Astros at Angels Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 6/3/2013
The Los Angeles Angels were the American League's biggest flop in the first month of the season. They entered May with a 9-17 record, which is ridiculous considering all the talent on the team -- at least hitting-wise (the rotation is pretty weak outside of Jered Weaver).
Well, the good news is that Los Angeles is now 25-32. Wait, that's good news? The Halos totally blew it. Yes, they had a decent 15-13 record in May. But consider they had just one series against a team currently with a winning record: Baltimore. Otherwise they played Houston six times (including the two June games in this series), the White Sox seven times, the Royals seven times, the Mariners twice and the Dodgers four times. It's unlikely any of those teams make the playoffs and quite possible all finish below .500 this season. June won't be as kind, with series in Baltimore, Boston and Detroit as well as in Anaheim against the Yankees and Pirates. Those are all playoff-caliber clubs.
As for Houston? Well, we all know the Astros are trying to lose with their major-league worst payroll. They'd love to get the No. 1 overall pick for the third straight year in 2014, but the Miami Marlins are even worse. The most important thing for Houston this week is which player to pick at the top of the 2013 draft, which starts Thursday. Last year, Houston took 17-year-old shortstop Carlos Correa out of Puerto Rico, who is obviously years away. Was he the best player available? Certainly not. But he was very signable, and that's a big thing in the draft these days.
Houston and Los Angeles complete a four-game series on Monday, which is rather unusual in that it carried over past Sunday. The Astros go for the stunning sweep.
Astros at Angels Betting Story Lines
Expect plenty of offense in this one, even with the Astros having a pretty lousy offense. That's because both veteran starters in Monday's game have been pretty bad, although things have gotten better. The Astros start lefty Erik Bedard (0-2, 5.32). Houston would love nothing more than for Bedard to pitch well into late July so the team could flip him to some desperate contender for a low-level prospect. Left-handed pitching is always in demand. After his first start in May, Bedard had an 8.20 ERA. However, he hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in five starts since. Houston has won two of them. Bedard is incapable of lasting more than six innings these days. He is 3-5 with a 4.89 ERA in 49.2 career innings against the Halos.
Josh Hamilton has faced Bedard the most of any Angel, hitting .294 with a homer in 17 at-bats. Albert Pujols somehow has never faced Bedard. Hamilton is hitting .216 this season and has two hits in his past 20 at-bats. Pujols is at .248 and hasn't homered since May 23. He's hitting a shocking .188 against lefties. He used to blow southpaws up. Those two are owed about $375 million combined and are breaking down physically. Maybe owner Arte Moreno should fire himself.
The Angels start right-hander Joe Blanton (1-8, 5.94). If Bedard wasn't the worst AL pitcher in April, then Blanton might have been. Blanton was a bit better in May, as the team has won two of his starts and his ERA was "only" 5.11 in that month. He has been solid in his past two starts, allowing five runs and 14 hits over 13.1 innings. Blanton allowed three runs and eight hits over 6.2 innings of a loss in Houston on May 8. Blanton, who will start on an extra day of rest, needs to keep pitching well or he will lose his job. The former Phillie is 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA in his career against Houston. Houston's best player, second baseman Jose Altuve, is 2-for-7 in his career off Blanton. Carlos Pena is 5-for-13. Chris Carter has a homer in three at-bats.
The Angels have lost six of nine this season against the minor-league Astros and are hitting .218 with seven total runs scored in this series.
Astros at Angels MLB Betting Odds and Trends
At WagerWeb, the Angels are -178 and the Astros +158 with the total at 8.5. Houston is 34-21-2 “over/under” (16-10-1 on road) and 31-26 on the runline. Los Angeles is 34-23 over/under (19-11 at home) and 24-33 on runline.
The Astros are 4-10 in their past 14 when scoring five runs or more in their previous game. They are 1-5 in Bedard's past six with the total between 7-8.5 runs. The Angels are 5-0 in their past five as a home favorite of -151-200. They are 0-5 in their past five Monday games. The Halos are 0-4 in Blanton's past four starts when allowing five or more runs in their previous game. The over is 5-1 in Houston's past six Monday games. The over is 6-2-1 in Bedard's past nine starts. The over is 4-1 in Blanton's past five home starts. The over is 5-0 in Houston's past five Monday games.
Astros at Angels Picks and Betting Predictions
I would have bet my house that Houston wouldn't have a six-game winning streak this season, but that's where we are should it win tonight. Kudos to Manager Bo Porter. If the Halos suffer a home sweep to this team, put a nail in their coffin. I can't see that happening. Take L.A. and the over.
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