Los Angeles Angels vs. Houston Astros Pick 7/5/19
The Astros carry a five-game winning streak into the opener of a three-game AL West series with the Angels Friday night in H-Town. Houston throws its ace for this game, while Los Angeles is going with an “opener.” How are we playing this game with our free MLB pick?
MLB Betting Odds
Friday's MLB betting odds opened Houston at around -200 over Los Angeles, with an over/under of nine runs. Early betting action then dipped that line about 15 cents, to around -185.
Angels vs. Astros Set-Up
Los Angeles just took two of three games at Texas earlier this week, missing out on the sweep by losing Thursday 9-3. Just before that the Angels dropped three of four games to Oakland, but just before that they swept two games from Cincinnati. So Los Angeles is 6-4 over its last 10 games.
Houston, meanwhile, just swept two games at Colorado this week, winning Wednesday 4-2. The Astros then had Thursday off.
Just before that Houston swept three games from Seattle. So the Astros own a five-game winning streak.
At 55-32 overall Houston leads the AL West by 7.5 games over the second-place A's. The Astros also trail the Yankees by just two games in the battle for the best record in the American League.
At 44-44 overall the Angels trail Houston by 11.5 games in the AL West but they're also only five games behind Cleveland in the battle for the second AL wild-card spot.
This series is the second meeting between these division rivals this season; back in May, the Astros swept two games in Anaheim by scores of 14-2 and 10-4.
Friday's Starting Arms
Verlander, by our strict standards, is 13/18 on quality starts this season but only one for his last three. Last Saturday he gave up four runs on five hits and four walks through five innings against the Mariners, although Houston won that game anyway 6-5. And over his last three starts, he's allowed 11 runs and 15 hits, including six homers, through 19 innings.
The Astros are 13-5 with Verlander this season, but only 2-2 over his last four starts.
Over his last seven starts against the Angels, six last year and one earlier this season, Verlander allowed 12 runs and 31 hits through 45 2/3 innings, with 62 strikeouts against just seven walks. Houston won six of those seven games.
Ramirez will do the "opener" thing for the fourth time this season, to go along with 23 appearances in relief. Thursday he tossed one inning of scoreless ball against the Rangers, allowing two hits but striking out three. And over his last 13 appearances, he's allowed just two runs and 12 hits through 19 1/3 innings, with 27 strikeouts against only two walks.
Los Angeles is only 1-2 in Ramirez's starts this season, but that's not all his fault.
In nine appearances against the Astros over the last two seasons, Ramirez allowed three runs and seven hits through 8 2/3 innings.
Fellow righty Felix Pena is expected to take over for Ramirez after an inning or two. He owns a 4.73 ERA this season and a 1.23 WHIP. He's also allowed 21 earned runs and 29 hits, including seven homers, over his last 25 2/3 innings.
In two appearances – both starts - against Houston last year Pena allowed four ER and 10 hits through 13 innings. The Angels lost both those games, but that wasn't his fault, either.
Friday's Batting Splits
Los Angeles is batting .269/.341/.450 against right-handed pitching this season.
Houston is batting .263/.333/.456 against RH pitching this season.
The Angels bullpen owns a 4.45 ERA this season and a 1.37 WHIP while allowing a .751 OPS.
The Astros pen owns a 3.88 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP while allowing a .683 OPS.
- Unders are 42-40 in Angels games this season.
- Unders are 46-37 in Astros games this season.
- Unders are 22-19 in games played at Minute Maid Park this season.
- Overs are 2-0 in Angels-Astros games this season.
- Unders are 12-6 with Verlander this season.
- Get more details: Angels at Astros MLB Match-up Stats
Angels at Astros Prediction 07/05/2019
Verlander gets the check-mark in the pitching match-up, and Houston gets the check-mark in the bullpen comparison, so we like the Astros here. Also, of Houston's 13 wins with the "Big V" this year 10 have come by two runs or more. So we'll take the Astros and give the run and a half against the run line.