Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros Pick 9/21/19

by | Sep 21, 2019 | mlb

Los Angeles Angels (69-85) at Houston Astros (101-53)
When: 7 p.m., Saturday, September 21
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston

Moneyline: LAA +260 /HOU -320
Runline: Angels +1.5/Astros -1.5
Total: 9.5

Starting Pitchers: Patrick Sandoval (0-3, 4.91 ERA, 1.36 WHIP) vs. Wade Miley (14-5, 3.71 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)

Signs Of Life?

Boy, have the Angels been a mess for the past month and a half. It’s hard to remember it now, but Los Ange-les was actually right in the thick of the AL wild-card races at the end of the trade deadline, as the Angels sat at 56-54 on July 31. Since then, the Angels are 13-31 and have been swept five times, including once by the Astros in Houston. For whatever reason, be it the team falling apart, losing Mike Trout to injury or a team ERA that’s over 5, betting against the Angels has been an excellent way to make money as of late.

But even though the Angels are just 6-20 in their past 26, two of those wins came over Tampa Bay and the Yankees, with the latter win forcing New York to delay its celebration of winning the AL East title. In short, Los Angeles is not a good team at all, but the Angels seem to be enjoying their role of playing spoiler.

Raise the Banner

Beat the Angels, and that’s exactly what the Astros will do, as Houston only needs one more win to clinch both the AL West title and home-field advantage in the ALDS. The Astros still have work to do to nail down home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. But, the first step is always the toughest, and there’s nothing better than being able to clinch a title in front of your home fans.

Making matters better for the Astros is that they seem to be getting stronger as the season goes on. That’s certainly been the case since their ill-fated trip to Oakland, as Houston has won six straight since coming back from northern California. The Astros haven’t exactly been playing a murderer’s row of opponents in that stretch, but six in a row is six in a row, especially for a team that’s essentially known since July that it would be playing in the postseason. That the Astros have kept their standards high with little competition besides the Yankees says a lot about their professionalism, and it bodes well in the playoffs.

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Runs Aplenty

Even in a year where the ball has been flying out of the stadium, the Astros have been powering runs across the plate. Houston’s run differential of plus-261 is easily the best in either league, and it’s a result of both quality defense and timely hitting. It’s been 26 games since the last time the Astros were held to just a single run, and during that stretch, the Astros are 20-6, putting them on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Angels.

The Historicals

It’s almost not fair for the Angels that they’ve still got to play six more games of this lost season against Hou-ston, given how badly the Astros have beaten the Angels as of late. Houston is 10-3 for the season against Los Angeles and 6-1 against the Angels at Minute Maid Park. In addition, the Astros have won the past six meet-ings in the series, and most of them haven’t been particularly close. Only one of Houston’s recent six victories was by a single run, and three of them weren’t even save situations.

Betting Trends

  • The Angels are 1-5 in Sandoval’s past six starts.
  • The Angels are 1-10 in their past 11 against the AL West.
  • The Astros are 42-9 in their past 51 home games against a sub-.500 team.
  • The Astros are 8-0 in Miley’s past eight starts on five days’ rest.
  • The under is 8-1 in the Angels’ past nine after giving up five runs or more in the previous game.
  • The under is 4-1 in the Astros’ past five home games.

Weather Report

The weather is projected to be at 79 degrees at first pitch, leaving it open as to whether the Astros will keep the roof open or not.

Dan’s pick

This seems to be much like the Dodgers-Rockies pick that I made yesterday, and although I was a little wor-ried about that one after 2.5 innings, Los Angeles came through and asserted its superiority. I expect Houston to do the same thing here to the Angels. The Angels have been nothing short of a mess since the deadline, and with no Mike Trout, there’s not really much in the way of offense to allow the Angels to keep pace with the Astros.

This is one of those games where it’s best not to overthink it. Houston’s the better team and the team with something to play for, so there’s no reason that the Astros shouldn’t win and win comfortably. I’d go ahead and back Houston on the run line here, as the Astros will be a heavy favorite against a collapsing opponent and shouldn’t have any issues here.

Take the Astros -1.5

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