MLB Free Pick: Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels – April 23, 2018

The red hot Houston address will begin their upcoming 10 game homestand with a series against the Los Angeles Angels. Houston comes into this homestand after having won 6 straight games, including a dominating series against the White Sox. With this streak, the Astros have amassed a 16-7 record, good for 1st place in the American League West Division.

Meanwhile, the Angels have ridden Shohei Ohtani’s momentum to a 14-8 start, good enough for 2nd in the same division. This series could prove to be pivotal in terms of division standings in the early goings of the season. The contest takes place at 7:10 pm central. Houston comes into this game as the favorite at -192 over the Angels.

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Astros: Continue the Hot Hitting

Houston it’s going to need to ride the momentum they have created to try to extend their lead in the division. As it stands, the Astros have 8 players hitting above .250, with 4 of those above the coveted .300 benchmark. The Astros will be facing Tyler Skaggs, who has posted a 2-1 record and a respectable 3.98 ERA so far this season.

I predict that Houston will be able to get to Skaggs early, with their powerful hitting lineup. Houston will be coming off of a game against the White Sox where the outcome was in question until a late big inning put them over the top. Houston will look to get into the Angel bullpen as early as possible in this one.

Pitching Matchup

As mentioned above, Skaggs will take the mound for Los Angeles. For the Astros, however, Gerrit Cole will take the hill. Cole has had a blazing hot start, posting a sub-one ERA (0.96) while amassing a perfect 2-0 record so far. While Skaggs has had respectable stats, he will have to have a masterful appearance on Monday, to best the hot hitting Astros. Look for that unremarkable sub-four ERA to rise in this game, as the young right handed power from Houston punishes the lefty starter.

Angels: Keep Up the Hitting

When looking at the hitting numbers, the Angels have posted averages similar to those of Houston. Los Angeles, too, has 8 players batting at .250 or above. Four of those players are hitting above .300, just like Houston. One of these players is Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani. Houston will have their hands full facing him in game 2.

If the Angels can maintain their hitting success, they could bring Gerrit Cole back down to earth. This will require them to perform in a hostile environment, however. I foresee a decent scoring game, but the Angels will only manage a few hard-earned runs against the tough right-hander.

Astros Outslug the Angels

The Astros are pretty heavy favorites in this game, but for really good reason. Gerrit Cole has been lights out so far this season and the Houston is tough to beat at Minute Maid Park. Put those things together and we have ourselves a winner.

The Astros will put some runs on the board against Skaggs and Houston will win this game by a few runs. Take the Astros at -192.

  • Bet the Houston Astros -192
  • Bet on the Los Angeles Angels
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