The Astros are atop the AL West as they get set to take on the Angels in a three-game set to start off the week. Let's examine the MLB odds for the series opener.
The MLB odds vary depending on where you look, but we mostly see the Angels priced out in the -120 to -125 range to secure the win in tonight's opener at home.
That means you can back the division-leading Astros at roughly +110 if you act fast and jump on the lines offered by books like BetOnline or 5Dimes. The total for tonight's matchup opened at eight runs but has moved down to seven and a half at time of this writing.
Los Angeles Angels (Santiago)
It's been a disappointing week or so for the Angels, as they've gone 3-5 over their last eight games overall heading into this evening. They're at an even 35-35 on the year, which puts them third in the AL West behind Houston and Texas. LA is 19-15 at home and 16-20 out on the road thus far.
Hector Santiago will be looking to guide the Angles to a victory tonight, and he's been one of the most reliable members of the pitching staff for the ballclub in 2015. The southpaw may have a 4-4 record but he's sporting an excellent 2.77 ERA to go with a 1.22 WHIP. On the season he owns a 78:30 K:BB ratio over 81 and 1/3 innings of work.
Just like his team, Santiago has been more effective at home, recording a 2.49 ERA over eight home starts. He's also shut down this Houston team once this season, holding the Astros to just one hit over 6 and 1/3 innings (with five strikeouts and four walks). Will the southpaw be able to muster up another quality start tonight?
Houston Astros (Oberholtzer)
Whereas the Angels have been scuffling a little, bit, the Astros have continued to log impressive results. They've now gone 6-2 over their previous eight games overall, thus improving to 41-30 on the year. That's put them 3.5 games up on the nearest competitor (the Rangers) in the division.
Houston will try to keep the good times rolling when they send out left-hander Brett Oberholtzer. He's pitched well for the club, going 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA and 1.44 WHIP, and he hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in any of his outings so far this season.
Still, it's hard to envision the lefty continuing to post these types of numbers, as it looks like he's been getting pretty lucky. His SIERA is all the way up at 4.36 and he doesn't exactly have a killer K/9 rate; we expect regression from the southpaw, especially if he keeps having trouble with his command.
We look at this spot as a favorable one for the Angels, and therefore we'll be siding with them with our MLB picks for a relatively quiet Monday night of baseball.
For one, Los Angeles will be back at home, where they've been a lot more competitive this season, and they'll also hold the edge in the pitching department, as Santiago has really looked good, especially when pitching in his own ballpark. He should be anxious to get another crack at this Astros team, one that strikes out with the best of them. We think there is regression coming for Obertholzer, and it could very well start tonight.
Motivation should also be there for the Angels, as they haven't been playing all that well and really need to turn things around if they want to make a run and work their way up the standings. With our MLB picks, we're going to play it safe and add LA on the moneyline.
MLB Pick: Los Angeles Angels -120