Grab The 'Over' As Your MLB Pick In Astros vs. Angels Slugfest

Jay Pryce

Saturday, May 28, 2016 2:29 PM GMT

Dallas Keuchel looks to return to form as the Astros take on the Angels and Jered Weaver tonight in Los Angeles. Need an MLB pick? We got you covered.

Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels

Houston Astros (20-29) – Dallas Keuchel (2-6, 5.92 ERA)
Tied for last with Oakland in the AL West, last season’s wild card winner is suffering in 2016. Houston particularly struggles beyond Minute Maid Park, winning just seven road games in 23 attempts. Angel Stadium may not be the prime location to turn around their fortunes either. The Astros are 5-15 in the last 20 matchups there, including a 7-2 drubbing last night to open the current three-game stand. 

Pitching is Houston's downfall. Giving up 4.67 runs per game, the team’s 9.43 hits allowed are the third most in MLB behind the Diamondbacks (9.70) and Twins (9.89). Its runs yielded balloons to 5.8 runs per game away from home.

The starting rotation is particularly lost, none more so than 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel. The southpaw gets the nod tonight, having gone 0-5 with a 7.78 ERA over his last seven outings. Struggling with his mechanics, he has not lost more than five games in a row since his rookie season in 2012, the year the ‘Stros dropped 107 overall.

Keuchel is 7-2 with a 3.86 ERA lifetime against the Halos. The current roster holds a .252 career batting average versus the sinkerballer with Mike Trout leading the way in hitting. The 2014 AL MVP is 10 for 31 with a home run and an RBI. He’s struck out 11 times. Albert Pujols, meanwhile, is 5 of 25 with two extra-base hits (homer, double).

For those wagering first-half bets, the Astros yield 4.0 runs per game through the first five innings in Keuchel’s seven road starts. He and the pen have allowed three runs or more in all but one.

Los Angeles Angels (22-26) – Jered Weaver (4-3, 5.33 ERA)
Similar to Houston, the Angels are not necessarily turning heads with their play, particularly at home where they are 10-14 SU, returning nearly 20 percent profit to investors betting against them. Opening at MLB odds of +120, the Halos are 1-7 SU as a home dog of +110 or higher this season; 4-13 since the start of last year.

One-time ace Jered Weaver gets the honors tonight. The former MLB strikeout leader may have righted the ship in his last outing, beating the Orioles 10-2 after earning three losses and no-decision in his prior four starts. He allowed two earned runs on five hits in seven innings.

Weaver is 5-3 with a 2.98 ERA in nine career starts versus the Astros. The reigning two-time AL hits leader Jose Altuve sees him well, batting .345 in 29 plate appearances. Clean-up Colby Rasmus, meanwhile, is just 1 for 17 lifetime with six strike outs. The now soft-tossing right-hander may have to work around some of the Astros’ bigger bats. George Springer, Carlos Correa, and Evan Gattis are 10 for 27 combined with three dingers. When Correa and Altuve each record at least one hit in a contest, Houston averages 5.6 runs. 

The L.A. lineup, which owns the lowest strikeout rate (15.7) in the bigs, is heating up at the plate in front of their home fans. Manager Mike Scioscia’s men average 6.7 runs per game in their last seven at Angel Stadium, crossing the plate seven or more times in five. Prior to this, the Halos put up a measly 2.9 runs per game, scoring seven or more once in 16 games.

 

Final Analysis
The Astros have scored four or more in every road game against a starter with a 3.50 ERA or higher this season. The Angels score 5.0 runs per game at home in the same situation, putting up four or more in seven of 10 outings. Should we expect anything different tonight? Probably not. There are few signs Keuchel is going to round into form anytime soon, and the soft-tossing Weaver is always a good fade on the total. OVER 7.5 runs is our free MLB pick.

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Free MLB Pick: Over 7.5 (-11)
Best Line Offered: at Heritage 
YTD Record: 73-48-1 (-106); MLB: 13-7 (-101)