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Houston Favored To Complete Sweep Over Angels

Ohtani leads the Angels against the Houston Astros

The Houston Astros are 7-1 over their last eight games, including a 3-0 record through the first three games of their current four-game road series against the Los Angeles Angels. The Astros can wrap up their sweep of the Angels with another victory on Thursday night.

Houston Astros vs Los Angeles Angels
  • Date/Time: September 23, 9:38 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Angel Stadium
  • TV Coverage: ATSW
  • Opening Odds: Astros -190 | 9 (Line History)
  • Astros vs Angels Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Astros opened as -190 favorites in Thursday’s series finale and have since been bet down to -158. Los Angeles will try to avoid the sweep as a +148 underdog while the total is set at 8.5 runs since opening at 9 runs. The OVER is 3-0 through the first three games of this series.

Starting Pitchers Analysis   

Lance McCullers Jr. allowed two earned runs in six innings with eight strikeouts in his last start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. McCullers has recorded a 2.50 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP across three quality starts in September. The right-hander carries a 12-4 record with a 3.11 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP and 176 strikeouts into Thursday night’s start.

Alex Cobb returned from the injured list last Thursday with five shutout innings against the Chicago White Sox en route to a 9-3 Angels win. Cobb has been outstanding since the beginning of July with a 0.91 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP over his last five starts. He has compiled an 8-3 record with a 3.59 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP overall in 2021.

Houston News & Notes

After cruising over the Angels 10-0 on Monday night and 10-5 on Tuesday night, the Astros had to work harder in their 9-5 win over Los Angeles on Wednesday. Houston lost a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning when the Angels scored five runs, but the Astros tied the game with two runs in the top of the eighth and went on to win it in the 12th inning.

Houston enters Thursday’s action with a 91-61 record and has closed the gap for the top spot in the American League behind the Tampa Bay Rays to just 2.5 games. The Astros’ +220 run differential in 2021 ranks best in the American League and second only to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ +245 overall.

Los Angeles News & Notes

Shohei Ohtani was walked four times in the Angels’ extra-innings loss to the Astros on Wednesday night. The Angels slugger hit his 45th home run of the season on Tuesday and trails Salvador Perez and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. by one home run for the MLB lead. Tuesday’s home run was just Ohtani’s third in September as the two-way star is batting only .210 this month.

The Angels fell to 0-6 over their last six games and to 72-80 on the season with Wednesday’s loss. There is reason for optimism heading into next season with Ohtani’s emergence as the impending AL MVP and the return of Mike Trout, but this club still needs a lot more depth around its two superstars.

Staff Betting Pick: Houston -158

Alex Cobb has been pitching great over the last few months, but so has Lance McCullers Jr. With a pretty even matchup on the mound, Houston’s clear edge on offense should push the Astros to a win.

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Shark Bites
  • Houston is 6-1 in its last 7 road games vs Los Angeles.
  • Los Angeles is 0-8 in its last 8 home games.
  • The OVER is 5-0 in Houston’s last 5 games.