Houston Astros (-116, 7.5 o/u) at Los Angeles Angels (+106)
The Houston Astros (18-10, 10-2 away) were rolling before meeting the Texas Rangers in their last series. The Astros had won ten straight to take a commanding lead at the top of the AL West, but were then swept by the struggling Rangers, getting outscored 20-5 in the three game set. Tonight, the surprise team of the early 2015 season will look to get back on the winning path as they visit the Los Angeles Angels ()13-15, 6-7 home) at Angel Stadium (10:05 PM Eastern).
Each of the three losses by the Astros against the Rangers was worse than the last (2-1, 7-1, and 11-3).
The good news for the squad is that righty Collin McHugh (4-0, 3.41 ERA) is scheduled to start tonight. McHugh is following up a strong 2014 campaign (11-9, 2.71 ERA) by going undefeated in five starts to date.
In his last start, he lasted seven innings against the Mariners and picked up the win in an 11-4 drubbing of Seattle. But he was touched up by the Ms a bit, giving up six hits and all four runs while striking out just three.
On the other side, the Angels will send lefty Hector Santiago to the mound. Santiago is 2-2 with a 3.14 ERA in five starts this season. His last start was one of his worst, as he gave up nine hits and four earned over five innings in a loss to the Giants.
Santiago, who has surrendered 14 walks over just 28.2 innings pitched this year, will want to keep the Astros off the base paths as much as possible. Houston has three players in the top-five in stolen bases in the American League (Jose Altuve (10), George Springer (10), and Jake Marisnick (9), though Springer is out with a head injury).
In the trends, Houston has won the last two meetings and five straight head-to-head have ended under the game total. With McHugh on the mound and the Astro hitters due for a bounce back game, Houston looks like the better value.
Pick: Houston (-116).
(Photo credit: Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA (Mike Trout Uploaded by Muboshgu) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)