Angels vs. Astros Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Astros are a -173 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Angels are a +148 underdog and the over-under is 8.
Drawing the start for Los Angeles will be Garrett Richards (0-2, 2.00 ERA), while Justin Verlander (13-8, 3.50) will toe the rubber for Houston. Richards has a 0.89 WHIP with 18 strikeouts in 18 innings this year. He has made three starts since returning from the disabled list, going five frames in each of the last two and given up a combined four runs (three earned) on six hits with 11 strikeouts and one walk over 10 innings in home losses to the Astros and Rangers. Verlander has a 1.21 WHIP with 202 strikeouts in 193 innings. He has been phenomenal in his three starts with the Astros as he's given up two earned runs on 10 hits with 26 strikeouts and three walks over 21 innings. Verlander has won all three of his decisions with Houston.
Los Angeles comes in at 76-76 and 35-39 on the road, while Houston is 93-59 and 46-32 at home. The Astros have won six of the last 10 meetings and the over-under is 5-4-1 in those games.
The Angels lost their fourth game in a row with a 4-1 home defeat Wednesday versus Cleveland. Mike Trout finished 2-for-2 with two walks and a run. Parker Bridwell gave up four earned runs in 5 1/3 innings to take the loss. Houston was stunned at home with a 3-1 loss Wednesday night against the White Sox despite being massive favorites. Brian McCann hit a solo home run to account for the only offense. Dallas Keuchel allowed two earned runs in six innings to take the loss.
Verlander has been everything the Astros hoped for and more when they traded for him. Considering he gave up only one hit in eight shutout innings the last time he faced the Angels, it's hard to fathom they get to him much here. Richards has showed great signs after returning from missing most of the season with an injury, but he faces a daunting task navigating through this lineup. He has the arsenal to get it done, but we're thinking he gets touched up a bit more than Verlander tonight.
MLB DAILY PREDICTION: HOUSTON ASTROS -173