MLB Free Pick: Angels and Astros Play It ‘Under’ in Houston

Houston Astros

Willie Bee

Sunday, September 24, 2017 2:16 PM GMT

Sunday, Sep. 24, 2017 2:16 PM GMT

The Astros get the spotlight for their final regular season home game, and they’re favored on the MLB odds in the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball Game vs. the Angels.

Season: 80-81-4 (+2.55)

With only the final two wild card slots left to decide, our attention turns to the chase for MLB’s best record. The Houston Astros trail the Dodgers and Indians with designs on a late push to claim the prize. Houston’s final home game of the regular season finds the Astros looking to sweep the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday Night Baseball, Tyler Skaggs (2-6, 4.30) up for LA vs. Lance McCullers (7-3, 3.97) and the Astros -145 chalk on the MLB odds with a 9 run total.

Justin Verlander combined with two relievers to blank the Angels on two hits in Friday’s series opener, a 3-0 Houston victory that 5Dimes made the Astros -130 chalk. Charlie Morton and the top of the lineup made it happen Saturday in a 6-2 Astros decision that left them 12-6 in the season series. ‘Under’ bettors have down well in the Minute Maid matchups (2-7 O/U).

 McCullers Yet To Allow Angels An Earned Run This Year

Three of Skaggs’ four starts this month went into the loss column for the Angels, the latest coming Tuesday to the Indians. He left with a 2-1 deficit, but the bullpen couldn’t keep it close and the offense never provided much help in the 6-3 final. The only September assignment Skaggs won came against these Astros in Anaheim 11 days ago, the southpaw working seven shutout frames. He is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA in two career starts at Minute Maid Park.

McCullers is making his first start in 18 days, and just the second since the end of July. His latest downtime was brought on by arm fatigue, and we don’t expect manager AJ Hinch to allow him to go more than 75 pitches tonight. The sooner McCullers leaves the mound, the better for the Angels who have not been able to solve him in his two appearances against them this year. The 23-year-old has worked a combined 13.2 innings in those outings, allowing the Halos just one unearned run and five hits.

 

Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

Will Little is tasked with calling balls and strikes tonight, his 26th plate assignment this year with outcomes running 10-14-1 O/U/P. He had the dish earlier this season in Houston, a contest that got away from the pitchers with the final more than doubling a 9 run total. Home favorites in the -140 to -160 range, like the Astros in this contest, are a perfect 4-0.

The first two games were played with the roof closed, and that should be the case for the finale as well. My free baseball pick is going to follow the season trend in this series for games played in Houston.

Free MLB Pick: Angels-Astros Under 9 (-105)Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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