Houston Astros vs. LA Angels Runline Value Pick
Houston Astros (91-61) vs. Los Angeles Angels (72-80)
When: 9:40 p.m., Thursday, September 23
Where: Angel Stadium, Anaheim, Calif.
Moneyline: HOU -170/LAA +150 (Get better odds at Dimeline Sportsbooks. Why overpay for odds?)
Runline: Astros -1.5/Angels +1.5
Starting Pitchers: Lance McCullers Jr. (12-4, 3.11 ERA, 1.25 WHIP) vs. Alex Cobb (8-3, 3.59 ERA, 1.23 WHIP)
On the Doorstep
The Astros are almost securely in the playoffs and could clinch as early as Friday if they get results to go their way. With a win in this game and an Oakland win over Seattle, they’d be in a position to win the AL West with one more victory, which means they’re almost certain to claim the No. 2 seed in the American League and a matchup with the White Sox in the ALDS.
The Angels, on the other hand, are totally out of motivation and are playing like it. Los Angeles has lost six straight, and it’s clear that the Angels are going to waste yet another great individual performance, as Shohei Ohtani’s fantastic season won’t even be enough to get the Angels a .500 season. The angels have lost all three games in this series by at least four runs, and 12 of their 13 defeats against the Astros this season have been by at least two runs. If you’re backing Houston in this game, there’s no point in wasting time with the moneyline.
The Astros’ bats have been excellent all season long, in large part because they have a strong lineup, and they’re one of the most patient teams in the game, notching the fewest strikeouts on the season. Houston leads the league in runs per game with 5.43, and they’ve scored four or more in each of their past eight contests.
As a result, the Astros have been an easy Over bet as of late, as the over has cashed in seven of their past ten games with a pair of pushes. Even with the Angels coming in as one of the least prolific offenses in the majors, the Astros have been so potent that they’re usually going to hit the number entirely on their own. It also hasn’t hurt that Houston usually ends up putting in a lesser pitcher in the later innings because the game is already well won, giving the Angels a chance to pick up some runs in what’s essentially garbage time.
Giving Them Innings
It also probably won’t hurt the Astros’ cause that Lance McCullers has been about as reliable as it gets in terms of eating innings without giving up too much damage. Over his past seven starts, only once has McCullers failed to at least get into the sixth inning, and he’s been pretty solid against the Angels whenever he’s faced them.
Both of those games ended up as under duels, as the Angels won a 3-1 decision on August 15, when they still had something resembling a shot at the postseason, and the Astros reversed the scoreline on Sept. 12, a game in which McCullers held the Angels to a mere three hits. With the Angels lacking any real motivation to get results at this point, McCullers could be in a prime position to shut down this lineup again.
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- The Astros are 5-0 in their past five road games.
- The Astros are 5-1 in their past six against a right-handed starter.
- The Angels have lost six straight games.
- The Angels have lost seven in a row as a home underdog.
- The over is 5-0 in the Astros’ past five games overall.
- The over is 5-0-2 in the Astros’ past seven games against the AL West.
- The under is 5-2 in the Angels’ past seven home games against a right-handed starter.
- The under is 17-8-1 in the Angels’ past 26 against the AL West.
- The Astros are 43-19 in the teams’ past 62 meetings.
- The over is 21-9 in the teams’ past 30 meetings.
It’s going to be a great night for baseball, with clear skies, 75-degree temperatures, and wind blowing at seven miles per hour toward right-center.
The Angels appear to be ready just to say goodbye to this season and start planning for how they can waste yet another year of generational talent in 2022. They haven’t shown anything that suggests they’re still interested in getting results this year, while the Astros can nail down the division with just two more wins.
Based on the history of these teams and what they’re showing as of late, the value lies entirely with the Astros on the run line, so I’m backing Houston -1.5. Question: Ever seen the live betting platform at Bovada Sportsbook? It’s amazing! Check it out and grab a 50% bonus to boost your bankroll!