LA Angels at Houston MLB Pick, Preview & Betting Prediction

Posted by Michael Hunt on Monday,April 17, 2017 1:46, EDT in

The worst division in baseball? An argument can be made it’s the AL West with just one team over .500: the Houston Astros. They host the second-place Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Game 2 of their series on Tuesday night. Houston will be a home MLB betting favorite.

LA Angels at Houston MLB Pick, Preview & Betting Prediction

When: Tuesday, April 18, 8:10 PM ET
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston
Probable pitchers (away/home): Ricky Nolasco/Joe Musgrove
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Stream: MLB.tv
Radio: Los Angeles / Houston
Opening MLB Lines: Astros favored by TBA

Why Bet On LA Angels?

The Halos need to get second baseman Danny Espinosa going. He finished 0-for- 3 with three strikeouts in the Angels’ loss to the Royals on Sunday. Espinosa is now batting just .200 with a .629 OPS through 48 regular-season plate appearances, though he does have three home runs and 12 RBIs. The 29-year- old infielder posted a career-high 24 home runs last season with the Nationals.

Sunday’s loss was L.A.’s fifth straight. The Angels were quiet all afternoon against Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy. C.J. Cron finally broke up Kennedy’s no-hit bid with two outs in the fifth inning, doubling to left-center for the Angels’ first extra-base hit of the series, 23 innings into it.

Angels slugger Albert Pujols’ 53 home runs are the most all time against the Astros. Pujols has 592 career homers, leaving him eight shy of becoming the ninth player with 600 long balls. The Halos are 17-11 in their last 28 home games against the Astros, but they have struggled at Minute Maid Park, going 8-18 over their last 26 contests in Houston.

It’s Ricky Nolasco (0-2, 5.40) on the mound for the Angels. The 34-year- old right-hander has logged a 5.40 ERA this season, giving up 10 runs over 16 2/3 innings. He went five innings last Thursday in an 8-3 loss to the Rangers, allowing five runs on eight hits, including two home runs. He’s given up five home runs on the season, tied for most in the American League.

“It’s April. Everybody is still getting feels,” Nolasco said. “We’re confident in the ability of each one of the five guys taking the ball every day. We’ll get there. It’s just a grind right now, and we’re all trying to find some things. We’re going to make the appropriate adjustments.”

Why Bet On Houston?

Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, who sustained a right hand contusion on Saturday after being hit by a pitch, is expected to return to be in the lineup. Correa left Saturday’s win over the A’s in the ninth inning after getting hit on the right hand by a pitch. X-rays were negative, but Correa was out of the starting lineup for Sunday’s scheduled game against the A’s that was postponed.

“I can move my hand really good,” Correa said Sunday. “It’s still a little sore, because I got hit by 95 [mph], not by something soft. I’m ready to go. I think I’ll be able to go.”

Correa was struck by a fastball thrown by reliever Frankie Montas and said he feels fortunate because the ball hit a meaty part of the inside of the side of his hand. Sunday’;s rainout means Correa won’t miss a game.

It’s young Joe Musgrove (1-0, 4.35) on the mound here. Musgrove said he hasn’t been able to repeat his delivery consistently over the first two starts. The 24-year- old right-hander added there’s “a small tick in my delivery where I’;m not timed up very well.” While Musgrove has thrown 67 percent of his pitches for strikes, he isn’t commanding as he normally does. This has led to more baserunners than he typically allows, increased pitch counts and short outings. He speculated some aches early in spring training could have contributed to the inconsistencies in his delivery, but said his body “feels pretty good now” and it’s a matter of finding his timing.

LA Angels at Houston MLB Pick: Houston Astros

Not a huge fan of either pitcher so go over the total, which likely will be 8.5, and take Houston at home.