Angels vs. Astros: Struggling Starters Make Over 8.5 Our MLB Pick

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 5:35 PM GMT

The Houston Astros welcome the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to Minute Maid Park tonight for the middle game of a three game set. Get our MLB Pick inside.

Angels vs. Astros
This American League West matchup features two lineups that have been heating up over the last week facing two pitchers that have had a rough go of it for the last month and a half. The Astros are a team that have caught a bit of fire and the betting markets have been quick to react, case in point the MLB odds tonight already have the Astros above -160 favorites at home. Instead of laying the expensive price with an iffy starter on the hill, we can get reduced juice on the over in a hitter's ballpark with a moderate total.

Betting Preview
Hector Santiago has struggled in his two previous trips to Minute Maid Park posting north of a 1.7 WHIP in just over 10 innings. Santiago had a 12.18 ERA over a five-start stretch from May 20 to June 10, but pitched well against the Twins on Wednesday, allowing just four base runners in six innings of one-run ball in the win. The 28-year-old left-hander asked the tough task of quieting a hot Astros lineup that has a team OPS of .858 over the last week. Houston erupted for 15 hits last night and had five players with multiple hits for their second highest total of the season. Every starter had at least one hit except for leadoff hitter George Springer, who walked twice and scored once. The hot Astros lineup led by Carlos Gomez who may finally be turning a corner, the center fielder singled in his first two at-bats yesterday and is riding a six-game hitting streak, producing multiple hits in four of the games during the hot streak. "Early in that game, we put up as good of at-bats in a row as we have all year," manager A.J. Hinch said. "To put up those kinds of at-bats in a row is really important for us. I love how we continue to battle, we continue to tack on. We answered their runs and came out with a good win." Rasmus (3-for-5) and Gomez (3-for-4) each had three hits Monday, and Altuve, Correa and Valbuena had multi-hit games.

On the other side, Colin McHugh will try and build on his last time out where he found success holding the Cardinals to just one run on seven hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings his last time out. Although it has been a rocky road for the 29 year old Georgian, McHugh will be seeking his first win since May 14. The Astros righty starter has allowed a combined eight runs in nine innings in his first two June starts, since rebounding against the Cardinals.

Final Analysis
Combining the hot lineups from both the Angels and the Astros facing the struggling starters in the hitter's haven in Houston makes the total of 8.5 runs more than reachable. Also, considering each bullpen was taxed in the high scoring affair last night, I recommend a wager on the full game total of over 8.5 tonight in Houston for your MLB pick.

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MLB Pick: Over 8.5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker