Just a game apart at the top of the AL West ranks, the Angels and Astros begin a 3-game series Tuesday night in Houston where the home team is a small favorite n the MLB odds.
How hot are the Houston Astros? Hotter than Taylor Swift, apparently, and she's damn hot if you ask this old man!
Houston 86'ed a Swift concert at Minute Maid Park originally scheduled for October 13th since the club could surprise us all by still playing baseball on that date. It certainly would be a shock according to the MLB futures odds back in April when the Astros were ridding a 75½ win total, 15/1 picks to win the AL West and a 100/1 payoff to take home the Junior Circuit pennant.
Swift's show was rescheduled for September 9, but before we get to that date, Houston has a lot of baseball to play and it all begins Tuesday evening (8:10 PM ET) when the Los Angeles Angels come to town. Game 1 of the all-important set finds a mound duel between a veteran off 443 major league games and another with just 60 under his belt.
CJ Wilson plays the role grizzled vet opposite Houston's Collin McHugh, a rematch from a little more than a month ago when the Angels were small home chalk, only this time the MLB odds have swung the otherway with the Astros currently -116 favorites on the morning nickel line at 5Dimes. The same sports book is quoting a -110 lean on the 'under' for an 8 run total, the 'over' at even money.
1st Place In AL West On Line Tuesday Evening
The Angels and Astros sit just a game apart in the American League West Division as the fourth meeting between the two gets underway. They'll meet twice more this season, Houston visiting Anaheim about the time Swift is on stage back in the Bayou City and the Halos coming back to H-Town in the next-to-last week of the regular season.
This is still a developing rivalry just three years into the Astros' existence as an AL squad, but a fairly level one so far as LA's 29-25 all-time record goes. They only played twice as interleague rivals (2004, 2007), splitting those six games.
The Angels and Astros have also halved the 10 meetings in 2015, Houston and Los Angeles, the last seven in May and June taking place at the Big A where Houston won four. The Halos took two of three in Houston during a mid-May road trip, wagers on closing totals running 0-2-1 O/U/P. The totals on this field a year ago favored the 'over' by a 6-3 margin.
Astros 2-0 Vs. Angels In 2015 With McHugh On Hill
Wilson has helped the Angels to five wins in his last seven starts, the southpaw's ERA at 3.06 in that stretch. Imagine how much lower it would be except for giving up seven runs in less than four innings to the Astros when he saw them in Anaheim near the end of June. He pitched well in a losing effort on this mound in April, tossing nearly seven innings of 2-run, 8-K baseball, leaving the Angels 2-4 in his assignments at Minute Maid while Wilson posted a 3.97 ERA.
McHugh has been a baseball lover's dream since the all-star break with consecutive victories as chalk around -140 on the baseball odds. The 28 year old has done an about face as far as groundball/fly ball pitcher in the last five weeks, and that has helped bring his ERA down by almost a full run. He has started two wins for the Astros over the Angels this year, including beating Wilson in June with eight innings of 2-run baseball.
By the way, though I'm quite certain that I've heard a Taylor Swift song, no melody or title really comes to mind. That might be because I've really got no clue what's going on in pop music, but I do have a good feel for my free MLB pick, and that is I'm expecting some offense tonight in the opener. I'm playing the 'over' in Game 1.
My MLB Pick: Angels-Astros Over 8
Willie Bee's Season: 65-56-2 (+10.90)