Expert MLB Betting Prediction
Pretty low total between two good offenses, but under 7.5 would be the top choice. Parlay with the Astros.