Houston Astros at LA Angels Picks & Analysis 4/9/22

by | Last updated Apr 9, 2022 | mlb

Houston Astros (2-0) vs. Los Angeles Angels (0-2)
When: 9:07 p.m., Saturday, April 9
Where: Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, Calif.
Moneyline: HOU -110/LAA +108
Runline: Astros -1.5/Angels +1.5
Total: 8.5
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Starting Pitchers: Justin Verlander (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP) vs. Noah Syndergaard (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP)

Making a Statement

The Astros winning the series against the Angels isn’t really a surprise, but Houston winning the way it has is sending a signal that this team will remain a serious factor in a division that was thought to be getting better this season. Granted, the Astros haven’t seen their most likely challenger in Seattle, but to come into Anaheim and take the first two against the Angels’ supposedly improved rotation makes a strong statement.

And with Justin Verlander on the slab, the Astros should find out just how strong that statement is by the end of this contest because Verlander’s going back on the mound for the first time since July 24. Houston is clearly counting on Verlander to be a key contributor this season because the team didn’t rush him back to start opening day, instead going with Framber Valdez. That decision paid off, and Verlander is likely to be able to work with a pitch count after the Astros’ bullpen didn’t have to work all that hard in the first two games. This might be a first five innings bet situation, but with the Angels’ offense not producing, it might not matter how long Verlander pitches.

Getting in Deep

There’s no secret in this series: the Astros want to get into the Angels’ bullpen, and the earlier they do it, the better. Reid Detmers was decent against the Astros’ lineup in his time on the mound, but once he left after the fourth inning, the floodgates really opened up for Houston. The Astros plated 11 runs in the final five innings, and they’ve scored 13 runs off Angel relievers in 9.1 innings in this series. The Angels haven’t had anywhere near as much success against Houston, as they scored four of their runs on Friday night well after the Astros had already put the game to bed. With just seven runs in 18 innings, Los Angeles really isn’t getting much going at the plate, and having Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout both hitting under .200 isn’t helping anything.

Changing Addresses

Noah Syndergaard is also returning to the mound after injury, but he’s doing so in a new situation as he moves from New York to Orange County. His season didn’t last long last year, as he only pitched two innings for 26 pitches after the Mets were out of the running just to get some work in. The Angels believe there’s still something there after injury, but how he adjusts to American League batters will be something to watch out for early. The leagues have eliminated pitchers hitting in the National League, but that’s going to take time for the National League to get its rosters caught up with the American League. Even with that, Syndergaard was used to throwing to an entirely different set of hitters and rarely saw players from the AL West. How he adjusts will determine if the Angels can bounce back.

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Betting Trends

  • The Angels are 2-9 in their past 11 Game 3’s of a series.
  • The Angels are 2-12 in their past 14 home games.
  • The Astros are 4-0 in their past four games against the AL West.
  • The Astros are 5-2 in their past seven road games.
  • The under is 4-1 in the Astros’ past five games following a win.
  • The under is 6-2-1 in the Astros’ past nine games overall.
  • The under is 3-1-1 in the Angels’ past five after giving up five runs or more.
  • The over is 3-1-1 in the Angels’ past five against the AL West.
  • The Astros are 36-17 in their past 53 visits to Anaheim.
  • The over is 21-10 in the teams’ past 31 meetings.

Weather Report

Temperatures should sit around 81 degrees at first pitch with the wind blowing out to left field at nine miles per hour, an ideal day for baseball.

Dan’s Pick

I don’t really trust the Angels’ bullpen or Syndergaard in this situation. The Astros have looked good in the first two games and look like they should be in good shape as long as Verlander can pitch the way he has in seasons past.

I’ll back the Astros to keep rolling.

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